JOHANNESBURG, SOUTH AFRICA – He wasn’t saying much of anything at the Nelson Mandela Memorial, but he sure is talking now!
The South African sign language interpreter accused of gibberish hand gestures while standing alongside world leaders, is claiming he wasn’t faking it, he just flipped out!
Thamsanqua Jantjie is speaking up about his strange performance, including the sudo-signing he did for President Obama by saying he was having a schizophrenic seizure during the ceremony. But according to many in the deaf community, Jantjie is accused of pretty much just standing on stage, flailing his arms around unintelligibly, while the whole world watched. But now the interpreter is interpreting his lack of signing skills, as a result of a his mental disorder.
Jantjie goes on to say that even though he took his medication, he was hallucinating during the event, hearing voices and seeing angels streaking down into the Johannesburg Stadium. That was something he had experienced before saying, “Sometimes I react violent on that place; sometimes I will see things that chase me!”
But with all this going on inside his head, he still thinks he did a good job. Mainly because he claims nobody tried to stop him. So is he basically telling deaf people, who presumably can’t hear and also might not be able to talk, to speak up more? Even when this guy uses his voice, we don’t understand him!
Bottom line is this; how can someone who has a tendency to hallucinate every once in a while, get so close to world leaders? It’s clear to say that not only where the deaf confused by the signs during Mandela’s send-off, but South African security couldn’t read the signs either.