Mandela Funeral Bogus Sign Language Interpreter Pulled Out of Mental Institution to Film Promo for Israeli App (VIDEO)

May 7, 2014 7:38 am 8 comments

Thamsanqa Jantjie in the promo for LiveLens. Photo: Screenshot.

The phony sign language interpreter who gained worldwide attention for his work at Nelson Mandela’s funeral has resurfaced in a promotional video ad for an Israeli mobile application.

Thamsanqa Jantjie was institutionalized after claiming to suffer from schizophrenia after moving his hands in random gestures as heads of state and religious leaders spoke at Mandela’s memorial service. He was allegedly pulled out of his asylum to film the ad for LiveLens, which allows easy live streaming on Facebook and through the app.

In the clip, which shows Jantjie speaking and then interpreting his own comments in fake sign language, he apologizes for the incident that took place at Mandela’s funeral, saying, “I am really, really sorry for what happened.”

“Now I make it up to the whole world,” he says, interpreting the comment in sign language as, “Now I do campaign for money.”

He then introduces the company as “an an app that allows you to broadcast live to your friends and followers.”

“Remember the most interesting things happen live,” he adds in the bizarre footage.

Max Bluvband, CEO of LiveLens, said, ”We are thrilled to be bringing the very enthusiastic Thamsanqua onto our team – so people realize that everything and anything can be filmed live.”

Bluvband told The Algemeiner that his company was looking for a spokesperson “that relates to live shows and is known all over the world.”

“Our main objective is to bring awareness to live streaming and to do it in an amusing way with someone that everyone knows,” he said.

Explaining how he connected with Jantjie, Bluvband credited his Israeli tenacity.

“Israelis are very determined people,” he said. “We learn it from the nature of living here, when we strive to do something we try to do it in the best way, the most determined way.”

In an interview with The Algemeiner, Jantjie credited the leaders at LiveLens, including Bluvband and Head of Marketing Sefi Shaked, with helping turn his life around.

“Let me tell you, number one, for the first time they called me and for the first time they gave me an opportunity that it has sustained my life, it has changed my life,” he said. “Right now… I am with my kids, I take them out, I feel like a father. Right now I am with my wife, I can buy something for my wife. They made me a husband, they made me a father, they made me a neighbor, people like them… God could keep them to assist people like us who are suffering, I was poor but at least now I have got something.”

LiveLens has been testing its product for a number of months and has just released it to the public.

The company said in a statement that it recently secured $2 million in funding and that it was founded on the realization that there was no mobile application or software on the market that allowed easy live streaming and sharing that integrates to existing social media platforms.

Watch the wacky LiveLens promo below:

8 Comments

  • jaime xmarrano

    Great idea in fact a brilliant idea…It gives this guy a new lease on life…

  • Stan the Man

    His performance has only been rivalled by the likes of Chemical Ali during the Gulf War – specifically the scene where he denied the Marines where anywhere near Bagdad – then the shooting started.

  • They made the desert bloom. Making the best of a bad situation. Genius people.

  • I express my outrage and disappointment that Livelens would think it appropriate to hire and portray any individual who has become synonymous with mockery of sign language interpreting based on his extremely offensive actions at the funeral of Nelson Mandela. Livelens has obviously chosen to use Thamsanqa Jantjie, a proven imposter, in an effort to draw attention to its product. If there ever was an occasion to shun and boycott a company and its products on the basis of its offensive conduct, this is it. I strongly urge Livelens to immediately remove this offending commercial. You need to be educated on respecting all cultures including that of the signing community.

    • Stan the Man

      It was not his fault but the fault of those that HIRED him for the event. He applied his skills to the best of his ability.
      He also should be allowed to make a living.
      G-d bless those that can see his potential – and his performance at the funeral was the biggest joke of the century.
      Great chioce.

  • UNFORTUNATELY RUINED BY BLOWING HIS HEAD OFF

    DEMEANING IS NOT FUNNY PARTICULARLY FOR THIS INDIVIDUAL

  • Only Israelis! Wonderful! Guys, you gave me a good laugh.
    G-D Bless you.

  • E Pluribus Wombat

    He IS the most interesting man in the world.

Leave a Reply

Please note: comments may be published in the Algemeiner print edition.


Current day month ye@r *

More...

  • Book Reviews Jewish Identity When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    When Torah Teaches Life and Life Teaches Torah (REVIEW)

    JNS.org – Rabbi Gordon Tucker spent the first 20 years of his career teaching at the Conservative movement’s Jewish Theological Seminary (JTS) and the next 20 years as the rabbi of Temple Israel Center in White Plains, N.Y. I confess that when I heard about the order of those events, I thought that Tucker’s move from academia to the pulpit was strange. Firstly, I could not imagine anyone filling the place of my friend, Arnold Turetsky, who was such a talented [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Blogs Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    Oscars 2015: Reflecting on Love at First Sight

    JNS.org – I’m in love, and have been for a long time. It’s a relationship filled with laughter, tears, intrigue, and surprise. It was love at first sight, back when I was a little girl—with an extra-terrestrial that longed to go home. From then on, that love has never wavered, and isn’t reserved for one, but for oh so many—Ferris Bueller, Annie Hall, Tootsie, Harry and Sally, Marty McFly, Atticus Finch, Danny Zuko, Yentl, that little dog Toto, Mrs. Doubtfire, [...]

    Read more →
  • Blogs Book Reviews Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    Examining America’s First Foray into the Middle East (REVIEW)

    At the turn of the 21st century through today, American involvement in Middle Eastern politics runs through the Central Intelligence Agency. In America’s Great Game: The CIA’s Secret Arabists and the Shaping of the Modern Middle East, historian Hugh Wilford shows this has always been the case. Wilford methodically traces the lives and work of the agency’s three most prominent officers in the Middle East: Kermit “Kim” Roosevelt was the grandson of president Theodore Roosevelt, and the first head of [...]

    Read more →
  • Relationships US & Canada Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Seniors at Los Angeles Jewish Home Give Witty Dating Advice Ahead of Valentine’s Day (VIDEO)

    Residents of the Los Angeles Jewish Home give dating advice to a young Jewish man in a comedic video posted Monday on YouTube just in time for Valentine’s Day. Jonathan, an associate at the Jewish home, quizzes the senior citizens on an array of topics including having sex on the first date, kissing a girl, who should pay for dinner and whether online dating is a good idea. When the 28-year-old asks a male resident named Lee about his experiences [...]

    Read more →
  • Arts and Culture Jewish History Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Kutsher’s Documentary an Amazing, and Tragic, Look at the Past (REVIEW)

    Anyone who spent time in the Jewish Catskills hotels – especially those like me, who returned for decades – must see the new documentary,”Welcome to Kutsher’s: The Last Catskills Resort.” Not only will the film transport you back to the glory days of your youth and thousands of memories, but it will also make you long for a world that is now lost forever. I returned to Kutsher’s one last time in the summer of 2009, but by then, the [...]

    Read more →
  • Education Jewish Identity Lifestyle Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    Riding the Wave of Change in Part-Time Jewish Education

    JNS.org – Amid the numerous studies and analyses regarding Jewish American life, a simple fact remains: part-time Jewish education is the most popular vehicle for Jewish education in North America. Whenever and wherever parents choose Jewish education for their children, we have a communal responsibility to devote the necessary time and resources to deliver dynamic, effective learning experiences. The only way we can do this is by creating space for conversations and knowledge-sharing around innovative new education models. That also [...]

    Read more →
  • Commentary Featured Features Jewish 100 The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014

    The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014

    The Top 100 People Positively Influencing Jewish Life, 2014 ACADEMIA Alain Finkielkraut Moshe Halbertal Deborah Lipstadt Jacob Metzer Steven Pinker Tammi Rossman-Benjamin ARTS AND CULTURE Yaacov Agam David Blatt Leonard Cohen Gal Gadot Scarlett Johansson Ryan Kavanaugh Steven Spielberg Harry Styles INNOVATION AND ACTIVISM Meira Aboulafia Adina Bar-Shalom Nitsana Darshan-Leitner Daniel Gold Anett Haskia Ephrat Levy-Lahad Gabriel Nadaf Dumisani Washington GOVERNMENT Tony Abbott José María Aznar Ron Dermer Yuli Edelstein Abdul Fatah el-Sisi Stephen Harper Goodluck Jonathan Mitch McConnell Narendra Modi [...]

    Read more →
  • Features Jewish 100 Jewish 100, 2014: Bassam Eid – Voices

    Jewish 100, 2014: Bassam Eid – Voices

    Bassam Eid Palestinian human rights activist While Palestinians who demonize Israel as the sole reason for their woes receive no shortage of media invitations, those among them who spotlight their own leaders’ iniquities are far less in demand. Even so, the profile of Bassam Eid, the Director of the Palestinian Human Rights Monitoring Group, is thankfully continuing to grow. Eid’s latest campaign is for the overhaul of UNRWA, the UN refugee agency dedicated solely to the Palestinians, which he says [...]

    Read more →



Sign up now to receive our regular news briefs.