South Africa’s deaf federation today confirmed that the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela’s memorial was a ‘fake’ who was just making up hand movements as he went along. The man got to rub shoulders with world leaders like Barack Obama and David Cameron (seen here taking a joyous selfie at the event), but in fact had no idea what he was doing when he was supposed to be translating for the hearing-impaired in attendance and watching at home.
“He was moving his hands around but there was no meaning in what he used his hands for”, said Bruno Druchen, the deaf federation’s national director.
Furthermore, three sign language experts said the man wasn’t signing any of South Africa’s 11 languages or any American sign languages.
“It was horrible, an absolute circus, really, really bad”, said one of them, Nicole Du Toit. “Only he can understand those gestures.”
What a thing to get wrong at the funeral of one of the greatest peacemakers who ever lived. Definitely deserved better than that. How did this even happen though? Where did they find this clown? Nobody even knows the guy’s name or can explain how he wound up as the interpreter for the event.
Who knows – maybe he knows sign language perfectly well and just crumbled under the magnitude of the occasion. They definitely should have splashed out though and booked the greatest sign language interpreter of all time – Kendrick Lamar’s sign language girl. This guy wishes he could sign language like her.
Before you check her out though – watch this guy do his thing. Complete shambles (not that I’d have known):