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


thamsanqa-jantjie-in-the-promo-for-livelens[Video below.] 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 here.

Read more at The Algemeiner Journal.

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  1. This is clearly a derelict story, but this guy probably should not be institutionalized unless he is a clear harm to himself or others. I wonder if the other nations, especially Africa protect human rights. There is no purpose in a mental institution. Just a hospital where the mentally ill can get treatment. If this guy has been in a mental institution since his horrible event on the international stage, I would wonder if he really got treatment or if it is being used as a jail cell. There are very likely human rights issues here. But who knows why someone would use him for an endorsement of let alone an Israel connection for human interest.