Thursday, December 12, 2013

Why am I not surprised?

With stuff going on like this, I'm never going to run out of topics.
Thamsanqa Jantjie, the sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's funeral
Thamsanqa Jantjie, asshole
 This guy stood up next to the world leaders of 88 countries to serve as a sign language interpreter at Nelson Mandela's funeral. There was one problem: he didn't know any sign language. As eulogies were given to honor a great man, this con artist was doing finger gibberish. He wasn't saying anything. It could have been the Macarena with a recipe for pecan pie. He was clearly making it up. Did he think no one would notice? Several people did. Bruno Druchen, the director of the Deaf Federation of South Africa tweeted during the ceremony, 'Get that clown off stage now.'
Jantjie claims he was having a schizophrenic episode at the time. The trouble with that is actual doctors who saw him disagree. It also appears he's had this problem before. Footage of him signing for President Jacob Zuma in 2012 shows him gesticulating gibberish. South African deaf organizations have complained about Jantjie before, but the government has no record of the complaints. They can't even find the business that he claims to work for as an independent contractor. There is no oversight or regulation for competent and qualified interpreters in South Africa. A person who perhaps learns 5 or 6 signs can call themselves an interpreter because no one does a background check to see if he's really qualified.
This doesn't pass the smell test. If it looks like bullshit and sounds like bullshit...
The demand for interpreters far outweigh the supply. So much so, that it is easy for a con artist to pose as something he's not. My question is; How did he get away with it for so long? The answer is:  Because he could.


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