Despite the sadness inherent at any funeral memorial service, the fact that individuals of many different races, ethnicities and social backgrounds came together to pay respect to the late Nelson Mandela was a ray of hope on a cloudy day. However, this latest piece of news reminds us that people will find a way to F-up a good thing no matter what.
There was a brother signing beside each speaker who addressed the audience of 95,000 plus mourners at FNB stadium in Johannesburg, South Africa on Tuesday. Having someone fluent in sign language translate for the hear-impaired sounds like a great idea on all fronts. However, why would someone agree to do it only to fake the funk? Hundreds of people took to social media in outrage with many deaf individuals confirming that the signing did not match up with what each speaker was saying.
Chief executive of the UK charity Action on Hearing Loss said: We are shocked by the quality of sign language interpretation at Nelson Mandela’s memorial – if it could be called interpretation at all."
He added that "the limited number of signs, the amount of repetition, lack of facial expressions and huge gaps in translation meant that deaf or hard of hearing people across the world were completely excluded from one of the biggest events in recent history."
Wilma Newhoudt-Druchen, the first deaf woman elected to the South African parliament tweeted "rubbish." Adding "He cannot sign. Please get him off.”
The man has yet to be identified by name at the time this item was published.