What SA's ‘sign language ladies’ really think about all those memes

Sign language interpreters Andiswa Gebashe and Nicoline du Toit have become familiar faces thanks to their role in official Covid-19 briefings. They hope their new their found 'fame' will give a voice to the Deaf community

24 May 2020 - 00:04 By Sanet Oberholzer

South Africans are captivated. The WhatsApps started circulating early on in the Covid-19 crisis every time President Cyril Ramaphosa addressed the nation. Conversations would turn to the sign language interpreters at the side of the screen who, together with the president, would enter our lounges, usually on Thursday nights, to bring us the latest on where we stood as a country. Any mention of them would inevitably result in a comment such as "I love those ladies!" and when the memes began they became low-key celebrities of a very unusual persuasion.

Sign language interpreters have sometimes made the news headlines for unfortunate reasons — who can forget the fake interpreter at Nelson Mandela's memorial service? But these days, they are making us smile...

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