Young brave ighter TAKES A BOW

De­spite los­ing the bat­tle against her dis­or­der at 18, Ontlametse Phalatse never al­lowed the con­di­tion to stand in the way of ful­fill­ing her dreams

Move! - - INSPIRATION - By Vin­cent Phahlane

ONTLAMETSE Phalatse re­cently passed away at the age of 18 due to proge­ria – a rare ge­netic dis­or­der which causes ac­cel­er­ated ag­ing. In her short-lived life, she man­aged to be one of the bravest people who beat the odds.

RE­MARK­ABLE WOMAN

Ontlametse first made head­lines when she ap­peared on e.tv’s in­ves­tiga­tive show, 3rd De­gree.

No one ac­tu­ally knows how many chil­dren in the world have proge­ria. In 2009, Ontlametse was the first black child to be di­ag­nosed with the dis­or­der in the world and was one of the only two girls with proge­ria in South Africa.

But she never al­lowed her sit­u­a­tion to stand in her way of ful­fill­ing her dreams. She was a re­mark­able woman who was de­ter­mined to achieve a lot in her short life.

Ontlametse, who called her­self the first lady, wanted to live her dream. She once said that God put her on this world for a pur­pose, and she has now learnt to ac­cept her con­di­tion.

SPECIAL GIFT

Doctors told her that she would only live up to the age of 13, but she lived up to 18. For her fi­nal birth­day, she re­ceived a gift she had al­ways wanted.

A day be­fore she turned 18, she met Pres­i­dent Ja­cob Zuma at the Union Build­ings in Pretoria, and re­ceived a bou­quet of flow­ers from him.

Af­ter hear­ing of her death, Pres­i­dent Zuma also sent his con­do­lences to Ontlametse’s fam­ily, call­ing her the special child of South Africa. “Our lives were touched when we met Ontlametse last month. She was very special in­deed.”

CEL­E­BRAT­ING HER LIFE

Ontlametse’s death caught every­one’s attention, with some celebri­ties pay­ing trib­ute to her.

Those who paid trib­ute in­clude so­cialite Somizi

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