Following the death of 18-year-old Progeria sufferer, Ontlametse Ntlami Phalatse, the SA government and popular celebrities have taken the time to pay tribute.
They joined the nation in mourning the teenager who died after a long battle with the genetic disorder.
Celebrities including Somizi‚ Redi Thlabi‚ Siv Ngesi and others celebrated Ontlametse’s life right after the news of her passing broke.
Here are some of the heart-touching tributes in honour of Ontlametse Ntlami Phalatse;
So saddened by the passing of Ntlami! 😭😭😭
May her soul rest in eternal peace. pic.twitter.com/lm3TRFpV0M
— Sibusiso D. Mthembu (@SbuNoah) April 12, 2017
I remember watching her on 3rd degree…..her magnetic personality and strength… Her confidence…. Amazing. RIP https://t.co/SJPJDvRXxH
— Redi Tlhabi (@RediTlhabi) April 12, 2017
May your beautiful soul RIP Ntlami. Honored to have met you. 💔💔😭😭😭🙏🏼 pic.twitter.com/O63Y66cYB5
— Jimmy Tau (@Jimmytau2) April 12, 2017
— South African Gov (@GovernmentZA) April 12, 2017
— Uyanda Mbuli (@UyandaM) April 12, 2017
Ontlametse’s family released a statement on her Facebook page, saying that she had passed away at George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Ga- Rankuwa, Pretoria after experiencing breathing problems on Tuesday morning.
“It is with great sadness [that we] inform you of the passing of our first lady, Ontlametse Ntlami Phalatse. She experienced breathing difficulties yesterday and was rushed to Hebron Clinic, then was referred to Dr George Mkhari,” a statement on her Facebook page reads.
Ontlametse who was one of the two South African young women living with Progeria‚ an extremely rare genetic disorder in which symptoms resembling aspects of ageing are manifested at a very early age, was told she wouldn’t live past her fourteenth birthday.
Notwithstanding, Ontlametse lived up to 18 and completed her matric. In fact, she even fulfilled some of the things on her bucket list including meeting the president of South Africa last month. She was brave and had a positive outlook about life throughout her time on earth.
She used to call herself the first lady because she became the first black child to suffer from Progeria.
“I call myself a first lady because I’m the first black child with this disease … Which other black child do you know with this disease?” she would say.
Ontlametse impressed people with her intelligence, warm personality, brilliant ideas and her determination to use her condition to motivate others around her.
May her lovely soul rest in peace.