Ontlametse’s Memorial: Everything You Missed [Pics & Video]


Ontlametse Phalatse’s Memorial: A memorial service was held at Mmanotshe Moduane High School in Hebron, North West for the much-loved teen Oo Tuesday, April 19.

The programme was directed by Comedian Thapelo “Tips” Seemisi who kept things light‚ joking and calming down nerves throughout the service.

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So many guests at the occasion took turns and shared how impactful and inspiring the teen was during her lifetime.

Among the speakers were South Africa’s Thato Mbha, who was Ontlametse’s friend for 2 months, Dudu Myeni‚ the executive chairperson of the Jacob Zuma Foundation and a host of other prominent speakers.

Myeni announced during her speech that the Jacob Zuma foundation will still fulfill the dreams of Ontlametse, which include a home for her mother and brother.

She also announced that president‚ Jacob Zuma will attend the funeral scheduled to hold on Friday. The funeral will take place at the family home by 06:30 while Ontlametse’s body will head to the cemetery by 10:00 am.

The crowd was also entertained by pupils from Hebron P School – where the progeria sufferer started her schooling

Thami Dyani‚ the principal of Hebron primary school spoke about how Phalatse‚ a former pupil‚ fought to improve conditions at the school.

She recalled how Ontlametse provided sanitary pads for learners and promised to bring the MEC to resolve all the infrastructural problems in the school.

High school councillor‚ Tanya Lamb Dewar‚ gave an emotional account of her relationship with Phalatse.

Also in attendance was South Africa’s only surviving progeria sufferer‚ Beandri Booysen‚ who came with her mother‚ Bea Booysen.

Zimbabwean artist with the Twitter handle @lebanisirenje was also spotted working on Ontlametse’s portrait.

Ontlametse was one of the two South African young women living with Progeria, a rare genetic disorder that causes rapid aging at a very early age.

She died last Tuesday, at the age of 18, at Dr. George Mukhari Academic Hospital in Ga-Rankuwa after experiencing breathing difficulties.

Doctors had predicted she wouldn’t live past the age of 14 but she proved them wrong. She didn’t only cross 14, she also made it through high school with good grades.

Last week Wednesday, during his birthday celebration, President Jacob Zuma presented Ontlametse’s family with a car and said he’d build them a house, a wish Ontlametse had expressed to Zuma before she died.

One of Phalatse’s quote contained on the memorial programme read: “Beauty is not the appearance of someone but it is their personality and how they are on the inside as well as their heart.

Phalatse’s death, of a truth, has taught most people a lot of things and we can only hope that the lessons be used as a transformation spin.

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A research conducted by the Progeria Research Foundation revealed that Ontlametse was the first black child diagnosed with progeria.

Audrey Gordon, the foundation’s executive director, once revealed that only two Africans have been diagnosed and both live in South Africa — Ontlametse Phalatse and 5-year-old Beandri Booysen.

The number of children diagnosed around the world is said to have soared from 48 to 80 on five continents.

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