Pictures: Ontlameste's touching memorial service

By Drum Digital
20 April 2017

Ontlametse Phalatse’s memorial service was a true celebration of a dynamic life

, loved and cherished by many South Africans.

Touching tributes from school teachers, principals, family, friends and community members gave a clear description of who she was, for those who did not know her.

Ontlametse suffered from progeria (a genetic condition that makes children old prematurely).

Hebron Primary School principal, Thami Dyani, described her as a “brilliant soul” after she adopted the school and used her connections at the Department of Social Development to set up a meeting with him to discuss the many challenges the school is facing.

She also raised funds to donate sanitary towels to bring dignity to girls in the school.

Graham Howarth, head master at Dominican Convent, where Ontlametse attended high school said it was a great achievement to see her complete her matric and qualify for university and he had the privilege of seeing her attending the school’s matric dance.

“She had a full productive life, and proved that size does not matter, you can triumph through adversity,” he said.

“I often felt that she was the teacher and I learnt from her.”

Charlotte Shoke of the Defence Force Spouses Forum recounted Ontlametse’s motivational speech to women in the organisation on International Women’s Day in March.

“It’s rare to find a child who can inspire adults to make grownup decisions about life,” she said.

“She showed us that none of us had any excuse in life but that we had to get up and do whatever needs to be done.”

Lindiwe Modise, radio host at Motsweding FM, recounted a few quotes from Ontlametse which were profound and full of wisdom.

“Life has obstacles and they will come and go along the way,” said Ontlametse. “The way you handle them us what makes a difference.”

Modise says another quote by Ontlametse is one of her favourites:

“Appreciate every moment you share with your loved ones because you don’t know what will happen tomorrow.”

The funeral service will take place at the family home at 696 Motseng Section, Hebron Village, on Friday from 06:30 to 10:00.

Picture by Fani Mahuntse/Drum

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