She has his picture on her wardrobe and his face adorned her birthday cake. But four-year old Mehran Dildar’s superhero is no Disney prince or cute comic-book character – it’s the president of South Africa.
When Mehran saw Cyril Ramaphosa on TV during the Covid-19 pandemic, she instantly knew she wanted to be like him.
The little girl from Isipingo near Durban hopes that one day she’ll be able to meet her hero. Mehran, who has written numerous letters to the country’s leader, says she became Ramaphosa’s No 1 fan after watching him address the nation about the Covid-19 crisis.
“I love that he speaks to the people of South Africa,” Mehran tells YOU. “He kept us informed during the coronavirus. He seems like he really cares and is trying to help us.”
If Mehran does meet her role model one day, she will have a very important message to deliver.
“I will tell him that I waited for a very long to meet him. I will tell him I want to be a leader like him when I grow up, but a girl president.
“I will tell him how I have his pictures on my wardrobes and that he was on my birthday cake and how I cried when he didn’t visit me for my birthday,” she says.
Mehran hasn’t always been this confident and outspoken, her mom, Fatima Yacoob Dildar (44), tells YOU. The little girl had a speech impediment, which her parents noticed when she started speaking.
“She used to stutter and stammer really badly. I then started some speech therapy at home and used to make her speak in front of the mirror,” Fatima explains.
“I then decided to record her so she could watch the videos afterwards and see how she could rectify her speech on her own.”
After watching numerous recordings, Mehran, who now knows how to control her stammer, started stealing her mom's phone to secretly record herself saying inspirational things.
Mom Fatima then decided to post the encouraging messages online and the little girl has since gone viral.
“I find loads of videos on my phone. She casually talks about her day or what she has planned for the weekend.
“She talks about Covid-19 issues as well as general South African patriotic events and matters that affect children.
“She often also scolds the adults when she watches the news and hears that they have been misbehaving.
“It makes me very happy when parents message me to tell me how Mehran has inspired their kids and asking when her next video will be,” the proud mom says.
The little girl is part of a family of five children that consists of two sets of twins – Mehran belongs to the second set of twins. Mom Fatima says Mehran’s siblings are her biggest fans.
“My son Zidaan always stands by her side telling her how well she’s doing and how proud we all are of her.
“Her sisters love getting her dressed and helping her have her hair done. On several occasions, I found Mehran videoing her sisters and teaching them how to do videos too.
“It’s so cute to hear how she encourages them, telling them how proud she is of them. The role reversal and role play aids her own development as well,” Fatima says.
Although it might take several years for Mehran to become South Africa’s first female president, she already knows what her agenda will be.
“I want to help the children and people,” she says. “I don’t like to see children hungry or getting hurt.”
Mehran for president.