THE LIFE AND DEATH OF ONTLAMETSE PHALASTE April 13, 2017 – Posted in: Everyday Living

I read about the life and death of the South African teenager Ontlametse Phalatse at 18; a child that was born with Progeria, a rare genetic premature aging disorder. This struck a lot of nerves for me. It wasn’t so much that she died, it was how she lived her life while she was here on earth. The estimated life span for a child born with progeria is between late teens and early twenty’s. You start life being different, you spend life looking different and you die before you have the maturity to be fully aware of your reality.

Ontlametse was unfortunately born with this rare disorder but fortunately she dictated the terms on how she was going to live out her limited time on earth. With full knowledge of her situation, she spent her life as a motivational coach and a positivity champion; teaching others about the need to be happy, to do more and to live their full lives; always with a huge smile she was known for. I find it extremely admirable that even if life had dealt her with the worst blow, she took it with a pinch of salt and still sought to inspire others.

This spoke so much to me and I found so many lessons in her life and death so I’m sharing with you all in the hope that it speaks to someone else also.

Below are the 8 things I learnt from the life and death of Ontlametse –


  • When unfortunate things happen, you have the choice to control the situation or have the situation control you. Whatever choice you make will shape the rest of your life
  • Even when you’re not in the most favorable situation, you’re still able to inspire and influence others to live their full lives. There’s inspiration in imperfection, you don’t have to live a seemingly perfect life before you’re able to inspire others
  • Sharing your calamities creates a strong support system with people far and wide that are rooting for you; it also creates a support system for people far and wide that are going through a similar situation.
  • Having a short time on earth forces you to do the most within the time you’re promised (why not do same with an unpredictable life). I might not have a time stamp on how long I’m here for but all the same my time on earth is limited. I’m remembering to live a full life while I can
  • When you boldly take charge of your life and live expressively, you attract people from all walks of life. It was Ontlametse’s dream to meet the president of her country South Africa. She lived to see this dream become her reality a few weeks before she died. Her expressiveness about her life and challenges led him to her and he also found her to be inspiring.
  • True strength lies in knowing the inevitable and living with purpose all the same day after day. I think that strength is not in dealing with issues when everything is seemingly normal, but in still being able to get up and do stuff when the whole world would understand if you chose not to
  • It’s ok to be different; sometimes your difference is what makes you endearing. Don’t be so ashamed of what makes you different, remember that it also makes you unique
  • It’s important to forge relationships that empower on your low days. I go through Ontlametse’s social media and the love is so much I feel it from here. She had an amazing support system in family, friends, strangers that turned friends and friends that turned family.

I hope this piece speaks to you, I hope it reminds you to get up and do all the things you want to do in life, I hope it inspires you to build and live a full life despite the unfortunate things life throws your way.

Sleep on Dear Ontlametse, you’re a true hero.

Love x Light,