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There’s no Stopping Her! Ontlametse Phalatse was born with a Rare Age-Accelerating Disorder but her Positivity is Contagious



Ontlametse Phalatse

Ontlametse Phalatse was born looking “normal”, but later on, her mother Bellon discovered something was wrong. By the time she was three months old, she was already having constant rashes on her skin and her mother thought she had a skin disease.

Before Ontlametse celebrated her first birthday, her hair was falling, her nails weren’t normal, the skin problems continued. Her parents were going from doctor to doctor.

Her father abandoned she and her mother before she celebrated her third birthday, as she was aging prematurely.

She was enrolled in school at 6 years old but that came with scornful remarks from her classmates and teachers who thought she had AIDS. People living with AIDS were always being discriminated in South Africa at the time.

It did not stop her as she proved to be a bright student.

In 2009, a doctor friend suggested she have Ontlametse tested for Progeria – (a rare age-accelerating disorder also known as Benjamin Button Disorder), and brought her a book about the disease. She was later diagnosed of the disorder.

Ontlametse has a bubbly and positive personality, and she doesn’t allow her condition to bring her down.

She calls herself ‘First Lady’ because she is the first (recorded) Black child with the disorder.

Her caption: What a lovely day. Life is about enjoying every moment

The disorder is believed to have inspired the Brad Pitt movie The Curious Case of Benjamin Button, in which he is born an old man and ages backwards.

The Progeria Research Foundation says that only two Africans have been diagnosed with the disease and they both live in South Africa – Ontlametse and a 5-year-old white girl.

Although, researchers believe there are other children with the disorder, but they (researchers) haven’t been able to reach them.

The foundation added that the number of children diagnosed with the disorder around the world has soared from 48 to 80 on five continents.

Ontlametse was not expected to live beyond the age of 13, but later this year, she will be celebrating her 18th birthday.

‘I don’t care what people say about me,’ she says adding that she wants to become a psychologist to help people with their problems. She recently graduated from high school.

In South Africa, matriculation (or matric) is a term commonly used to refer to the final year of high school and the qualification received on graduating from high school, although strictly speaking, it refers to the minimum university entrance requirements.


A video posted by Ontlametse phalatse (@ntlami) on

She is truly an inspiration and we are seriously rooting for her.


  1. Beckyy

    January 31, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Wowww,,,, SO much energy, positivity ooozing from her. Stay strong darling

  2. Khadijat

    January 31, 2017 at 11:21 am

    so beautiful and inspiring

  3. Prime Babe

    January 31, 2017 at 11:24 am

    I like her

  4. mmm lover

    January 31, 2017 at 11:30 am

    i am going to follow her on her IG right away

  5. Mz Titilitious

    January 31, 2017 at 11:37 am

    wow….. so inspiring..

  6. Disguised

    January 31, 2017 at 11:52 am

    She is cute… live long in good health sweety x

  7. pretty

    January 31, 2017 at 12:07 pm

    I remember we had some twins like that in yoruba movies ( d ajileye twins) I heard their dead now,it sad researchers never knew about them,since they claim to have only 2 of such cases recorded in africa.
    C a link below.

    • Vitas

      January 31, 2017 at 12:35 pm

      @pretty,i was about to say the same thing. We really need researchers in Africa. The twins you were talking about resided in Osogbo,the Osun state capital,got married,and are both late now. They aged so much before their demise,much more than they appeared on screen. i am sure other African countries may have a case or two. I am not sure any research was carried out on the twins,they lived into their mid thirties or so

    • Funmi

      January 31, 2017 at 4:57 pm

      When all we do is wait on the Oyinbo to come and research us and we can’t do nothing……hun what do u expect…..God help Africa.

    • o

      January 31, 2017 at 1:00 pm

      Yes they are late now. They died not too long apart. And they always cast them in negative parts because of their looks. So sad.

    • T

      January 31, 2017 at 1:12 pm

      Nigeria needs to improve on documenting facts. You are correct! we had twins who had Progeria @ grown men who went on to get married and have children! Meanwhile statistics report oldest person to have lived with progeria as 29 and now only 2 people from Africa!!!! Also a case of 3 siblings in Benin City. Not true. An article has been sent to wikipedia to dispute this claim. Unfortunately I hear both twins have now passed on.

    • yetty

      January 31, 2017 at 2:16 pm

      i was about to refer to the twins

  8. Onyinx

    January 31, 2017 at 12:08 pm

    And. We are still begging full grown Nigerians to go to sch….am inspired

  9. OverCorrectGuy

    January 31, 2017 at 12:09 pm

    So awesome and Beautiful. Happy birthday dear and have lots of fun

  10. D. Edvard

    January 31, 2017 at 12:15 pm

    Wow…she’s strong o. Really inspiring to see she doesnt let her condition affect her life.

    P.S. Just hearing of this disease for the first time.

  11. LEE

    January 31, 2017 at 12:16 pm


  12. Mary

    January 31, 2017 at 12:45 pm

    This is quite touching. It is well with you, i admire your spirit to live and excel no matter what. Dont give up your dreams girl

  13. queen esther

    January 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    who says we have only two cases in africa? Am a nigerian, i have a nephew with this condition, he was born normal like every other baby, but started changing after few weeks. all hair gone, stomach hardened. they took him to several places, but he’s still like that. he was 10yrs old last year.

    • A Real Nigerian

      January 31, 2017 at 6:48 pm


  14. Ada_ugo

    January 31, 2017 at 1:53 pm

    wow… watched the video. She brought smiles to my face!

  15. LL

    January 31, 2017 at 2:10 pm

    Her smile is lovely. and she stirs admiration and not an ounce of pity. Thank God for her

  16. Marian

    January 31, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    Her father no do well at all, unfortunately it’s a very common practice. I wonder how many kids born with this condition were branded as witches and wizards in Africa. won’t be surprised if some of them were murdered sef especially in rural places where they believe if you look different na winchi winchi stuff.

  17. funmilola

    January 31, 2017 at 6:38 pm

    wish her the very best in life, she’s so cool and full of life….they are in Nigeria too, I see one in ikorodu and she doesn’t send anyone at all.she wears her makeup well with shakara sef

  18. Maurice Abiagom

    January 31, 2017 at 6:41 pm

    May God who heals all illness ..heal you and grant you uour heart desire to live a fufilled life

  19. lifeisbeautiful

    January 31, 2017 at 6:42 pm

    What a sweet young lady! Love you too girly!

  20. Ewa Ali

    January 31, 2017 at 8:54 pm

    If you are reading this, you are so so beautiful ?⭕️❌⭕️

  21. Pearl Mushi

    March 24, 2017 at 4:25 pm

    O gole o gole Modimo o go babalele wishing you all the best my dear

  22. Vesta Mabunda

    March 25, 2017 at 7:49 am

    Happy birthday to you princess Tlami.I’m really inspired by you girly.I wish you a very successfully and healthy life.with God on your side you will never be disappointed.I love you and wish to meet you.enjoy ur day lovey.

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