Cape Town – The death of South Africa's much-loved "special child", Ontlametse Phalatse, on Wednesday, has evoked an outpouring of emotional tributes on social media.
Ontlametse was one of the two South African young women living with Progeria, an extremely rare genetic disorder of rapid ageing at a very early age.
Doctors did not think Ontlemetse would live to see her 14th birthday, but last month she turned 18 after having finished matric.
Ontlametse was known for her confidence and big personality
When meeting President Jacob Zuma recently Ontlametse, of Hebron, brought bright smiles to the meeting. She explained that she was the First Lady because she was the first (recorded) black child with the Progeria disorder.
“I call myself a first lady because I’m the first black child with this disease. Which other black child do you know with this disease?”
After their meeting Zuma described her as "bubbly and articulate, a clear indication that she doesn’t feel pity for herself. I must say I am really inspired by her attitude and fighting spirit."
South Africans also paid tribute to Ontlametse on social media.