A selfless dream

From the left are Eva Senakgomo (mother), Prudence Tlhatlgoi (sister), President Cyril Ramaphosa, Kelopilwe Senokgomo (dreamer) and Patience Matee (aunt) PHOTOS: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

Everyone deserves to have his or her dreams come true. One Free State teenager’s dream was nothing but selfless as she was more concerned about the needs of others living with life threatening diseases. This as President Cyril Ramaphosa made a new “BFF” on Saturday, 26 October 2019 when he met with 18-year-old Kelopilwe Senokgomo from Thaba Nchu to talk serious business.

Senokgomo, who is suffering from lupus (a long-term autoimmune disease in which the body’s immune system becomes hyperactive and attacks normal, healthy tissue), met with Ramaphosa to ask for help with improving the health system at Dr JS Moroka Hospital in Thaba Nchu. “My dream was to meet the president so that he could help other children who are less fortunate and cannot afford medical services so that they can have better health care and that they can also beat lupus,” said Senokgomo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa greets the 18-year-old Kelopilwe Senokgomo PHOTO: PIERCE VAN HEERDEN

She told Bloemfontein Courant that it was magical when she met the president. It was a lifelong dream. After discussing her worries and plans with the president on improving the local hospital to better it for others, the teenager, who is an old learner from Brebner High School, received a bursary from the Cyril Ramaphosa Fund. “I did not expect to receive a bursary, I always knew there was a Cyril Ramaphosa Fund but I didn’t think that I would be a beneficiary. I am very honoured and I have so much faith and I pray that the Lord protects him,” said Senokgomo.

President Cyril Ramaphosa with his teddy bear, Promise.


The private meeting was held at the Free State Premier, Sisi Ntomble’s, house where top officials, including FS Health MEC, Ms Montseng Margaret Ts’Iu, met with Senokgomo.
Yolanda Brown, Free State and Northern Cape manager of Reach For A Dream, told Bloemfontein Courant that her heart is full of gratitude and that the president really took his time with meeting Senokgomo as he listened attentively and took interest in her dream and her future.

“After months of arrangements by Reach For A Dream we are grateful for finally meeting with the president. He truly listened and was interested in her future,” said Brown. Reach For A Dream believes in the power of dreams. They encourage children to use their dreams to fight life-threatening illnesses and they try, as far as possible, to make these dreams come true.

The president, who was in the city over the weekend to hand over RDP Homes in a military veteran housing project among other things, took time out of his busy schedule to meet up with the teen. Ramaphosa received a teddy bear named Promise from her as a gift. Upon receiving the bear, Ramaphosa was overjoyed for his new ‘friend’ and made a ‘deal’ with Senokgomo.

“The deal is, you and I are now best friends forever, we are BFFs, so the deal so when I come to the Free State is, we will meet and chat again. You gave me a promise;I have also given you a promise,” the president said.