Constable Mabote "Lethusana" Motopi never had a chance to climb Mount Kilimanjaro, swim across the ocean or collect a string of Olympic medals from Beijing.
But what the 32-year-old had in abundance was an astonishing love for his fellow man and an unwavering faith in God.
This is my candid description of the young man I came to know and respect as a highly capable and ever-friendly spokesman for the Etwatwa police station.
I only knew him for a little more than seven months but in that time he made a lasting impression on me.
Affectionately known as "the people's kind cop", Motopi, two colleagues and a Grade 12 pupil died in a horror road accident when the car they were travelling in was involved in a collision with a bakkie and a Toyota Tazz on the N12 west freeway last Tuesday. All died instantly.
Born on October 4 1976 in the small town of Tweefontein in the Free State to single parent Evodia Mpine Motopi, he was the youngest of her five sons.
Motopi started school at the Moshoeshoe Primary School in Daveyton, which he left after Grade 4. His mother later sent him back to the Free State where he continued his education and completed Grade 7 at the Lutterworth Primary School.
While still in the Free State Mabote also attended the Tweefontein Combined and the Unicorn Secondary schools.
In 1995 he graduated with a diploma in human resource management at the Bloemfontein College. This was followed by a short stint at OR Tambo International Airport.
He joined the SAPS on April 11 2003. It was here that Motopi not only lived his life according to God's desire but was head-hunted to head the communications department.
It was at the height of the hooliganism at local schools that his willingness to serve the communities of Etwatwa, Barcelona and surrounding areas began to show.
Motopi was not cut out to be a desk-bound SAPS media spokesman. He was always in the thick of things.
In June this year he kept the media informed when scores of SAPS members and Ekurhuleni Metro police raided schools for drugs and dangerous weapons.
His untimely death not only robbed the SAPS of a dedicated servant, but also his pregnant wife Mampolokeng, two sons Thabo, 8, and Thato, 7, of a loving husband and a generous father.
Motopi's cousin, Amelia Mahlatsi, said this week: "His death was premature. It has left the family in a state of shock. He was the family's mentor, visionary and a selfless unifier."
A joint funeral will be held for him and the three others at the Lala Ngoxolo Cemetery tomorrow at 7am.