By now most of the world knows the names Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, but what do you really know about the South African model whose life ended on Valentine’s Day 2013 when her Olympic “Blade Runner” boyfriend shot her to death through a closed bathroom door? Here are 17 things you didn’t know about Reeva Steenkamp.
Reeva Steemkamp was born in Cape Town on Aug 19, 1983 to Barry and June Steenkamp.
Reeva grew up in Port Elizabeth, where she also attended university, earning a Bachelor of Law degree in 2005.
Reeva was shot and killed on Feb 14, 2013 in the home of Oscar Pistorius, her Olympic athlete boyfriend famous for running on prosthetic limbs. He is now on trial for her murder.
Pistorius does not deny shooting Steenkamp, but claims it was a mistake. He thought she was a burglar. On April 9, Pistorius testified in his self defense, telling the judge that Reeva had died in his arms. Steenkamp was cremated in Port Elizabeth Feb. 19, 2013.
Steenkamp and Pistorius had been dating since November 2012, but their relationship was not always smooth.
Reeva Steenkamp was one of two young South African women who died in 2013 to be honored with the Daily Maverick’s South African Person of the Year Award in 2013.
The first face of Avon cosmetics in South Africa, Steenkamp began modeling at age 14 and appeared on the cover of FHM magazine.
Steenkamp had many talents and at one time served as the living roaming presenter for Fashion TV South Africa.
Steenkamp featured in a number of South African TV commercials including one for Toyota Land Cruiser. She was also a red carpet regular, invited to A-list parties across the country.
Her father was a horse trainer, and Steenkamp was an avid rider until she broke her back in a fall in her early 20s. The accident left her so severely injured she had to learn to walk again.
Steenkamp may have known her boyfriend was going to try to kill her. Just two weeks before she was shot, Steenkamp sent a text message to her best friend Gina Myers that read, “G our lives are about to change I can feel it.”
Steenkamp graduated with a law degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
Steenkamp appeared on a Jamaican reality show called “Tropika Island of Treasure” in which celebrities compete witht non-celebrities in various challenges. The show aired the weekend after the model died—a fact her family was not pleased about.
In an interview with E! the model revealed that one of her biggest crushes was on a guy who turned out to be gay, and went on to be one of her close friends.
In her E! interview Steenkamp said she planned on spending that upcoming Valentine’s Day—the day that would end up being her last—speaking to children about “learning to love and value yourself before you can love others.”
A probation officer revealed that Pistorius made monthly payments to the model’s family after her death. The runner also offered Steenkamp’s family a large sum of $34,000, which they turned down.
Just two weeks before being shot, Steenkamp posted a note to Instagram, addressed to God that read, “I need you. Every day, every moment, every second that I breathe, I need you. I am not strong enough on my own. Amen.”