Reeva Steenkamp was born in 1983, the youngest of three children. She lived in Cape Town and then Port Elizabeth, before going onto study law at the University of Port Elizabeth (now the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.
She worked a paralegal, hoping to be a qualified legal advocate by the age of 30. She was also a model, working as the first face of Avon in South Africa and shooting for FHM. She was a keen horse rider, but had to stop after she broke her back in a fall and had to learn to walk again.
Hagen Engler, a former editor of the South African FHM described Reeve as an ‘amazing girl’, saying “She went into the modelling industry and had a mature understanding of it. She had a funny sense of humour, like a guy’s sense of humour. She was talented and was starting to succeed. The girl was really going places.”
Her publicist said that Steenkamp was ‘continuously breaking the model stereotype’, and that she was ‘a very inspiring individual, very passionate about speaking about women and empowerment”.
She used her platform to speak out against rape and the abuse of women, and she was an ambassador for Spirit Day, a global day against bullying and showing support for LGBT youth. She was an exciting and dynamic woman who was establishing a brilliant career and using it for good.
There are countless articles about her murder, but very few about her life. When women are murdered, we must not let them become another statistic. We must continue to be shocked, appalled and heartbroken. Her name was Reeva Steenkamp.