In what can only be called ironic -- as well as tragic -- Reeva Steenkamp, who was allegedly murdered by her boyfriend, Olympian Oscar "Blade Runner" Pistorius, was scheduled to give a speech on abusive relationships at Sandown High School in Johannesburg, South Africa on the day of her death, Thursday -- Valentine's Day. Pistorius is under arrest for the murder of the model, although to be clear, the motivational talk was not about her relationship with him, but a prior boyfriend. Details of the appearance first arose on Saturday.
In a draft of Steenkamp's speech, obtained by the media, she wrote:
I was in an abusive relationship at the same time (his mother used to abuse him). I lost a lot of self-worth during my last year in PE [Port Elizabeth] before I moved to Jozi [Johannesburg], and it took some serious soul searching to remind myself of my value in this world. Being loved by others, although an amazing feeling to have the appreciation of others, does not define your place in the world.
On Thursday Oscar Pistorius was arrested for the murder of Steenkamp. Although authorities said earlier that they had records of prior "domestic incident" calls to Pistorius' residence. However, they did not confirm if the calls involved Pistorius and Steenkamp.
On Friday, prosecutors said they would pursue a charge of premeditated murder against him. He was formally charged at Pretoria Magistrates Court with one count of murder in her slaying.
In addition to news about her scheduled speech, on Saturday, South Africa Network SABC1 announced that a reality show featuring her will premiere as scheduled this weekend in her native South Africa. The show, “Tropika: Island of Treasure,” has to this point featured TV ads showing a bikini-clad Steenkamp. A promo for season five, the new season, is embedded.
Her family reportedly approves of the move. Her uncle, Mike Steenkamp, said:
Reeva would’ve liked us to watch it. She indicated that before the tragedy.
Producers, meanwhile, said that not airing the show would be an “injustice” to her memory. Producer Samantha Moon said in a statement:
Every episode that she is in, every frame that she so ably dominates, shines with the light and her light and her laughter echoes in every conversation, and we want to share these special memories with the rest of South Africa.
This week’s episode will be dedicated to the memory of the model and burgeoning reality TV star, and will begin with a tribute to her, and the show's website contains a condolence message to Steenkamp's family.
Oscar Pistorius was nicknamed "Blade Runner" because of his dual prosthetics. He was born with fibular hemimelia (congenital absence of the fibula) in both legs. When he was 11 months old, his legs were amputated halfway between his knees and ankles.
At the 2012 Summer Olympics on Aug. 4, 2012, Pistorius became the first amputee runner to compete at an Olympic Games. In the first heat of the 400m race, he finished second place with a time of 45.44 seconds (which had been his best time of the season at that point), advancing to the semifinals which were held on Aug. 5, 2012. He ran in the second semifinal, where he finished eighth, which was last, with a time of 46.54 seconds.