Who Was Reeva Steenkamp?

An international model, law graduate, and the girlfriend of Paralympic sprinter Oscar Pistorious, who was charged with murdering her this morning.

1. Reeva Steenkamp, a 30-year-old South African woman, died Thursday after being shot several times in the head and arm.

Uncredited/ / AP

2. She was reportedly killed by her boyfriend and paralympic sprinter, 26-year-old Oscar Pistorius. There are unconfirmed reports that he shot her after mistaking her for an intruder.


Pistorius and Steenkamp at Melrose Arch in Johannesburg on Jan. 26.

3. The British wire PA called them the “Posh and Becks of South Africa.”

Lucky Nxumalo / AP

South African authorities said there were no prior incidents between Pistorius and his Steenkamp.

4. This Saturday, she was set to appear on the fifth season premiere of Tropika Island of Treasure, a popular South African reality show.

Uncredited / AP

5. But Steenkamp was more than just one-half of a power duo. She had a law degree from the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University.

Uncredited / AP

6. “[She] had the full support of her parents who encouraged her to maximise her strengths … She set high goals for herself in everything she did and she consistently converted opportunities into success,” her former headmaster Greg Stokell said Thursday.


7. Last November, she told South Africa’s “The Herald” that she intended on getting back into law after focusing a while on modeling and acting.


8. She started her modeling career in 2004 in Port Elizabeth, South Africa, when she was a finalist in the Weekend Post Faces of the Future competition. She was also a finalist for Miss Port Elizabeth in 2005.

Katherine Muick - Mere/Sunday Times/Gallo Images / Getty Images

9. She’s best known for being the face of Avon in South Africa and landing the cover of “FHM” in December 2011.


10. “At the end of last year I made an application to the Bar,” she told the “Weekend Post” in September. “As I walked out I got the call for the FHM shoot as well as two others. I made a decision to take the modelling shoots. I believe in destiny and faith.”


11. FHM has also named Steenkamp one of the 100 Sexiest Women in the World for the last two years.

12. But her perspective on sex appeal was well-rounded. “I do not believe that any form of accolade can make you feel sexy per se; it is a personal relationship that you have with your body and mind,” she told “The Herald.”

HANDOUT / Reuters

13. She spoke openly about her relationship with Pistorius, calling him “beautiful” on Twitter. Just last week, she told reporters at the Virgin Active Sports Industry Awards that his taste in gifts is “impeccable. His gifts are always thoughtful.”

Duif du Toit/Gallo Images / Getty Images

Steenkamp at the Emperors Palace in Johannesburg on Feb. 7.


14. She also frequently posted on Instagram, writing under her most recent photo that she “woke up in a happy safe home this morning. Not everyone did. Speak out against the rape…” Two earlier posts were a wedding dress and a quote about love.

“It’s beautiful when you find someone that is in love with your mind. Someone that wants to undress your conscience and make love to your thoughts. Someone that wants to watch you slowly take down all the walls you’ve built up around your mind and let them inside.”

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Jessica Testa is a national reporter for BuzzFeed News and is based in New York.
Contact Jessica Testa at
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