Reeva – the making of a model

By admin
18 March 2014

Reeva Steenkamp's long-time friend tells of the Reeva she knew - before she lost weight and dyed her hair blond.

PHOTO: instagram.com/reevasteenkamp PHOTO: instagram.com/reevasteenkamp The lovely blonde whose face has been splashed across front pages, newspaper posters and on TV since Valentine’s Day was so beautiful she made many men weak at the knees. And since her tragic death speculation has been rife that a love triangle was behind Reeva Steenkamp’s killing. Yet a long-time friend of the late model says, “She was very innocent, one of those rare people. She wasn’t at all promiscuous. There’s talk of a love triangle . . . that’s not her. She’s probably the most committed person I know.” Kerry Smith (35), a legal adviser, knew Reeva when she was a young law student. If you look at pictures of Reeva as an attractive but plump brunette you can barely believe she’s the same woman who would later turn heads as a slim, blonde beauty. In those days they role-played trial work between lectures.

Adapted from YOU 7 March 2013. Adapted from YOU 7 March 2013.

Little did Reeva know at the time she would one day be pivotal to a sensational murder trial – not as lawyer but as the victim. The news of the shooting at the home of 26-year-old Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria that left Reeva (29) dead on Valentine’s Day sent shockwaves around the world. Speaking from her home in Newton Park, Port Elizabeth, Kerry says the news shocked her. When a colleague asked, “Have you heard? Oscar shot his girlfriend,” she went ice-cold. “It’s Reeva!” she exclaimed immediately. She’d read in the media about their relationship. “I couldn’t believe it. She’d been shot three times. I couldn’t come to terms with it.” Kerry and Reeva started their law studies at the Nelson Mandela Metropolitan University in Port Elizabeth in 2002. Kerry remembers Reeva not as a pin-up girl but as a down-to-earth student. “Everyone knows the glamorous cover girl,” Kerry says. But she and fellow students knew Reeva before she’d made a name for herself as a model. “We knew how much hard work it took.” Today Kerry recalls Reeva as being “lovely inside and out”. Today Kerry recalls Reeva as being “lovely inside and out”. At university Reeva’s hair was dark and curly. Kerry laughs. “I had to straighten it for her before our faculty dance. It took nearly two hours.” Reeva was a beauty even then. “She looked lovely even when she’d just woken up without a scrap of make-up.” She had many admirers. “But she was so focused on her studies that no one stood a chance,” Kerry says. “Ironically the admirers then became good friends. It was impossible not to like her.” In her final year Reeva started doing more modelling work. “She often wondered whether she should be modelling because she was nervous about starting relatively late in the modelling business. But once she’d made the decision she gave it her all.”

'She always said, ‘This modelling thing is wonderful but you can’t do it forever.’'
Hagen Engler, former editor of FHM men’s lifestyle magazine, also remembers how Reeva persevered after unsuccessful auditions. “Her personality sparkled, but she had a little extra weight,” he says, recalling her first audition. “The next year she was back, and she must have lost 10 to 15 kg.” Her audition was again unsuccessful but she wasn’t discouraged. The following year she tried again. “And then, then! It was her charm. She’d exercised, was super-fit and tanned, but it was her attitude that made her stand out,” Hagen says. Reeva became a familiar face on the local celebrity scene. PHOTO: Elite Photo Agency Reeva became a familiar face on the local celebrity scene. PHOTO: Elite Photo Agency “She approached everything with extreme dedication; she couldn’t help being successful,” Kerry says. Did Reeva want to practise as a lawyer? “Yes. She always said, ‘This modelling thing is wonderful but you can’t do it forever.’ ” When Kerry talks about Reeva it’s mostly with a smile. “You might hear people say she was lovely inside and out, and wonder if it’s true. She was. She didn’t have a bad word for anyone.” When the women met, Kerry was still married to her first husband. “It wasn’t a wonderful marriage and Reeva was so protective of me.”
'Reeva is probably sitting up there looking at us all and saying we should get on with life.” Because that’s the kind of person she was'
They lost contact after Reeva moved to Johannesburg but renewed their friendship on Facebook in 2011. When Reeva heard about Kerry’s second marriage she was happy for her. “She said her dreams had come true,” Kerry says tearfully. “She meant her dreams for me!” Reeva had known Kerry’s daughter, Jadeigh-Ann (15), since she was a toddler and regularly sent her her love. She adored children, Kerry says. “And now she’ll never have children.” The realisation that Reeva’s young life is over hit Kerry only at the memorial service. “It doesn’t matter how it happened – even if it was an accident, Reeva isn’t here anymore,” she says sadly. Kerry recalls a moment during the memorial service when it was absolutely quiet. She said to a mutual friend sitting next to her, “Reeva is probably sitting up there looking at us all and saying we should get on with life.” Because that’s the kind of person she was.
EXTRA SOURCE: dailymaverick.co.za

Find Love!

Men
Women