‘Great role model lost’

2013-03-04 00:00

PIETERMARITZBURG RnB star Mario Ogle has described the death of Reeva Steenkamp as a massive tragedy for everyone in South Africa.

The model-presenter, who was shot and killed at the home of boyfriend Oscar Pistorius, on Valentine’s Day, was his co-star in the reality show Tropika Island of Treasure.

Ogle, who was knocked out of the SABC1 show on Saturday, said: “Reeva’s death has been difficult for all of us who appeared with her in Tropika Island of Treasure.

“Her death is a massive tragedy — not just for us, but for everyone in South Africa. We have lost someone who had the potential to be a great role model … [and] we have lost a beautiful soul. Knowing she is gone is hard to swallow, but we all know the type of person that she was and are just glad that we got the chance to know her as a person.”

Ogle and most of the cast of Tropika Island of Treasure attended the memorial service for Steenkamp, which took place in Port Elizabeth.

Ogle revealed to The Witness that he was about to make the leap from the small screen to the big screen. He will be starring in the movie Qhakaza, which will be made in Durban and will be screened on M-Net and DStv channels.

“It’s a small role,” Ogle said. “I don’t consider myself an acclaimed actor, but I wanted to do it … I hope to extend myself through this and to learn from the experience.”

In the film, he plays a boy called Noah, who is the object of a preppie schoolgirl crush. The pair don’t actually know each other, but the heroine follows Noah’s every post on Facebook and through these believes he is into “girls from the hood”. As she wants to get Noah to be her date for her matric ball, she decides to visit her grandmother in the township to try and get more street cred. While there she falls for someone else and later realises that her social media crush has feet of clay.

Originally from Harding, Ogle, a Maritzburg College old boy, has also used his talent and contacts in the recording industry to record three singles to honour his alma mater, which celebrates its 150th anniversary this year.

Speaking about the project, he said: “I thought that it would be nice to release a CD single of College nostalgia, so we’ve recorded some of the school’s war-cries and shouts, and a song I wrote with a friend, Richie Nischk, back in 2006. We all miss school sometimes, so it was nice to go back and record the songs. I think they will bring back a lot of memories for old boys,” said Ogle, who was a South African Music Award nominee for his debut album, Can’t Stop Loving You.

Tropika Island of Treasure can be seen on SABC1 at 6.30 pm on Saturdays. To keep up to date with Ogle, follow him on Twitter @marioogle or check out his Facebook page and Youtube videos.

The College single is available at



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