Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 28 January 2015

Reeva Steenkamp: Driven and ambitious, the cover girl who had a big future

Model 'had been planning special birthday surprise'

Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013
A forensics van leaves the housing estate where Olympian Oscar Pistorius lives, in Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013. Reports say that a 30-year-old woman was shot dead at Pistorius's home earlier after being mistaken for an intruder. (AP Photo)
This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 on Thursday Feb. 14, 2013, shows the gated housing complex with the home of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius in Pretoria, South Africa. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been arrested in the shooting death of his girlfriend, police and the woman's talent agent said Thursday. (AP Photo/VNS24/7)
This aerial image taken from video provided by VNS24/7 on Thursday Feb. 14, 2013, shows the home of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius in a gated housing complex in Pretoria, South Africa. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius has been arrested in the shooting death of his girlfriend, police and the woman's talent agent said Thursday. (AP Photo/VNS24/7)
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken into custody and was expected to appear in court Thursday after a 30-year-old woman who was believed to be his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. (AP Photo/Chris Collingridge) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken into custody and was expected to appear in court Thursday after a 30-year-old woman who was believed to be his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. (AP Photo/Chris Collingridge) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
In this Nov. 4, 2012 photo, South African Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius and Reeva Steenkamp, believed to be his girlfriend, at an awards ceremony, in Johannesburg, South Africa. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken into custody and was expected to appear in court Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013, after a 30-year-old woman who was believed to be his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. (AP Photo/Lucky Nxumalo-Citypress) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, center. leaves the Boschkop police station, east of Pretoria, South Africa, Thursday, Feb. 14, 2013 en route to appear in court charged with murder. Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius was taken into custody and was expected to appear in court Thursday after a 30-year-old woman who was believed to be his girlfriend was shot dead at his home in South Africa's capital, Pretoria. (AP Photo/Chris Collingridge) SOUTH AFRICA OUT
File photo dated 21/9/04 of South Africa's Oscar Pistorius winning the Men's T44 200 metres final, as the paralympian has been arrested after a woman was shot dead at his home. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. Issue date: Thursday February 14, 2013. See PA story POLICE Pistorius . Photo credit should read: PA Wire

Reeva Steenkamp's final comments on Twitter on the eve of her death revealed a young woman excited about Valentine's Day, as she bantered with her friends.

"What do you have up your sleeve for your love tomorrow??? #getexcited #ValentinesDay".

The 30-year-old model had been planning a birthday surprise for her new boyfriend, Oscar Pistorius, a man she had described to local newspapers as "impeccable" and "thoughtful" in the gifts he bought her.

A close friend who visited the Silver Woods estate where she was found dead yesterday morning said that the former law student had been excitedly talking with girlfriends about a special surprise that she was planning.

Her relationship with the Olympics hero had further raised her profile in South Africa where she was already known for featuring on a men's magazine list of the 100 sexiest women.

Hagen Engler, a former editor of FHM magazine, said her sudden death had not "hit home" and called it a "tragedy".

Mr Engler, also from Port Elizabeth on the south-eastern coast, said he had known her for 15 years and that she was "driven and ambitious but not unpleasantly so and always fun to work with".

He echoed sentiments from other friends when he said that she was "stunningly beautiful" but there are "lots of beautiful girls and her personality set her apart from others. She was more mature in her outlook." Mr Engler said he believed she was on the cusp of big things in her career.

At the time of her death the blonde model had been promoting a celebrity reality television show she had appeared in alongside the rapper AKA, filmed late last year in Jamaica.

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