Reeva Steenkamp, Girlfriend of Oscar Pistorius, to Star in South African Reality TV Show
By Fiona Keating | February 16, 2013 10:43 PM EST
A celebrity reality TV show featuring Reeva Steenkamp, the girlfriend of Olympic athlete Oscar Pistorius, will be broadcast as planned in South Africa, even though Steenkamp was shot dead on Valentine's Day.
The edition of Tropika Island of Treasure featuring Steenkamp will premiere on 16 February, after producers decided not to postpone it.
Steenkamp was shot dead at the home of Olympic and Paralympic star Pistorius on Thursday 14 February.
Tropika Island of Treasure was filmed in Jamaica and features the model and law graduate competing in "adrenaline-fuelled" challenges to win a £72,500 prize.
Samantha Moon, the show's executive producer, told the BBC that the programme would be "dedicated to Reeva's memory".
"As we grieve today with Reeva's family and friends and struggle to make sense of this shocking tragedy, it has taken much deliberation to come to the decision to continue screening Tropika Island of Treasure 5 as planned," she said.
Before the show, a special tribute to Steenkamp will air on the SABC1 channel.
The show, now in its fifth series, sees seven South African celebrities and seven other contestants compete in a number of challenges over a period of 10 weeks, while living in luxury villas.
Each week the winner of the challenge can decide who stays and who leaves the island.
Steenkamp, asked to describe herself for the show in three words said: "Brainy, blonde, bombshell".
Steenkamp was born in Cape Town on August 19, 1983, and moved to Port Elizabeth as a child where she grew up with her mother June and father Barry, a racehorse trainer.
The 29-year-old graduated with a law degree, but made a career change after being scouted and named the first face of cosmetics giant Avon South Africa.
She moved to Johannesburg and appeared in commercials for Toyota, FHM, Clover and Italian brand Zui. She was once the live roaming presenter for Fashion TV in South Africa.
Steenkamp's publicist Sarit Tomlinson told Sky News: ''At the moment it's shocking. No one knows what's happened. She was a rising star. There was so much in the pipeline for her: she was just about to explode into the media.
"She was a very talented, very bright young girl. It's too shocking for words.
"It is a huge loss for everyone and our condolences go out to her family. It is about them right now."
Steenkamp became a keen horse rider but broke her back in an horrific fall six years ago, suffering injuries so severe that she had to learn to walk again.
Her rehabilitation may have brought her into contact with Pistorius, and friends said she had admired his fierce ambition and determination to race.
The model and law graduate was shot dead inside Pistorius's Pretoria home in the early hours of 14 February.
The pair had been dating for two months.
Steenkamp is said to have still been breathing when security guards and neighbours arrived at Pistorius's house, but was pronounced dead by paramedics who arrived shortly afterwards.
Sources told Beeld, the Afrikaans language newspaper, that security guards who heard the shots and rushed to the house saw the Paralympic gold medallist running down the stairs with the blonde model in his arms.
Paramedics who arrived shortly afterwards were unable to revive her.
She had been shot four times, in the head, chest and hand, through the bathroom door. Initial reports suggest Pistorius fired the fatal shots believing she was an intruder.
Neighbours and security guards at Pistorius's house, are reported by Beeld to have heard Steenkamp's last breaths.
Forensic teams are still working at the double amputee's gated home, which has 24-hour guards.
They are reported to have removed the bullet-marked bathroom door as evidence. According to the paper's source, they apparently believe that Steenkamp was sitting on the lavatory when she was shot.
There has been outrage at The Sun's front page reporting of Steenkamp's death, featuring a picture of her in a pink bikini.
Lord John Prescott voiced his disapproval of the cover on Twitter, writing:
"@rupertmurdoch A new low for your paper The Sun. Do you really think this is appropriate?"
Prescott claimed the red top had paid £35,000 for the picture of Steenkamp and said he hoped members of the Shadow Cabinet would think carefully before writing articles for the newspaper.
Marina Hyde, writing in The Guardian under the headline "Reeva Steenkamp's corpse was in the morgue, her body was on The Sun's front page", noted that the tabloid abandoned its topless page three photo today - "maybe because that particular itch had been scratched" by having a bikini-clad murder victim on the cover.
A petition posted by Hannah Curtis on the website Change.org, calling on The Sun to apologise for its "shocking" and "disrespectful" cover, has been signed by more than 3,000 people so far.
She said: "The Sun are sending out a message to its readers, that women are worthless pieces of meat, who aren't safe from objectification even after their death."
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