Not just ‘the girlfriend’. Reeva was a rising star
Actress, radio deejay and model Phuti Khomo was in Jamaica with Reeva Steenkamp for the filming of the Tropika Island of Treasure reality show.
Their friendship gelled during their time together. For the first time since the heartbreaking news of Steenkamp’s death, Khomo has spoken out about the rising star the country lost on Valentine’s Day. She has chosen to do so in the form of a letter to her friend.
The letter reveals the real person behind the headlines – a brave and witty South African destined to become a star, who could speak isiXhosa and who decided to become a model after nearly being paralysed by a horse riding accident.
The actress told City Press that she and Steenkamp’s other friends will be launching a campaign to keep her memory alive.
- Charl Blignaut
Exclusive: My Dearest Reeva – A letter from Phuti Khomo
My Dearest Reeva
I don’t think that anyone will ever understand the miraculous nature and complexity of our relationship. I use the word “miraculous” because I still can’t believe how our friendship came to this level, a level that most friendships take years to reach. And we achieved that in a couple of short months.
A mutual friend said that you and I got so close so quickly cause I found “a like me” in you. You too were a very crazy, messed up girl with the most extraordinary sense of humour. Which was very unexpected coming from the kind, loving, humble soul that you were. Reeva, you could have broken your leg and still take jokes about that leg in your hour of pain. Yep! You were that easy about life.
Between Jay, you and me, I always said I gave you guys BEE status and you said I was the token black girl. Yeah, that’s how messed up you were.
You were so kind and loving, and your care for others just transcended norms. You spoke isiXhosa but weren’t as fluent as you were when you were younger, so you planned on taking isiXhosa lessons so that you could communicate with your friends back in Umthatha and make them feel that they could still relate to you. It’s that kind of selflessness that drew me so close to you.
Many people don’t know that the dream of becoming a model first came to you while lying paralysed in the hospital for months, after a back injury incurred while horse riding. I mean who does that?!
And that’s the approach you took to life, every facet of it.
Now I can only imagine how much that kind of will would have helped you accomplish in years to come.
You had such big dreams, some of which were already taking place and you were so excited about your plans. You were gearing up to make some big career moves, but your shocking and untimely death took your dreams with it.
You were educated, smart, beautiful, humble, kind, loving and understanding, like the time I joked and told you I would vote you off my island, and you responded by saying, “I would understand, because you’d have a good reason.”
You were what beautiful girls hate. You made being beautiful on the outside not be enough. You just had to make inner beauty a necessity to complete true beauty. Thank you very much for that extra admin!! Lol!
When I heard about your passing, the first thing I did was to call you, and when your phone rang my heart leapt with joy and relief, because then I expected to hear your voice saying, “No babe, it wasn’t me, they got the story wrong as always.” And when there was no answer … I felt my world slowly spinning off its axis, leaving me scared and dumbfounded.
Your family lost a daughter, Gina, Jay, Da-les, Pearl, Poppy and many more lost a close friend. The world has lost a genuine soul, a shooting star that was gearing to light up the sky. I have lost a true friend. There is a large wound in my heart which will heal only slowly through the love I know you will continue to send us.
Every time I read the papers or watch the news, the story always starts with “Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend.” No! I refuse to let that be your title. You are not going to be remembered as the “the girlfriend”. You wore many titles, some of which the world still has to see. But the world will echo your name and remember you for who YOU are … REEVA STEENKAMP.
I will always LOVE YOU