Her Name Is Reeva

Her name is Reeva
Reeva Steenkamp
Not ‘Oscar Pistorius’ girlfriend’
Not ‘model’
Not ‘reality TV star’
Her name is Reeva

Her name is Reeva
She was not just a model
But also a law graduate
She was not just a reality TV star
But also a campaigner against violence
The story is about her killing
Not about his fame
Or it ought to be

Her name is Reeva
His name is Oscar
Oscar Pistorius
And every news report calls him that
Her name is Reeva
Sometimes mentioned
But only after ‘his model girlfriend’

He slept with guns
She is one of fifty victims of homicide every day in South Africa

Her name is Reeva
She is a woman, a person in her own right,
Not an appendage of the celebrity who killed her
Even in death
She still has a name
Use it please.

Poetry 24, the website ‘where news is the muse’, published this poem on 23 February 2013 (nine days after Reeva’s death).
The website’s Sunday Review for that week described it thus: ‘This was a strong and very recent news story that we wanted to put out. It was about the death of Reeva Steenkamp who was killed by her boyfriend, Oscar Pistorious. The poem was giving the identity back to Reeva since the media had been labeling her as the dead girlfriend of Oscar Pistorious, an unnamed celebrity.’

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