'Reeva Steenkamp was the mom figure... Oscar Pistorius must rot in jail,' says reality TV co-star
There's fascination, but little joy, at Reeva Steenkamp’s last appearance in Tropika Island of Treasure. Daniel Howden watches with another of the stars
Being on television did not work out as Katleho Molai had hoped. After years of trying she had finally earned a spot on the fifth season of South Africa’s Tropika Island of Treasure series only to find herself embroiled in the aftermath of the death of fellow contestant, Reeva Steenkamp.
The broadcaster’s decision to air the first episode of the reality show that pits celebrities against ordinary South Africans was criticised in many quarters as exploitative coming before the 29-year-old model’s funeral on Tuesday.
On Saturday night as she sat in her small apartment in a middle-class housing estate in Johannesburg, Ms Molai took little joy at seeing herself on the television. “I can’t believe she’s gone,” she said of Oscar Pistorius’s girlfriend, whose killing has provoked disbelief in South Africa. “It still hasn’t sunk in.”
On the coffee table a TV listings magazine was open at a double-page spread with her face among the rappers, models and punters who took part in the show fans call “TIOT”. The 24-year-old shop assistant and media student said she had applied 2,000 times before being cast for the show.
Her phone buzzed with messages from friends and she joked about how she had worried the show would be “plebs versus celebs”. Instead she found her more famous counterparts welcoming and spoke of Ms Steenkamp as a “mom figure”. She said the athlete accused of her murder “must rot in jail”.
Ms Molai said she had felt haunted since news of the death broke on Thursday: “I haven’t really been eating or sleeping since I found out.”
Along with other contestants she felt she needed to be with “the only people who can understand” and planned to fly or drive down to Port Elizabeth for the funeral. Her brush with fame has been both more intense and more morbidly shocking than anyone could have anticipated.
As Voltaire once said, “Ice cream is exquisite. What a pity it isn’t illegal”
- 1 'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
- 2 Mother fed her daughter tapeworms to make her skinny for pageant
- 3 Crystal Palace next manager latest: Palace consider Ally McCoist - EXCLUSIVE
- 4 Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
- 5 ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
'Alien thigh bone' on Mars: Excitement from alien hunters at 'evidence' of extraterrestrial life
West poised to join forces with President Assad in face of Islamic State
Pamela Anderson rejects ice bucket challenge because of ALS experiments on animals: 'Mice had holes drilled into their skulls'
James Foley 'beheaded': Isis video shows militant with British accent 'execute US journalist' – as hunt begins for killer
ALS ice bucket challenge co-founder Corey Griffin drowns, aged 27
Richard Dawkins on babies with Down Syndrome: 'Abort it and try again – it would be immoral to bring it into the world'
Scottish independence: English people overwhelmingly want Scotland to stay in the UK
Isis threat: Cameron wants an alliance with Iran
Michael Brown shooting: Chaos erupts on the streets of Ferguson after autopsy shows teenager was shot six times – twice in the head
Disgusting, frustrating, but intriguing: how the country really feels about its politicians
Bin bag full of cats' heads discovered near Manchester's Curry Mile
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Market Administrator (1st line Support, Trade Fl...
£35000 per annum: Harrington Starr: Service Desk Analyst (Windows, Active Dire...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Data Support Analyst (Linux, Solaris, Windows Se...
Negotiable: Harrington Starr: Helpdesk Support Engineer (Windows, MS Office, E...