Former catfish tells her story: ‘I hated myself so I lied about who I was’

(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES).
(PHOTO: GETTY IMAGES/GALLO IMAGES).

It all started when I was doing Grade 9 in 2010. I hated myself, so I turned to MXit to hide my true identity.

This social media platform existed before Facebook and you could create a fictitious name.

But everything changed when I started using it in a wrong way and became what is known as a catfish, which is someone who lies about their true identities online.

A WHITE LIE

One day I had received an invite from a boy, but he was from a different race than mine. He introduced himself and told me everything about himself, but when it was my turn I lied.

I completely lied about everything – from my race to family just so I could meet his expectations. Everything happened so quickly. It even got to a point where we would chat all the time during school holidays.

Until one day he asked me to send a picture of myself. I got scared so I took a magazine and sent a picture of a beautiful, young white girl and at that time, the phone I had didn’t take good quality pictures. I thought that he would notice but, luckily, he didn’t.

As time went by, he told me that he wanted to date me and I said yes because I really wanted to be happy, forgetting that I was lying to him all this time.

SHOCKED AND EMBARRASSED

But everything started to fall apart when one of my friends came to visit me. She took my phone and logged onto my MXit account. She then told me the boy I was chatting to was her classmate. I was shocked and embarrassed.

I was so scared to even look at the boy when I bumped into him at school. I felt so bad for hurting him and lying, so I sent a message on MXit telling everyone to delete me because I wasn’t the person I said I was.

I still wanted to apologise to the boy personally, but it was too late because the boy had already found out what I had done.

To this day, he and my former classmates hate me. Although we have grown now and some of us are working or are studying at university, I pray that one day I will meet up with him so that I can apologise.

* Not her real name