My mind went blank, I zoned out for a couple of seconds, Andiswa demanded to see my credit report to see which companies had blacklisted me, Sipho handed it over to her, Cleo kept saying “there is no way in hell Lee could be blacklisted, the world must be coming to an end”. I was still in daze and shock I could hear and see all that was going on around me but I just couldn’t move from where I was sitting, She Rocks and Cleo were going through the report it had so many pages, from the expressions on their faces I knew it didn’t look too good, I didn’t even want to know what the hell was in there. This could not have happened at a worst time, I urgently needed a car. If there is one thing I have learned in life was to keep my name clean, I never had too many accounts because that will just drive you crazy and the few that I had I made sure I paid in time and I would always pay something extra just to stay off the red, to be now told that I was blacklisted was an absolute shock to my system, I did not get it. How was that even possible? I grabbed my bag and told the girls we should leave and stop wasting Sipho’s time he probably had other clients to tend to. Sipho could now see that this had hit me very hard and I was obviously clueless about my credit bureau, he asked if I had at any time lost my id, I told him no in fact I had my id with me. He gave us the numbers of the 3 different credit bureaus and said I should call them to inquire. I had never felt so defeated like I did at that moment, we all walked out with our tails between our legs, feeling so embarrassed it felt like everyone was looking at us and saying “who did they think they were, coming here while they don’t qualify to even get an Uno” as we were doing our embarrassed ashamed walk , the receptionist said “your camomile tea is ready ma’am”, Cleo covered her face with her hand and whispered to us “just keep walking, we’ve embarrassed ourselves enough, I don’t even drink that tea, I only drink Joko” we kept walking like she wasn’t even talking to one of us. When we got outside I told them I wanted to be taken to my mother’s house so I could sleep that’s my way of dealing with problems, so the girls said we were all going to my mother’s place, I again drove with Andiswa and Cleo with She Rocks, on the way to my mom’s I was wrecking my brains trying to figure out which companies had I owed money to and never paid them and nothing, I could not think of any.
First thing we did when we got to my mom’s house was go to my room, this felt like old times when we would go to my room to hatch up a plan or a solution to a problem, but this was adulthood, the problems were more intense and life changing than when we were teenagers. I asked Andiswa which companies had blacklisted me, She Rocks took out the report from her bag, Cleo had a notebook and pen and was writing down, She Rocks read them out “ Edgars, Foschini, Mr Price, Bayport Financial Services, Luntu Loans,” I interrupted “Mr Price has an account?” Cleo said yes she knows of people with accounts from there, She Rocks continued, the report had 2 different cellphone contract from 2 different service providers, 2 different gyms that I was owing, this was not just a problem it was a disaster. I had never, ever had accounts at any of the places they mentioned, how on earth was this possible. Cleo google the head office numbers of all the names She Rocks had read, she gave us each to call, I called Bayport Financial Services and was asked for my id number, I gave it to them and was told that my account is with the legal department oh my gosh so this was true, I asked to be transferred to legal department, I told them that I had never opened an account with them and until a couple of hours ago I had never heard of them before so how could I have opened an account with a company that I don’t even know, they told me they had heard such stories before from people who were avoiding paying their accounts and I should be a responsible citizen and just pay up the loan of R70 000 that I had taken, I choked, R70 000? She Rocks had called Edgars and was told my account was handed over to lawyers she was given the lawyers numbers when she called the lawyers they said I was owing over R15 000 and couldn’t be bothered that I was denying knowing about the account they wanted to know if I wanted to make payment arrangements, what the hell, why would I pay for something I never did, the rest of the calls were all like that, everyone we called wanted to know when I will be settling the account, this was all just too much. My sister came into my room and asked what was going on, Cleo who cannot keep her mouth shut told her that I had been blacklisted, my sister said it’s Mthobisi’s fault, these are probably all his debts and because we were married all his debts automatically become mine, I told her that Mthobisi and I were married out of community of property which meant his shit is his so there was no way I could get blacklisted because of him. Andiswa suggested we call the credit bureaus and explain the situation, I made the call I got a very nice lady who said I need to go to the places and ask for the copy of the contracts I had signed to open the account and to compare signature of the original contract and have to go to police station and do and affidavit that says I never opened an account in any of the places that I am blacklisted by, and sign 10 times on the affidavit so they can compare the signatures. She explained that my identity was probably stolen, someone out there was pretending to be me, I asked how is that possible when I have my id with me, she said with the way the scams were going all they needed was your id number and you are screwed for life, the call was on speaker on hearing that, Cleo asked if she could check her status, Andiswa looked at her and said “we here to help Lee so pull yourself towards yourself Cleo”.
The process sounded so long and draining, we had been in my room for hours, Mthobisi arrived, I had text him earlier and told him I was bumming a lift from Andiswa and he shouldn’t worry about picking me up. He greeted the girls and asked She Rocks if she was okay because she looked stressed, Mthobisi treats She Rocks like his little sister he is always concerned about her ever since I told him what had happened to her parents and how hard she had it growing up, she told him it’s his wife he should be worrying about, he looked at me and said “Honey, what happened?” Oh Gosh how I would not mind him beating the crap out of whoever stole my identity. My friends said they were leaving I said I would walk them out and will tell my husband when I got back what was going on, but I knew my sister chest was probably about to explode that women can’t keep any secret, I knew she was going to tell him. I walked the girls out and thanked them for all their help. This day was suppose to be a happy day instead it became a depressing day. When I got inside the house Mthobisi was fuming, he said I should have called him as soon as I found out, I asked what was he going to do, go to the credit bureaus and smashed their servers into pieces so that my name does not appear as blacklisted? He told me not to be ridiculous, he said we will sort this out, he took out his phone and made a call and went outside so we couldn’t hear who he was talking to and what he was saying. My sister looked at me and said “stop treating your husband like he’s a monster, at least he does not hit you”. Sometimes abuse is not only physical there is also emotional abuse and psychological abuse but we all just focus on the physical one but I didn’t want to say this to my sister because I knew it would raise an unending argument.
Mthobisi came back inside the house and said we should go for a drive, I grabbed my bag and left with him. He was on the phone the whole time we were driving, my phone rang shit it was Mfundo calling, what the hell did he want calling this time of the day, I quickly dropped the call before my husband could hear that it was ringing luckily he was to focused on the conversation he was having on the phone. I quickly put my phone on silence, the last thing I wanted was my phone ringing none stop that would definitely get my husband suspicious and I should have a serious talk with Mfundo about his times of calling, he can’t be going around making random phone calls to me, he knows I’m a married woman, how stupid and careless can he be. Mthobisi drove into Joburg, then Hillbrow Police Station, I looked at him with a very confused look and asked what the hell was going on now. Why are we at this police station? I remembered this place very well coz I had been here before to see his monkey ass, he said it was because this is where the bastard who stole my identity was. “Wait, What? You know who stole my identity? You know the person who got me blacklisted? Is there anything that is Fucked up that you are not involved in?” I screamed
Michael Nkuleko Maphoto (fb page)