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X-Repo’s Maphanga a real-life hero to wronged customers and sellers

Xolani Maphanga, Moja Love and X-Repo host , during an interview with Sowetan in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Xolani Maphanga, Moja Love and X-Repo host , during an interview with Sowetan in Rosebank, Johannesburg.
Image: Antonio Muchave

TV personality, Xolani Maphanga, who is known for fighting for the rights of wronged customers and sellers on the small screen, initially aspired to be soldier before he became a TV superhero.

Maphanga is the face and presenter of X-Repo, the Moja Love reality show that assists people get back what is rightfully theirs from people who have been dishonest towards them. His heroics have had some viewers calling for President Cyril Ramaphosa to honour him with one of the National Orders. 

A few days ago viewers were in awe as Maphanga and his team stood their ground against a policeman who was refusing to pay for a car he had bought from a complainant who approached X-Repo. The policeman refused to return the vehicle and the X-Repo team had to go and confront him and get the vehicle. 

The situation became intense when the team started to tow the vehicle out of the garage. The trigger-happy police officer started shooting in the air to scare the team off but they stood their ground. 

This week Time Out caught up with Maphanga at Moja Love’s new offices in Rosebank, just after shooting another episode. He said the policeman episode was a lot scarier in reality than what many saw on TV. 

“We were not backing down despite him discharging his gun because when we deal with these cases, we don’t see ourselves but we see the pain of the people we are trying to help. What you saw on television was toned down, the situation was worse than what we showed... When I watch the show sometimes I don’t believe I am watching myself. I get chuffed when I see people getting assisted and how they are grateful for our service,” says Maphanga.  

Maphanga is an outspoken man who is not intimidated by any situation that his work throws at him. He works with a team of 18 who ensure that there is a new episode every week as X-Repo is the first of its kind in SA. The American version called Operation Repo focuses on the world of car repossessions.

Maphanga says he did research first before introducing the show. His research included working for companies that repossess cars for two months. 

“Before I started X-repo I checked what kind of show was lacking in SA. I realised that there was a gap. Sometimes magistrates issue summons which aren't enforced. I come in and make things happen. When I started the show, I committed to assist South Africa. The people I assist are people who have been to the police and lawyers for assistance and never got any joy.” 

“Working with a great team that works so hard makes things easy for me. I confront people easily when I know I have all the paper work. I always say I am the voice of the voiceless and strength to those who are weak.” 

The show started with one episode a week but due to demand, Moja Love had to add another episode on Sundays.

Born and bred in Emangweni, Tembisa in Ekurhuleni, Maphanga did his primary schooling in the township and went to suburbs' high schools where he did well in public speaking and debate. While growing up in Tembisa, he always wanted to be a soldier but it did not happen as he had to take over his father’s taxi business. His polygamous father had four wives and nine children.

While studying Information Technology at varisity he had to manage his father’s taxi fleet which he eventually left because of the violence associated with it. His family ended up selling the business.  

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