Bianca Coster cyberbullied for years, frustrated by imposters

Actress lands dream TV role after speaking out

Masego Seemela Online journalist
Image: Supplied

Influencer and model Bianca Coster has been a victim of cyberbullying for years with fake accounts impersonating her and spreading misinformation and extreme views.

The 27-year-old from Eswatini has been left helpless and frustrated by parody accounts, the most popular being "Chris Excel" with almost 2 million Twitter followers, continuing to use her image as a profile picture without her consent. 

"Considering the line of work that I do as an influencer and entertainer, people have affiliated me with accounts that I didn't even know existed. I can't do much about it, the most I can do is report them and hope that they'd take my pictures down," Coster said.

"And then the Chris Excel account came; it was posting very negative stuff which resulted in people being sceptical about working with me because of the possible affiliation with the account – that's when I knew I had to do something about it, after four years of him impersonating me. 

"I started out by sending him direct messages to remove my picture but he didn't respond. My parents and other family members intervened but that didn't help. That's when I decided to go public and speak out about the negative effects that I had suffered because of a catfish account." 

But the damage had already been done to not only her reputation, but also that of her family.

Bianca Coster claiming her life back after being the face of a social media catfish account.
Bianca Coster claiming her life back after being the face of a social media catfish account.
Image: supplied

"The first thing that people ask me is, 'Are you Chris Excel who posts these foul things on social media?'...  even my parents were called in by their bosses about the account. It truly hasn't been a pleasant experience," she said.   

Coster moved to SA with her family in 2010 to study and in tertiary she began her career as a model and influencer.

"I was introduced to the world of social media and without my intention, I ended up growing my presence online. That's when I got called in to become a model in 2015 and 2016. I was so glad to know that I had the qualities to be on television because I've always had my eyes on becoming an actress," she said.

She soon secured various TV advertisements, which meant she was a step closer to achieving her acting dreams. But in 2019, a dark cloud hovered over her when the parody accounts started using her image. But now her career is finally looking up and has made it as a cast member on e.TV's Isitha The Enemy starring Linda Sebezo, Zamani Mbatha, Thobani Nzuza and Dawn Thandeka King.

She will be playing the role of Sinotile who is a defence lawyer.  

"Even though Chris Excel hasn't taken down the picture, speaking out has helped bring awareness to the fake account which gives me great relief that I can now move on with my life. I'm just glad that people now know," she said.

"I am so glad that my life is back on track. Being a part of the cast of Isitha is a dream come true. I've always wanted a long-term thing and it makes me happy that it's finally happening. I can't wait for people to see what I bring to my role and my stellar acting skills. 

"I have so much I want to bring to the acting space. My ultimate dream role is to play a high school character much like Blood & Water, and I hope that comes to fruition." 

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