Friday, 14 April 2017

The April Fool Prank 'Nwanyi Oma' And Why It Broke The Internet

When my friend, Onuora, decided to let the devil use him into creating a film poster that had Genevieve Nnaji, Robert Downey Jr., Chiwetel Ejiofor and Jason Statham jostling for space on the cover, an accomplishment which he unveiled in a Facebook group we both belong to, I had a very good laugh at his mischief.

And then, because I have a bit of the devil’s calling, I decided to take the picture away from the privacy of the group and splash it outside on both my Facebook and Instagram timelines. Honestly, I thought my followers would get it instantly. I thought people would get the joke. After all, how is it possible that four of the biggest stars in this planet came together to do a movie and no one heard a peep until the month the alleged movie is getting premiered?

However, to my shocked amusement and delighted astonishment, a huge percentage of commenters on the posts actually believed the story the poster was telling. There were breathless OMG exclamations of the movie premiere and rapturous cheers of congratulations to Genevieve Nnaji. The Nigerians on my timelines had happened on yet another accomplishment on Ms. Nnaji’s resume, and they were all determined to glory in her success.

What I’d intended to be a tongue-in-cheek update quickly spiraled into one of the most hilarious days I’d ever had in 2017. I simply sat where I was with my phone, flicking back and forth from Facebook to instagram, having a good laugh over the charming gullibility of some of my followers. (My apologies, guys, but y’all were hilarious AF!)
In time though, many people began to catch on, and amid the faux angry protestations, I made my second mistake of thinking this was it. The game was up. Everyone had wised up. Life could now go on.

Again I was wrong.

It wasn’t long before I started getting random mentions and tags on updates of other Facebookers, some of them who aren’t even in my friend list. Apparently, the Nwanyi Oma post had been shared across the social media globe, and apparently, not everyone had wised up. The narrative had even taken on a life of its own, with speculations abounding beyond the social media, apparently beyond Nigeria too, and news sites (Nairaland, I’m looking at you) discussing it, with most of these strangers bandying information on the ‘movie’ with such confidence that I almost began to doubt my prank. For a split second, as I read an exchange where a poster and a commenter were talking about how one of them had seen the teaser trailer and how they couldn’t wait to see the film, I wondered if perhaps I was the one who the joke was on. Read the full story on mymindsnaps.

1 comment:

  1. Oya,talk the truth, were you also fooled by the Nwanyi Oma prank? :D


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