How my prank landed man in hospital — Trinity Guy

Abdullahi Moruff, AKA, Trinity Guy

Abdullahi Moruff, aka Trinity Guy, is a social media prankster with 457,000 followers on Instagram, and 2.7 million followers on Facebook. He tells Punch Newspaper about his career, playing pranks on people and other issues

When did you decide to become a content creator?

I started around 2016/2017. But, at that time, I was working as a continuity manager in Nollywood. However, one day, I decided that I had to put in more efforts into the job. I was at a movie location on that day, and I did something which made the people there laugh. From there, I started thinking that I could take it seriously, and make more people laugh.

I did not start my social media career by playing pranks though. I started by joining funny videos together.

When did you start playing pranks on people?

That was in 2018. I started by removing the wigs of random women on the streets. After that, I have been playing different pranks.

What was the general reaction to your pranks when you started?

Aside from the people on Instagram, my parents also used to ask what I was doing whenever they saw any of my pranks. They used to tell me that I should no put them into trouble.

If one were to go by people’s comments on social media, one won’t do anything again. I most definitely would not have come this far. I don’t bother myself about people’s comments; I only continue doing what makes me happy. Some of the pranks are planned, while some are real; but people don’t know that.

What do you mean by planned pranks. Aren’t pranks supposed to  be unscripted?

Out of about 100 pranks, about five per cent are planned. By planned, I mean that when I want to play pranks and I know they could be quite sensitive and get me into trouble, I would inform the person ahead that I want to create content. Me and my personal assistant would call the person, and I would introduce myself, telling them what I want to do. I would then ask them not to interrupt me. After that, some would give consent, while some could decline. But, for the ‘real’ pranks, I don’t inform anyone beforehand.

You are one of the popular pranksters and your face is known to many people. How are you able to play pranks on people without being recognised?

While shooting videos, some people don’t recognise me, because not everyone is on social media. It is only people on social media that could sometimes recognise me. Sometimes, we intentionally go to places where the use of social media is not widespread.

In one of your skits, you were on a motorcycle, and you poured water on a lady, because you claimed she was not dressed decently. Was that prank real or planned?

It was a real prank. I did not know the lady, and she did not know me either.

After she slapped you for pouring water on her, did you apologise?

After pouring water on the lady, I later told her that it was a prank, and she should not be angry. As it turned out, she had watched some of my prank videos before.

If she had watched your videos before, how come she did not recognise you as a prankster?

After the prank had been concluded, she told me she kept staring at me when the drama was ongoing because I looked familiar. It was later I confirmed to her that I was the one. We then settled the issue. I asked her if I could post the video, and she agreed. I went on to compensate her, and we became friends.

Are there times you give the people you play pranks on money to compensate them?

Yes, including the lady you just asked about. I bought her another dress, because she was on her way somewhere when the prank was done.

Many social media celebs seem to be smiling to the banks these days and are buying properties. How lucrative is the prank sub-sector of the industry?

I can only thank God. I don’t put things (acquisitions) on social media. I do my things privately.

Is being a social media comedian enough for one to make a living?

Sure; consistency is the key. When I was still a continuity manager, I was doing other things as well. But now, this is all I do.

Have you ever been in trouble on account of your pranks?

That happens all the time.

Share some of those experiences with us.

There is a guy I met on the street, and I told my PA that I would like to play pranks on him. I went to meet the guy, telling him that I was a thief, and I had a gun with me. He thought it was real, not knowing that there was a cameraman somewhere. I told him I also had N60m in cash, which I had stolen from somewhere. The guy ran away, and unfortunately, he had an accident. I needed to take him to the hospital, and I spent a lot of money on his treatment. Unfortunately, I was not able to do the skit. It was a rough day for me. Sometimes, I even get arrested by the police.

How did you resolve the issue with the person who had an accident?

I visited him about three times at the hospital, and we settled everything. I later informed him that it was a prank video and I had neither a gun nor N60m. I told him my social media handle, and one of his family members knew me. The injuries he sustained from the accident were not too much.

Don’t you get scared that you could be beaten up while playing pranks on people?

It was in the early days that I used to get scared. On different occasions, people have stoned me and did other things. But, at the end of the day, people are usually happy.

Do you observe people to know if they can handle stress before playing pranks on them?

Yes, I do that. People are facing different problems in the country. For instance, I don’t go near old people. Also, if a person looks sick and unable to handle whatever I am bringing, I would leave them.

How do you bail yourself out when you are arrested?

There was a particular time I played a prank, and I was arrested. On getting to the police station, I realised that the Divisional Police Officer was my fan. That was how we settled the case. On instances when the DPO does not know me, I would see someone that knows me.

Which prank video brought you to the limelight?

Two of them actually did that. The first prank was the one where I was removing the wigs of ladies; while the second one was during the COVID-19 pandemic.

How do you get ideas for your pranks?

I give all glory to God. When I wake up in the morning, different ideas come into my head. I come up with a lot of ideas when I am alone.

On the average, how long does it take you to shoot a prank video?

It depends on different factors. Sometimes, it could take four days. Whenever I want to make a prank video, me and members of my team could go about scouting for people for up to seven hours, without being able to create any content. For some skits, it could take three days to get the kind of content I want.

Have you ever been beaten to the point of sustaining injuries in the course of playing pranks on people?

Whenever I am beaten by people who don’t know me, members of my team would come out and inform them that it was a prank. There was a particular prank video, where I put a carton on a lady’s head, and she slapped me.

On occasions when you are beaten, do you get discouraged from playing pranks on people?

I have never thought of giving up. If I wanted to give up, I would have done that a long time ago. We are not quitters in my family.

Have your parents, especially your mother, made peace with the fact that you play pranks on people?

She is okay with it. But, you know how African mothers can be. Several times, she advises me to be calm. She encourages me to play pranks in a way that I won’t be beaten or get into trouble.

However, it is those beatings I get that energise me. I am now used to it, and there is no going back.

Do you get gifts from fans?

Yes. There are times public figures see me and appreciate me. One time, a man alighted from his car when he saw me, and he gave me N100,000.

What is the story behind your name Trinity?

I am one of a set of triplets (two boys and one girl). That was where I coined my name from.

When growing up, did you and your siblings play pranks on your parents or people around you?

When we were younger, we did. But, it was just me and my brother who did that. 

Did those childhood experiences inform your decision to become a professional prankster?

No. Me and my brother were actually hip-hop artistes before now.

Considering how identical you are, do you and your brother play pranks on people by pretending to be the other?

We do that 100 per cent, because we look alike.

Tell us about your background.

I live in Ibadan, Oyo State. I studied Agriculture at the Odua Farmer Academy, also in Oyo State.

Have you ever practised agriculture?

Yes, I have.

Do you have a farm?

I had a farm about two or three years ago. I had a pond, where I bred fish. However, because of my job as a prankster, I don’t have any pond again.

Where are you based now?

I am based in Ibadan.

Do you agree with the opinion that to make it big in the entertainment industry, one needs to come to Lagos?

Yes, I agree with that, and my team is presently working on that.

Do you have plans to return to Nollywood, considering your background as a continuity manager?

I am not an ordinary skit maker; I do many things. As we speak, I am working on three movies. Two of them have already been shot. I will produce them, and they will be released soon.

Also, some colleagues ask me to direct their movies. While working as a continuity manager, I learnt many things about the industry, so I know how to get the job done.

What are some of the challenges you face?

One of the major challenges I faced in the early days was hiring editors for my videos. There was a particular one I paid to edit my skit, but he messed it up. Since then, I have been editing my videos myself.

Some people are of the opinion that people will soon get tired of prank videos and move on. What are the things you do to make sure your pranks don’t get boring to people?

My skits can never be boring. Some people are doing just one thing, but that is not my thing. I have been creating content for more than five years.

Have you ever been accused of engaging in rituals because of your pranks, such as the one you went about removing wigs from the heads of ladies?

Yes, but the people later realised we were making prank videos. On some occasions, the people around would recognise me, and tell the person involved that I was just creating content.

What advice do you have for young people who want to become pranksters and/or skit makers?

I cannot tell people to stop doing what they are doing; I can only encourage them. However, my advice for them is to be unique. They should not copy anyone.

Do you get weird requests from female fans, and where do you draw the line?

I love to make friends, but when it gets to the point of dating or marriage, I am not into that. My mother advised me that if I want to make it in life, I should not deal with multiple women. There are many ladies who want to date me; but I tell them that we can only be friends. Some woo me directly; then insult me when I don’t accept their requests.

Have you ever played pranks on a lady, who eventually wanted to have a relationship with you?

Yes, that has happened.

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