If you are not a fan of pranks, you probably will not be interested in Zion Ubani Chibuike, popularly known as Zfancy. But, what if we told you the story behind the scenes, including how he relates with his camera crew? What happens when a prank goes bad? Or what he did do before he became a prankster?
Zfancy says he likes to make his camera guys happy. He moves out with two to three of them, so he doesn’t waste the reactions he might get from prankees. And, with his crew of supporting acts, he takes to the streets of Lagos to prank random people.
He has all kinds of ‘fancy’ prank videos that have become familiar with his over a million followers on social media, excluding his 382,000 subscribers on YouTube. These include Scorpion on your back, African snake man prank and delivery man prank videos.
Long before pranks became as popular as they are today and before Zfancy became a brand, he was a regular guy with a 9-5 who had picked up a reputation as some local “trouble maker.”
Then, he once went out with his friend and decided, almost out of impulse, to tell someone that there was a scorpion on his back, record his reaction and share it for the laughs. That changed his story in 2018.
“Initially, when I started, it was very easy to shoot,” he said in an exclusive interview with Technext. But the industry is not what it use to be, as TikTok influencers have run through almost every single content creation idea on the planet.
“You know, you just think of an idea and go out and execute,” he said, reminiscing of his early days in the game.
“But now that the space is more popular, it’s become a little bit harder to shoot,” he said of his experience, adding that “now, you have to start moving from one place to another because people keep spotting you. You get?”
These days you’ll find him on social media with his fleet of luxurious cars, chilling with his crew, shooting prank videos with adverts from crypto trading platforms and real estate companies inserted in between scenes.
Zion said that makes money from running ads on his videos on Youtube and from advertising from brands.
But he didn’t start off with fat cheques from these companies. He had his fair share of “the hustle” on social media when he was hawking herbal mixtures on the ‘gram until it was lucrative enough to fix his bills.
It doesn’t always end well
In his sojourn pranking people, it hasn’t been everyone who has taken his rather too daring pranks lightly. The first video on his YouTube is of him pulling a prank on a police officer.
Sometimes he is off the grid, away from social media for weeks, months even. He said that it might be a prank gone bad that had caused it. He recounts the time when he pranked a soldier. Let’s just say it didn’t end well for him.
“I once got a black eye and couldn’t shoot for a month or so. I had to wait for the mark to disappear before shooting again,” he said of the experience.
Another time he experienced a rather strange encounter with a woman whom he had pranked. “I’m not going to say she’s a witch, but then, after pranking her, my body was just not alright,” he said.
“I just started feeling sick instantly. So I had to go beg her. We just had to keep begging and begging until she forgave me and then she smiled and I gave her money. But she still did not collect.
“Then two weeks later, I went to gift her a phone. And that day, after she accepted it, I felt better. I think after about 30 mins.”
What he said he found shocking about that particular experience is that he had been well that day. “I was really feeling good,” he said “but after I pranked her I wasn’t. So I don’t know if it was my conscience that was pricking me or that she did something to me. Whichever, I was really down.”
Does Zfancy compensate prank victims?
Zfancy says some people lose their cool sometimes when he tries to compensate them. He says he has been assaulted on different occasions but he sees it as a necessary evil.
I really do not like people hitting me because it’s called a prank and not abuse. Although we invade people’s privacy, I still do not like to get hit because it makes the whole thing messy.Zfancy
Joyous reactions motivate him
He keeps doing what he does because the expression that comes after they realise it’s a prank is “simply joyous.”
“The fun of it is the expression on their face, be it a good one or a bad one. The expression on their face is just what consoles and comforts you during the process. Getting to see that they smile at the end of the day, encourages you to prank the next person until you get the final reaction that you’re looking for”, he said
Advice for prospective pranksters
His advice for people looking to enter the space is that they should make no mistake as “pranking is actually tedious. But the love and excitement on their faces encourage you to continue.”
Also, “make sure your camera guy is happy”, he adds.
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