Rihanna prank fooled Ottawans at Rideau Centre on New Year's Eve
'The results were crazy,' comedy troupe member says
A group of Ottawans operating a YouTube comedy channel successfully pranked dozens of people into thinking that music superstar Rihanna took a walk through an Ottawa shopping mall on New Year's Eve.
Ayan Ali arrived at the mall in an expensive car with friends posing as bodyguards, fans, paparazzi and assistants, and it worked.
Dozens of people followed the group through the mall, occasionally managing to snap a photo with fake Ri Ri while the fake bodyguards shouted "Step back."
The comedy troupe, who call themselves the Cool Ciyaal (ciyaal is the Somali word for kids), spoke to Ottawa Morning host Robyn Bresnahan about the prank on Monday.
"Basically, one of our members on YouTube resembles Rihanna, and she was getting that a lot on the comments section on our channel. So we decided to take that to the streets and see if we could fool Ottawa," said troupe member Kayf Abdulqadir.
"And yeah, the results were crazy."
It took two weeks of preparation to make the prank "as legit as possible," said Hodan Hujaleh, another troupe member.
Twitter reaction to fake Rihanna
RIHANNA WAS AT RIDEAU OK OK—@tarsmithtysick
so why is Rihanna in ottawa for NYE???? bunkest city tbh—@SarahYassiiin
Alright so we just saw <a href="https://twitter.com/rihanna">@rihanna</a> at the mall in <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/Ottawa?src=hash">#Ottawa</a>. Not the life I'd want....can't even shop without 90 people following you.—@rpsandha
Rihanna at rideau mall Ottawa dec 31st 2015: <a href="https://t.co/BPT8YbuB87">https://t.co/BPT8YbuB87</a> via <a href="https://twitter.com/YouTube">@YouTube</a>—@MrAndMrsTang
2 EVERYONE that believed I was Rihaana today...Im sorry BUT YOU PLAYED YOURSELF <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/THECOOLCIYAAL?src=hash">#THECOOLCIYAAL</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/IMSOSORRY?src=hash">#IMSOSORRY</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIHANNA?src=hash">#RIHANNA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/OTTAWA?src=hash">#OTTAWA</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/hashtag/RIDEAU?src=hash">#RIDEAU</a> <a href="https://twitter.com/rihanna">@rihanna</a>—@Ayanfirstqueen