Featured, Opinion

Nigerians Vs The Guinness World Record (GWR)

Nmesoma Okwudili


February 1, 2024

Nigerians are on an unprecedented record-breaking binge, and it’s not just about winning; it’s about making an impact that even aliens would recognise. Hilda Baci’s “Cookathon” deserves an extended applause for sparking a world record craze that has effectively transformed every Nigerian into a record-breaking ninja.  It is like everyone suddenly realized, “Why settle for regular accomplishments when you can be internationally recognized for doing something exceptional?” Nigerian’s got talent, and apparently, a flair for turning the mundane into record-worthy spectacles!

Hilda Effiong Bassey, commonly known as Hilda Baci, broke the world record for the longest cooking marathon completed by a single person.  According to Guinness World Records, the previous record for the longest cooking session was held by the Indian Lata Tondon, who cooked for 87 hours and 45 minutes. On Monday, May 15, 2023, in Lagos, Nigeria, Hilda surpassed Lata, who had previously held the Guinness record. Before breaking the record, this tenacious Nigerian woman prepared over 100 dishes over the period of four days. Government officials, well-known individuals, religious leaders, and other kind Africans continued to offer support both in person and digitally.

Hilda’s triumphant achievement signifies the exact moment when Nigeria collectively embraced the idea of smashing every conceivable world record. Surprisingly, she drew a massive crowd of Nigerians who steadfastly stood by her side, enduring rain, sunshine, and the entire day to witness her cooking marathon lasting approximately 100 hours. Although the Guinness World Record (GWR) officially documented it as 93 hours and 11 minutes, it still proved sufficient to establish a new record.

Ever since, with so many Nigerians on social media trying to break records, there has been an unofficial proclamation of a pandemic. The story started when Chef Damilola Adeparusi, also known as Chef Dami, slammed down the spatula and declared that she was going to have her own cookathon in an attempt to beat Hilda’s recently gained record.

Another woman embarked on an indoor-A-Thon, attempting to stay indoors for 168 hours via social media live record. Because why not stir up a storm of record-breaking craze when the world is already serving up a plateful of chaos? She did, however, wind up creating a live video in which she begged Nigerians to send her money or data so she could continue and avoid losing the record due to a shortage of data

It is getting harder to keep up with the endless attempts to break records for things like the longest standing hours, longest singing hours, and longest sobbing hours. One masseuse even passed out while trying to set a new record for the longest continuous massage. The excitement among Nigerians being seen as global influencers has surpassed reason.

However, it is not just Nigerians that are eager to set Guinness World Records. A Ghanaian guy is now participating in a Kiss-a-thon, with the goal of setting a new world aiming for the longest continuous kissing session, anticipated to endure 85 hours. He was motivated by his belief in having a unique gift for kissing.

On one occasion, the organisation tweeted sarcastically, “Please, enough of the record-a-thons,” illustrating how even the Guinness World Record is struggling to keep up with the amount of effort and falling behind Hilda Baci’s accomplishment. This followed a tweet that encouraged people to apply before attempting to break a record.

Even with all the humorous records that Nigerians have attempted; some are notable and significant. Helen Williams, a Lagos-based Nigerian, is one such person who received a prize for having the longest handcrafted wig. She used 6,250 hair clips, 12 cans of hairspray, 35 jars of hair adhesive, and 1,000 bundles of hair to finish the hairpiece.

Additionally, Oyinlola Odemewu, a Nigerian visual artist, has broken the record for the Guinness World Records’ longest painting marathon. Her goal was to beat the previous sixty-hour record held by Belgian-Canadian musician Roland Palmaerts in 2013. Among Lola’s greatest works are “One Touch,” “Pemi Pada Owonromi,” and “Ejire Ara Isokun.” Her childhood experiences, playing in the classroom, working at the contact centre, and staring out the window—are beautifully captured in her paintings. Several of her artworks were auctioned in order to comply with GWR requirements. Lola accomplished the amazing achievement of painting for eighty-two hours on November 1, 2023.

Nigerians’ pursuit of breaking diverse records demonstrates their inventiveness, zeal, and dedication to a cause. Let’s appreciate the determination with which Nigerians pursue their goals, rather than using this as a point of ridicule. It is hoped that those significant record-breaking efforts should be acknowledged for their deserving efforts.


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