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5000-hr pray-a-thon: How Nigerians are trivialising Guinness World Records

Guinness World Records (GWR) recently confirmed a Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey popularly known as Hilda Baci as the new record holder for longest cooking marathon…

Guinness World Records (GWR) recently confirmed a Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey popularly known as Hilda Baci as the new record holder for longest cooking marathon by an individual.

According to GWR, Baci had attempted to set a record of 100 hours, but almost seven hours were deducted from her final total because she mistakenly added a few minutes for one of her rest breaks early on in the attempt.

Baci, an Akwa Ibom State native, surpassed the record for the longest cooking time by an individual, with a 93-hour record time, thereby beating Indian chef, Lata Tondon, who previously held the record after cooking for 87 hours and 45 minutes in 2019.

Although the Guinness World Records does not not give cash prize to those who set or break records, the organization “offers the prestige of being a record holder, a certificate of achievement, and the potential for global recognition.”

The Guinness World Record certificate is therefore highly prestigious, accepted and recognized globally and the holders of the certificate are known across the world. This means holders can attain fame and get high publicity for their achievements. The fame that comes with being a record holder can be utilized in different ways especially in commercial activities.

A few days after the GWR had announced Baci’s victory, they also announced that the tweet was “our best performing tweet of all time with nearly 25 million news feeds reached,” which was received as another remarkable feat recorded by the Nigerian chef.

The emergence of Chef Dammy

Barely a month after Baci had made the much-publicized and celebrated cook-a-thon, another Nigerian chef, Damilola Adeparusi, went viral for taking up the gauntlet and launching her own cooking marathon.

Adeparusi announced she would attempt to cook for 120 hours in order to surpass Baci’s record of 100 hours.

Chef Dammy (as she’s popularly called) began her cooking marathon at a restaurant in Ilupeju.

While some people laughed it all off as a prank or a joke, others perceived Adeparusi’s effort as a “desperate, malicious and ill-timed” attempt to not only grab headlines but also take a bit of shine off Hilda’s achievement.

Many Nigerians also criticized the setting of Adeparusi’s cook-a-thon that looked “drab” in comparison to the glassy space which allowed Hilda to enjoy massive support through celebrity appearances, musical performances and a massive turnout of fans including the Governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-Olu.

Hilda Baci’s subsequent words of encouragement to Adeparusi amidst arguments and counter-arguments on social media seemed to have put the matter to rest, even though it didn’t completely convince warring factions to seathe their swords on social media.

In a statement released via her official Twitter handle, she commended Adeparusi for the boldness to take on the cooking challenge and urged her to never lose steam and embrace the journey.

She wrote: “The beauty of dreams is that they are unique to each individual. Dami, your boldness to take on a cooking challenge shows that passion knows no limits. Embrace the journey, learn from every experience, and inspire others with your unwavering spirit.”

Shortly after Baci’s message, Adeparusi released a video via social media saying that her intention wasn’t to compete with Baci, and that she wasn’t competing for the GWR, but was just “motivated” by Baci’s achievement to make an attempt.

That swiftly led to the revelation that Adeparusi hadn’t actually applied to the GWR – as is the regulation – before she started her cooking marathon, and the GWR wasn’t aware of her cook-a-thon.

“We have not received an application for this attempt. Applications can be made via the Guinness World Records website for our records management team to review,” read the GWR’s response to an inquiry by a media platform.

But Hilda Baci and Adeparusi seemed to have opened the door for other Nigerians who instantly began expressing interests in breaking world records. Though a lot of criticisms have followed the aspirants with many saying it’s an attempt to trivialize the prestigious world records book, some also argue that it is an opportunity for Nigerians to show their talents to the world.

Chief Maggie

Shortly after Adeparusi announced her cooking marathon, another Nigerian chef, Temitope Adebayo aka Chef Maggie vowed to exceed Adeparusi’s 120-hour target with a 140-hour cook-a-thon

A post by @Oyoaffairs on Twitter revealed chef Temitope, popularly known as Tope Maggie from Ogbomoso, Oyo State, was gearing up to cook for 140 hours and 20 minutes.

A screenshot of the response Chef Maggie received from GWR after submitting his application was also shared.

Woli Arole

Comedian Woli Arole also recently announced his plan to join the trend among Nigerians clamouring to break records and earn recognition from Guinness World Records.

Arole shared his plan to initiate 5000-hour marathon prayers, in a bid to break the record for the longest praying time.

According to the actor and on-air personality, his ‘pray-a-thon’ exercise is feasible. Thus, he urged Nigerians to anticipate.

“Pray-a-thon, 5000 hours. It is doable, anticipate”, he wrote.

Adebiyi Israel

Adebiyi Israel, a native of Ekiti State, also revealed plans to break the world record for the longest hours spent watching movies.

The 500-level Law student at the Ekiti State University shared a screenshot of the acceptance email from the Guinness World Record, urging Nigerians to brace up for the “Longest Marathon Watching Movies” in Cinema.

The current record holder is Suresh Joachim from Canada, who watched films continuously for an incredible 121 hours and 18 minutes in 2015.

Adeyeye Adeola

The most recent is Adeyeye Adeola who has embarked on a culinary journey to set a new GWR for the longest cooking marathon (individual) with a 150-hour cook-a-thon.

Adeola’s cook-a-thon began on Friday, June 30 in the Ile-Oluji/Okeigbo Local Government Area of Ondo State and is scheduled to conclude on Thursday, July 6, 2023.

This came a few days after Adeparusi Damilola (Chef Dammy) had embarked on another 120-hour cook-a-thon in Oye Local Government Area of Ekiti State, after receiving an official approval from the GWR.

Joyce Ijeoma

On Tuesday, June 4, a Nigerian masseur, Joyce Ijeoma, began a 72-hour longest massage on different individuals in Lekki, Lagos State.

But some hours into the massage marathon which was being recorded live, it was reported that Ijeoma collapsed.

Ijeoma fell and passed out during the attempt at the venue. She had worked a total of 50 hours before collapsing.

In South Kalimantan, Indonesia, in 2015, Alastair Galpin established the previous record of the longest massage marathon.

The Guinness Book of Records is a highly prestigious reference book that contains human and natural world records.

It was first published in 1955 by the Guinness Brewery in Ireland and has since become one of the world’s most well-known and frequently read reference books.

Individuals or groups must submit proof to the Guinness World Records team and go through a verification process to qualify for a world record listing.


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