From Hilda Baci to Chef Dammy, How Nigerians Chased After Guinness World Record Titles in 2023

From Hilda Baci to Chef Dammy, How Nigerians Chased After Guinness World Record Titles in 2023

Perhaps, 2023 could be declared as the year Nigerians discovered the Guinness World Records. Not that Nigerians did not know of the existence of the world records body, but it appears it was in 2023 that it became viewed as something of value in this part of the world.

Of course, the GWR is a global body known to many, but it received unparalleled publicity in Nigeria in the outgone year. Thus, many Nigerians, who in the past, took a passive interest in record titles threw their hats in the ring and pursued one marathon title or the other.

Chef's Hilda Baci, Dammy and OAU student, Subair Enitan.
Many Nigerians pursued Guinness World Record titles in 2023. Photo credit: Instagram/Hilda Baci, X/Spirit Word Mission and X/@_Dr_Bush_.
Source: UGC

As the year comes to an end, highlights some of the most popular marathons undertaken by Nigerians in 2023.

Hilda Baci's cooking marathon

The change in how Nigerians see the Guinness World Records did not just happen. There was an event and a personality that took the stage by storm strongly influenced people's perception of the world record body. That person is Hilda Baci. Her cooking marathon, held in May 2023, changed everything.

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Hilda, who cooked for 93 hours and 11 minutes, received a lot of media attention as Nigerians physically trooped to the venue of the cook-a-thon in Lekki to cheer her up. On Tuesday, June 13, the Guinness World Record verified Hilda as a title holder for the longest cooking marathon by an individual.

The record body wrote on its website:

"Following a thorough review of all the evidence, Guinness World Records can now confirm that Hilda Effiong Bassey, better known as Hilda Baci, has officially broken the record for the longest cooking marathon (individual), with a time of 93 hours 11 minutes."

Immediately after Hilda held her resoundingly successful marathon, Nigerians thronged the website of GWR to apply to break or set records. By July 14, 2023, the Guinness World Records confirmed to that it had received over 1500 applications from Nigerians, a surge it attributed to Hilda Baci's success.

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The GWR told then:

"The attention and excitement that Hilda Baci’s cooking marathon gained was certainly an incentive for many Nigerians to consider attempting a Guinness World Records title. Since her record attempt, there has been a spike in applications from Nigeria, particularly for marathon records."

Chef Dammy's cooking marathon

On Friday, June 9, 2023, a lady known as Damilola Adeparusi rolled out her pots, lit her gas cooker and commenced a cooking marathon in the university town of Oye-Ekiti, Ekiti state. After what started like a spark of fire, Chef Dammy, as she is fondly called, gained national attention, as media houses carried her story daily.

Inspired by Hilda Baci's success, the organisers of the Oye-Ekiti cookathon declared that Chef Dammy would cook for 120 hours. Many of her supporters thronged the venue to show support, but some hours into the cook-a-thon, cracks were observed in the organisation and overall handling of the show.

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First, some supporters accused Chef Dammy of selling food at the venue of the cook-a-thon in clear violation of GWR rules. Also, some observed that the cooking show was organised by the Spirit Word Mission, a church overseen by Pastor Samuel Adegoke, who they insisted pushed her into holding the marathon.

By Tuesday, June 13, 2023, the Guinness World Records confirmed to that Chef Dammy did not register for the record attempt before proceeding. This was a clear violation, and it attracted a lot of controversy as netizens bashed Dammy for not following due process.

The GWR had told then:

"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."

To date, Chef Dammy's record attempt has not been verified by the GWR, and hers would later become the most controversial GWR attempt in Nigeria in 2023 as she later fell out with her pastor, and the issue even attracted the attention of the Ekiti state government.

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Subair Enitan's hand-washing marathon

Towards the end of 2023, Subair Enitan, a student of the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, announced her intention to commence a hand-washing marathon.

She said she would wash her hands continuously for 50 hours in pursuit of a Guinness World Record title. She later exceeded the 50 hours and did 58 instead.

By the time she finished the marathon, Enitan's hands turned pale as seen in photos that trended online. It was also reported that she landed in the hospital after the marathon, but she denied this.

Overall, 2023 witnessed a barrage of Guinness World Record attempts from Nigerians. Perhaps, the year was wrapped up by Alan Fisher, an Irish Chef who upstaged Hilda Baci after he cooked for 119 hours and 57 minutes.

Hilda Baci reacts to Alan Fisher's achievement

Meanwhile, had reported that Hilda Baci congratulated Alan Fisher on breaking her record. She wished him well.

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The top-rated chef released a tweet, saying Fisher's achievement was no small feat.

She said:

"Huge congratulations to Alan Fisher! 119hrs 57mins is a huge achievement, and I wish him all the best as the new world record holder!"


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