- By Nduka Orjinmo
- BBC News, Abuja
By the time you’ve finished reading this article, chances are another Nigerian has been trying to set some kind of world record in a frenzy that has gripped Africa’s most populous country.
It’s hard to keep up with all the recent efforts but one man sang for 200 hours, one man was crying non-stop for a record as you read this, one woman said she had stays indoors the longest while others are seen trying to fry the most snails – one of at least six culinary-themed attempts – in a “record one-competition” craze.
You can pinpoint the exact moment when some of the country’s 200 million people seem to have decided that all world records must be broken – a medium-sized crowd defied rain and shadow. evening for four days in May at a posh venue in Lagos to see Hilda Baci, a weary woman. – Find the chef, cook her way into the record books.
She cooked a total of 100 hours, and although it was officially recorded by Guinness World Records (GWR) as 93 hours and 11 minutes, it was still enough to set a new record.
Since then, not a day has gone by without the familiar digital clock image on the dark screen signaling that someone or a couple is trying to set a new world record.
Even GWR is struggling to keep up, after attracting initial attention as Nigerians enthusiastically followed Ms. Baci’s feat.
“Enough records-a-thons please,” the organization humorously tweeted on Tuesday after someone mentioned the idea not one, but two separate endeavors — one “idea-one–” slim” and a “puff-puff-a-thon”.
This follows a previous GWR tweet says people should sign up before trying to set a record. The “polite reminder” was taken as a cheeky insult to Nigerians after a masseuse collapsed while trying to set a new record for longest non-stop massage.
That attempt is now aborted, she said, adding that her 50 hours were enough to set the record, even though she didn’t sign up for Guinness.
It is bravery that has marked the recent wave, with people boldly declaring their efforts without registering for GWR and not following the rules.
The two chefs turned off the stove and went to sleep during the challenge, which disqualified them.
“To avoid disappointment, it’s important to make sure what you want to try is a valid record title and that you understand the guidelines,” a GWR representative told the BBC.
They said the organization had noticed a spike in applications from Nigerians but could not confirm whether the number of applications from one country was a record.
“Nigerians are funny people and we tend to go with the wave of whatever is happening at the moment. In less than three months the fever will subside,” said Farominiyi Kemi, the tryst. twice broke the patience of Guinness, said.
She told the BBC that the idea of two tries was a joke, but frying a record number of puffs – a soft, round doughnut like a doughnut – was now ingrained in her mind.
One person who is definitely taking his effort seriously is high school teacher John Obot, who will read aloud for the longest time in September.
He has received approval from GWR and is training to break the current record of 124 hours set by Rysbai Isakov of Kyrgyzstan last year in Turkey.
Mr. Obot aims to read aloud non-stop for 140 hours in the peaceful coastal city of Uyo in southern Nigeria.
“The driving force is to promote reading culture in Nigeria,” he said, leaving no doubt about his ability to take a short call where it was hard to say a word.
“I decided to pick a record that made sense,” he added, making other attempts, including one for the most coconuts separated by teeth alone.
“What is that record worth, or who wants to kiss?” asked Mr. Obot, who claimed that his effort was superior only because of the Nigerian and British classics that he would read that day.
That kiss attempt – disappointing for some – was banned in the state of Ekiti where it was planned, with authorities warning all involved that there would be consequences if they continued. in a relentless attempt to set a kiss record. GWR removed this category after someone collapsed on previous attempts (outside of Nigeria).
“[The] ‘kiss-a-thon’ as an event is not only absurd, immoral, unhealthy [but] potentially tarnishing the image of Ekiti,” a statement from the Ministry of Culture said.
Ekiti is closely related to the recent craze because it was there that Chef Dammy, while steam was still rising in Chef Baci’s kitchen and Guinness had yet to ratify her record, turned on the stove to trying to outdo his fellow woman.
The physical strain of some exertion, as seen with masseuses, is also a minor cause for concern.
Tembu Ebere, who has cried non-stop for seven days, says he has serious health problems, telling the BBC he has a headache, swollen face, partial blindness for 45 minutes and puffy eyes .
“I had to readjust my strategy and reduce my mourning,” he said, adding that he was determined to get through it and is now sobbing towards his goal, though though he’s not registered for GWR so it won’t be an official record.
Many Nigerians have noticed a series of startling attempts that say Ms. Baci has unlocked Pandora’s box.
And the country is not short of record holders:
- Tobi Amusan – 100 meters hurdles women
- Go to Ezekiel – Skip at most in one minute on one leg
and my personal favorites:
- Chinonso, who holds the records for: most consecutive touches in a minute while balancing the ball overhead; fastest time to reach 1,000 touchdowns while balancing the ball overhead; most headers on the stomach for one minute and most touches in the sitting position while balancing the ball overhead for one minute.
But none of that resonated as much as Chef Baci, who has a huge advertising machine behind her.
“We did a lot of background work,” said Nene Bejide, head of public relations for branding.
It paid off within the same day – Ms Baci received a call from the former vice president, a visit from the governor of Lagos state, the record holder Amusan stopped, as well as an influx of celebrities and non-stop blessings.
In addition to the stardom and popularity an endeavor earns – demonstrated through an instant increase in social media followers that elevate one to influencer status, a digital currency today – there is also personal enrichment.
Ms. Baci was given a free travel for a year by a Nigerian airline along with other confirmations that Chef Dammy had received a cash gift. Others have publicly donated in their efforts.
“I had to do something fundamentally out of the ordinary to put myself on the map, put Nigeria on the map,” Ms Baci told the BBC after her feat.
Looks like she did both.