Since news broke on Monday May 15, 2023 about a Nigerian cook, Hilda Baci cooking for over 100 hours to break and set a new world record, many Nigerians have asked Guinness to announce her as the new record holder.
If she is eventually awarded, Ms Baci will join the league of other Nigerians like Gbenga Ezekiel, Rema, Bose Omolayo, Bayo Omoboriowo, Dance Queen Kaffy, foremost accountant David Dafinone, Comedian and filmmaker AY, who have held Guinness records in different fields.
Ms Baci started her race for the title of the longest cooking marathon by an individual on Thursday, 11th of May.
She initially targeted cooking for 96 hours straight but extended it to 100 hours, about 12 hours ahead of the previous record holder.
In the four days of cook-a-thon, Baci became the toast of Nigerians, cooking over 100 dishes during her marathon, including delicacies like jollof rice, egusi soup, and fufu.
However, since achieving the feat, some Nigerians have visited the Instagram page of the current title holder, Chef Lata Tondon, to drop some unsavoury comments.
In 2019, Ms Tondon, an Indian, cooked for 87 hours and 45 minutes, 20 hours more than the previous winner, making her the first woman to achieve the feat.
Reacting to the comments of Nigerians on her Instagram photos, London called for peace, noting that it was just a record.
“A humble request to my sisters and brothers in Nigeria and India to maintain peace and wait to announce if the current record is broken or not officially. Please don’t make it a competition. It’s just a record, my friends. I am a peace-loving person and wish the same for you,” she wrote on her Insta-stories.
No love lost
In a quick reaction to her appeal, more Nigerians have continued to visit her page to express their love and appreciation for the title holder.
Some, however, pointed out that they meant no harm, and her perception of their comments as unfavourable might be out of a difference in cultural nuances.
Fadeysextoys, for instance, noted GOAT means Greatest of all Time, and not necessarily a reference to the four-legged livestock often used to connote stupidity.
“GOAT means greatest of all time. Do not talk about it offensively, please. We love you, ma’am,” she wrote.
As Nigerians continue to wait for the official confirmation of the Jollof Queen as the record holder, Guinness has said they need time to verify and review the evidence.
Guinness World Records, formerly The Guinness Book of Records, is a British reference book published annually.
Instituted in 1955, it is a listing of world records both of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world.
The body said that officials on its records team look forward to reviewing the evidence and hope to be able to verify Hilda’s efforts as a new record very soon.
“We are aware of the record attempt and are looking forward to receiving the evidence for our Records Management Team to review before we can confirm the record is official,” a Guinness World Records spokesperson tweeted.
The application process for the Guinness World Records is in stages.
The first stage requires Guinness to review the record contender’s proposal against its extensive record database.
Having been accepted, the individual is then sent a set of record guidelines and an information pack detailing the rules for the record and the evidence required.
Generally, the duration for the standard application takes up to 12 weeks, but priority application can be granted within five working days at the cost of $1,000 for new titles.
Despite not being officially announced as the Guinness record holder, the 27-year-old is already receiving her flowers.
In addition to the governor of Lagos State, Babajide Sanwo-olu visiting the location of the cook-a-thon to cheer her on, she also received a phone call from the Vice President of Nigeria.
Celebrities, too, were not left out as they thronged the venue of the cookout.
Meanwhile, brands have started to celebrate the feat achieved by Ms Baci.
Vesti App, a fintech, has announced an all-expense paid trip to the Maldives this summer for “the phenomenal @hildabaci of @myfoodbyhilda on her daring and record-breaking attempt at the #Guinness world record at 27 years for the longest number of hours a chef has cooked.”
Following suit, indigenous airline company Dana Air has supported Baci’s Guinness World Record attempt with one year of free tickets for all her domestic travels.
Her mum, a chef too, also gets three months of free flights.
Not left out, insurance company AXA Mansard supports Chef Baci with a one-year Gold Health Insurance.
“We trust this can strengthen you more in pursuing this world record for yourself, millions of women you inspire every day, and our dear country,” the company tweeted.