Nigerian chef, Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci, recently embarked on a mission to break the Guinness World Record for longest cooking time by an individual.
Baci is no stranger to breaking records as she won the maiden edition of the ‘Jollof Faceoff’ competition held back in August 2021.
An Indian chef, Lata Tondon currently holds the world’s longest cooking marathon and she completed the task in 87 hours, 45 minutes, and 00 secs in Rewa, India in 2019.
Baci started her 4-day cooking marathon challenge on the 11th of May at the Amore Gardens, and she is now fast approaching the finish line. The 27-year-old has already cooked for 70 hours and has 24 more hours to go.
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Today, Is the fourth day of Baci’s attempt to break the existing record for the Guinness Book of Record World’s longest cooking marathon,
On why she embarked on the task, Baci said it is one of her biggest aspirations, adding that it is also an opportunity to tell some positive stories from Africa through the meals that we eat.
“The journey to the cook-a-thon started five years ago. It is one of my biggest aspirations and I am glad that I took the bold step to embark on this adventure. I have taken time to prepare for this psychologically and I am proud to finally take on this challenge.”
“The cook-a-thon is also an opportunity to tell some of the positive stories that come from Africa through the meals that we make.”
“This attempt is also proof of the strength young people can exhibit with the right platform and support. I look forward to receiving support from people across the world to achieve this feat,” she said.
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Her quest to make history has generated so much buzz among Nigerians who are still rallying support for her both on social media and at the venue of the cook-a-thon, Amore Gardens in Lekki, Lagos State.
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Since the day the cook-a-thon started, Baci has been trending on all social media platforms, with her progress streamed live for millions of viewers on major social media platforms. That is in addition to the crowd that continues to gather at the Amore Gardens to give her support.
Support From Dignitaries
Nigeria’s President-elect, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, showed his support for the young Akwa-Ibom indigene in an Instagram live video on Sunday with a caption, “IDAN doesn’t break, she breaks records. We’re rooting for you, Hilda.”
The screenshot of the Instagram Live where the chef was seen cooking was shared on Tinubu’s Instagram story.
Present on Sunday at the venue of the cook-a-thon was the governor of Lagos State, Babjide Sanwo-Olu.
Sanwo-Olu said Lagosians are proud of Baci for embarking on the journey in the state and promised to follow the update until the final declaration.
“Her dedication, passion for cooking as well as her desire to put our rich culture on the map by not only exhibiting our food but also the resilience, determination, energy and team spirit that has come to be known as the spirit of Lagos and indeed Nigeria is truly remarkable,” Sanwo-Olu added.
I showed up to support Chef Hilda Baci, in her quest to break the Guinness World Record @GWR for the longest time spent cooking by an individual.
Her dedication, passion for cooking as well as her desire to put our rich culture on the map by not only exhibiting our food but… pic.twitter.com/R5qBP4U7wN
— Babajide Sanwo-Olu (@jidesanwoolu) May 14, 2023
Former Vice President Atiku Abubakar also hailed Baci for “standing at the crossroads of history, ready to carve your name in the annals of world records”.
Atiku added, “This is no easy feat, but we believe wholeheartedly in your grit and your passion. You are inspiring millions by showcasing the strength of the human spirit. May your energy remain unbroken, for you are on the brink of making history. We believe in you. Nigeria believes in you.”
We see you, Chef Hilda, standing at the crossroads of history, ready to carve your name in the annals of world records. This is no easy feat, but we believe wholeheartedly in your grit and your passion. You are inspiring millions by showcasing the strength of the human spirit.… pic.twitter.com/ZHG5DqNA6P
— Atiku Abubakar (@atiku) May 14, 2023
Also applauding Baci’s attempt to beat the current Guinness World Record, the Presidential candidate of the Labour Party, Peter Obi, said her effort shows the true Nigerian spirit of hard work and resilience.
“I applaud her determination and focus on the goal, which is inspiring many Nigerian youths to live their dreams through hard work and dedication. I wish her well on this noble journey to pen her name in the golden book of history,” Obi said.
The efforts being made by Hilda Effiong Bassey (Hilda Baci) to beat the current Guinness World Record for cooking for 4 days nonstop shows the true Nigerian spirit of hardwork and resilience. pic.twitter.com/s8UmOc12G4
— Peter Obi (@PeterObi) May 14, 2023
Former Minister of Education, Oby Ezekwesili also joined the support for Baci, describing her as “evidently a woman diligent in her work”.
Joining all excited Nigerians to root for Hilda Baci @hildabacicooks who is evidently a woman diligent in her work…. and she shall surely stand before kings and not mean men. Go Hilda!👍🏾 pic.twitter.com/YmItdBiUjK
— Oby Ezekwesili (@obyezeks) May 14, 2023
Others who have visited the Amore Gardens to give Hilda support are the lead pastor of Harvesters International Christian Centre Lagos, Pastor Bolaji Idowu, and Actor Charles Okocha among others.