This Nigerian chef cooked for 100 hours in pursuit of Guinness World Record — and more
Hilda Bassey, 27, says she did it as part of a campaign for young African women who are sidelined in society
A Nigerian chef spent 100 hours preparing meals non-stop, aiming to set a Guinness World Record for the longest ever cooking session by an individual.
Hilda Bassey, a chef in the mega city of Lagos, captivated the country with her marathon cooking, which started on Thursday and ended Monday night.
President Muhammadu Buhari and several politicians and celebrities congratulated Bassey, while cheering supporters camped outside an events centre to witness the 27-year-old chef preparing a mix of local and foreign dishes, from jollof rice to pasta and akara, which is made from bean flour.
The current longest cooking record is held by Indian chef Lata Tondon, who set a time of 87 hours and 45 minutes in 2019.
Chef aimed to showcase Nigerian cuisine
In attempting to beat the record, the Nigerian chef said Thursday she wanted to show how hardworking and determined Nigerian youths are and also as a campaign for young African women who are sidelined in society.
"Even when it comes to the brands you want to work with, it is like you have to go an extra mile to be taken seriously," said Bassey, who goes by the name Hilda Baci on social media.
She said she also hoped her efforts would help the world learn more about Nigerian cuisine.
Bassey had only five-minute breaks every hour or an accumulated one hour after a stretch of 12 hours for everything from bathing to medical checkups and resting.
'Drive, ambition, resilience'
After she surpassed the current cooking record, Buhari tweeted that Monday was a great day for Nigeria.
"Hilda's drive, ambition and resilience have brought great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food," he said.
I share the immense joy of all Nigerians as Hilda Bassey Effiong (Hilda Baci) makes history by breaking the world record for longest cooking marathon. A great day for Nigeria. We're all very proud of what she has personally accomplished—and placing Nigeria in the global spotlight <a href="https://t.co/X69PadrjxV">pic.twitter.com/X69PadrjxV</a>—@MBuhari
As Bassey neared the 100-hour mark, Kingsley Ofoma, who came to the events centre to watch Bassey cook, said he never doubted that she would surpass the global record.
"The energy here is very high and positive; everybody is having fun," he said. "So eating her food free of charge is not even the best of it."
Bassey's time will need to be certified by Guinness World Record officials before it can be made official.
With files from The Associated Press