A Nigerian chef set a new world record for the most hours of non-stop cooking for 100 hours, surpassing the current record on Monday.
Hilda Baci had been cooking since Thursday of last week when she set out to break the Guinness World Record of 87 hours and 45 minutes set in 2019 by Lata Tondon, an Indian chef.
At around 7:45pm GMT on Monday, Baci cooked for the 100th hour in the Lekki area of Lagos, Nigeria’s commercial hub, becoming a sensation in the West African nation. Thousands of people who gathered at the venue cheered and sang praises when she stopped cooking a few minutes later.
The Guinness World Records tweeted that it was aware of the chef’s attempt to break the cooking record. “We need to review all evidence first before officially confirming a registration,” the organization said.
In attempting to break the record, the Nigerian chef said Thursday she wanted to show how hard-working and determined young Nigerians are and campaign for young African women who are marginalized in society.
“Even when it comes to the brands you want to work with, it’s like you have to go the extra mile to be taken seriously,” Baci said, adding that he also hoped the world would learn more about Nigerian cuisines.
At 3pm GMT on Thursday, he began cooking dozens of Nigerian delicacies under supervision, from soups to stews to various proteins. Jollof rice, one of West Africa’s most iconic dishes, is also on the menu.
She took five-minute breaks every hour, and took an hour after a 12-hour stretch of cooking for everything else, from showering to medical checkups to resting.
While thousands of locals and celebrities cheered her on at the venue throughout the day and night, many more monitored her online via various streaming platforms.
After breaking the current record, President Muhammadu Buhari tweeted that Monday was a great day for Nigeria. “Hilda’s drive, ambition and resilience have sparked great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food,” Buhari said.
As Baci neared the 100-hour mark, Kingsley Ofoma, a local who watched her work, said he never doubted her ability to break the world record. “The energy here is very high and positive; everyone is having fun,” she said. «So eating her free food isn’t even the best.»