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Hilda Baci: A Story of Determination and Preparedness

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Hilda Baci: A Story of Determination and Preparedness

On Thursday, May 11th, Hilda Baci embarked on a quest that would entirely change her life and inspire many people. 

Knowing the magnitude of her ambition, Hilda dedicated her life in preparation to become a record holder for the longest cooking time by an individual. A record that only an Indian chef, Lata Tondon held at that time.  

At 21, the now 26-year-old lady began to nurture the dream of becoming the record holder for the longest cooking hour but required many things to bring her dream to fruition. 

Asides from financial, mental, emotional, and human capital preparedness, Hilda required physical preparation to gain momentum to carry her through the long-standing hours, as part of the guidelines for breaking that record.

She dedicated her time, energy, and resources to a physical workout, by hiring a personal trainer to walk her through the journey of gaining the weight fit for the goal ahead. 

Five years later, Hilda lit her burners on the 11th and burnt nonstop until May 15th after cooking for a new record time of 100 hours and 10 minutes with over 100 recipes prepared. 

Almost a month later, Guinness World Record announced its decision about her cookathon and declared her the person with the longest cooking hours in the world. Her dream happened. Find their decision below in parts.

Guinness Report 

Following a thorough review of all the evidence, Guinness World Records can now confirm that Hilda Effiong Bassey, better known as Hilda Baci, has officially broken the record for the longest cooking marathon (individual), with a time of 93 hours 11 minutes.

The 26-year-old Nigerian chef began on Thursday 11 May and continued through to Monday 15 May, cooking over 100 pots of food during her four-day kitchen stint.

Hilda attempted to set a record of 100 hours, however, almost seven hours were deducted from her final total because she mistakenly took extra minutes for one of her rest breaks early on in the attempt.

As with all ‘longest marathon’ records, the participant is permitted a five-minute rest break for every continuous hour of activity. These rest breaks can be accumulated if not taken. They were the only times Hilda could use the bathroom or sleep during the attempt.

The previous record of 87 hours 45 minutes was set by Lata Tondon (India) in 2019.

Hilda attempted this record to “put Nigerian cuisine on the map” and “to inspire young African women to chase their dreams.”

Hilda prepared for the event by creating a 35-item menu “as a guide” for every meal that she would cook.

She ensured that she had the necessary ingredients to make each recipe, with her team procuring further food items while the cook-a-thon was underway “based on what was needed to be topped up.”

Hilda’s record attempt took the world of social media by storm, with millions in Nigeria and beyond following her progress via an Instagram live stream.

Hilda’s cook-a-thon was in fact so popular that our website crashed for two days due to the immense volume of traffic we received from her legion of loyal fans.

During the cookathon, there must be at least two items being prepared or cooked at any time.

A sous-chef is permitted to assist in prep work, washing up, and cleaning the kitchen area, but all the cooking must be done by the individual attempting the record

One of the most important rules of our food-related record attempts is that all items must be consumed after cooking. To this end, Hilda invited all Nigerian public members to come and eat her freshly made meals. All leftover food was donated to the Festus Fajemilo Foundation.

“My team’s and my goal for this event was to make it free to all and to feed the less privileged,” Hilda said.

According to Hilda, each pot of food she cooked was big enough to serve 30-35 people, and “appropriate stock control was conducted” to avoid any wastage of food.

After graduating from Madonna University, Nigeria, with a degree in sociology, Hilda decided to embark on her culinary career. She was inspired by her mother, Lynda Ndukwe, who is also a chef.

Hilda went from success to success, hosting the television show Dine on a Budget in 2020, before winning the Jollof Face-off competition in 2021. Representing her native Nigeria, Hilda beat Ghana’s Leslie Kumordzie to claim the victory. 

Now, in 2023, she is officially a Guinness World Records title holder. Congratulations, Hilda! End of report 

Not only did Hilda’s attempt crash the GWR website,  but the announcement of her victory became the best-performing tweet the GWR has ever had in its history. 

There is nothing a determined mind cannot do. Hilda has inspired a lot of young people in Nigeria leading to some of them trying to break different records. 

Author: Kangmwa Gofwen

Lagos Bureau Chief, Nigeria

gofwenjoy@gmail.com

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