Sunday, 28th May 2023

Hilda Baci: There is no permanent record; records exist to be roken!

By Gbenga Adebambo
20 May 2023   |   3:01 am
Philip Elmer-DeWitt once said: “SOME people make headlines while others make history”, but for Hilda Baci, she made both at the same time. Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey Effiong, popularly known as Hilda Baci, has broken the Guinness World Record for longest cooking hours.

Hilda Baci PHOTO: Twitter/Hilda Baci

Philip Elmer-DeWitt once said: “SOME people make headlines while others make history”, but for Hilda Baci, she made both at the same time.
Nigerian chef, Hilda Bassey Effiong, popularly known as Hilda Baci, has broken the Guinness World Record for longest cooking hours.

It was 4:00p.m. on Thursday, May 11, 2023 in the high-brow Lekki peninsula of Lagos city when Hilda turned on the fire on her gas cooker.

In a feat that is unprecedented, she went on to cook for 100 hours to set a new world record in a cooking marathon. With a singular passion to show the world that there is no permanent record, she surmounted all human limitations to show the world that all records exist to be broken!

Hilda broke the record, which was previously held by Indian chef, Lata Tondon. Lata set the record in September 2019 after completing her cooking marathon for 87 hours, 45 minutes and 00 seconds in the Indian city of Rewa. She held the record till May 2023. On Monday, May 15, 2023 at the Amore Gardens in Lekki, chef Hilda Baci had cooked over 100 mostly local dishes in her attempt to create a new world cooking record.
At around 19:45 GMT on Monday, Baci cooked for the 100th hour to become a global sensation around the world. Thousands who gathered at the scene jubilated and sang her praises as she stopped cooking a few minutes after.

Baci is not new to cooking competitions, she was a participant in the maiden edition of the Jollof Face-off Competition in 2021. The talented chef made Nigeria proud by winning the competition and walking away with a grand prize of $5000.

In a time where youths are going viral for the wrong reasons, we still have some who are braving the odds for the right reasons. In life, there is no permanent record, records exist to be broken! In other to achieve great success, we must develop an infinite capacity to always ignore what others think cannot be done. The most famous artist of the Italian Renaissance, Michelangelo, once said: “The greatest tragedy of life is not that we set high aim and miss it, but that we set low aim and reach it.”

In an era where mediocrity has become a trademark among youths, one young chap decided to put her human limitations to the test. She has succeeded in showing us life’s grandest truth: we don’t know what we are capable of until we try.

The truth about life is that you don’t know what you are capable of until you try. Once upon a time, a king had a beautiful daughter, and he wanted his daughter to marry an extraordinary man in an extraordinary way. He decided that his daughter must marry an exceptional man; a man that is bold and fearless, so an announcement went around town that as many bachelors who wanted to marry the king’s daughter must gather at the king’s palace at an appointed date for a special competition.

Hundreds of young men gathered, for the princess was really a beauty to behold. The king came up to address the contestants. Then he said: “You are going to compete and whoever wins will marry my daughter.” Then he said the competition is very simple, “Just swim across this river.” Actually, there was no problem in swimming, most of the young men could swim, but the problem was that there is a minimum of hundred crocodiles in that river. None of them were willing to take the risk.

When the young men saw the river that was ‘infested’ with crocodiles, they lost courage and one by one, they turned their backs. All of a sudden, to the amazement of all, somebody was inside the water already and the crocodiles located the young man and went after him. As he was about to get to the other end, the crocodiles grabbed his trouser, but he was able to escape unscathed with torn underwear.

People gathered around and congratulated him as the king-in-waiting since the princess is the only child. “You have just married the king’s daughter,” echoed the spectators in unison, with a mixture of pain, horror, amazement and excitement written all over his face.

The man was panting breathlessly while the king signalled for silence so that they can hear the victory speech of the man that has suddenly become his son-in-law. His speech became one of the shortest victory speech of all time. He said “Tell me who pushed me into that river!”

There was a hidden ability in the young man, but adversity brought it out. Every man has the capacity for greatness and most times it is discovered after taking daunting risks. The greatest skills, strength and achievements are achieved through risk-taking. This story validates the truth that we don’t know what we are capable of and how far we are destined to go in life until we have tried. It is only in adventure that some people succeed in knowing themselves — in finding themselves.

One of the former world leaders and the 30th president of the United States of America, Calvin Coolidge, emphasised the supremacy of grit and tenacity when he said: “Nothing in this world can take the place of persistence. Talent will not; nothing is more common than unsuccessful men with talent. Genius will not; rewarded genius is almost a proverb. Education will not; the world is full of educated derelicts.

Persistence and determination alone are omnipotent.” I want to encourage the youths out there to go viral for the right reasons. With your gifts, talents, unique abilities and tenacity, you can make a mark like Hilda Baci. Stay true to your dreams and your passion and the world will open doors for you where hitherto there were walls.

Guinness World Records was not present but tweeted they were aware of the chef’s ‘amazing’ attempt to break the cooking record. “We need to review all the evidence first before officially confirming a record,” the global brand said. As we all keep our fingers crossed for the official announcement by the global umpire, we believe strongly that Hilda’s bold and audacious move will give every African youth the impetus needed to pursue their dreams and passion.

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