Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci is a chef and an actress, who came into limelight, after she was conferred with the Guinness World Record title last month, following her 93 hours and 11 minutes cookathon, which took place from May 11 to May 14 2023, at Amore Gardens in Lekki, Lagos State.
She was born on the 20th day of September 1996 and hails from Nsit Ubium local government area in Akwa Ibom State, and her journey to fame started when she announced she would be attempting the longest cooking marathon, a record which was previously held by Lata Tondon, whose cooking marathon lasted for 87 hours and 45 minutes in 2019.
Nigerians are happy people, and this was seen in the support she garnered from celebrities, friends and her fans during the cookathon, as a mammoth crowd was seen dancing, while tasting Hilda’s over 100 pots of dishes made during the four day period, as the social media space was filled with live updates.
Hilda’s pastor, Pastor Bolaji Idowu of Harvesters Church, came around to show his support, while famous influencer and friend to Hilda Baci, Enioluwa Adeoluwa was “ever-present”, to show his support, as he used his platform to create awareness for the event, eating her meals, hosting, and entertaining the crowd.
Other notable people who showed up to support her are, Lagos State Governor, Jide Sanwo-Olu, who was physically present, then we saw support from Tiwa Savage, Spyro, Sydney Talker, Nse Ikpe Etim, Prof. Osinbajo, Nancy Isime, Segun Arinze, Timini, Akpororo, Spyro, Alex Unusual, Wizkid, Medlinboss, Burna Boy amongst others.
Several attempts have been made by some persons to break her record, while others have indicated an interest in making or breaking other records.
Damilola Adeparusi (Chef Dammy), who failed to understand the Guinness World Record criteria, was the first to make an attempt, as she claimed that she cooked for 120 hours, but this could not be verified, as there were times she switched off live video during the contest.
Although she had her fans who praised her to the heavens for attempting to break Hilda’s record, others rubbished her efforts, labelling her attempt a waste of time. Some gave it a tribal spin, saying Hilda did it for the Igbos, while Dammy did it for the Yorubas. Others argued that Chef Dammy should have allowed some time for Hilda to bask in her glory, or at least wait for Guinness World Records to award her the title before making an attempt.
Dammy’s presentation was horribly poor in comparison with Hilda’s, as it appeared she cooked in a makeshift kitchen that was part of her church auditorium. Her meals looked unappetizing, and everything appeared to have been poorly planned. And netizens were bewildered at her church’s active involvement in the attempt.
Chef Deo, a graduate of Esae University in Cotonou, Benin Republic, began hers on June 30 2023, in Ile-Oluji, the headquarters of Ile-Oluji/Oke-Igbo Local Government Area of Ondo state, where she completed a 150-hour cookathon, but she is yet to be certified by Guinness World Record.
Software developer, Sultan Akintunde announced he will take a shot at the “longest software coding time without a break” in December 2023. Guinness World Records have been duly notified.
Comedian and actor Bayegun Oluwatoyin, popularly called Woli Arole, also revealed his proposed world record pray-a-thon attempt. Nigerian masseuse, Joyce Ijeoma, collapsed while attempting to break a 72-hour massage-a-thon in the Ikate, Lekki area of Lagos State.
Today, Baci runs ‘My Food by Hilda”, an excellent restaurant and food delivery service in the heart of Lekki, and she runs a cooking segment on Rave TV’s breakfast show, Morning Rave, as well as Dine on a Budget, a show on Pop Central TV.