Attempts by a number of individuals to challenge and break world records were one of the most prominent themes that swept the nation in 2023, despite the multifaceted hardships that Nigerians experienced this year.
Philip Solomon, a 17-year-old student, set out to beat the Guinness World Record for the most skips on one foot in 30 seconds back in January, which is when it all began.
Although this achievement went unnoticed, in May, Nigerian chef Hilda Baci’s quest to break another Guinness World Record sparked a media frenzy.
The restaurateur set out to break the world record for the longest cooking period, which was set by her Indian counterpart, Lata Tondon, at 87 hours.
Even though Baci wasn’t the first Nigerian to attempt a Guinness World Record in 2023, her achievement garnered enormous international attention and caused the official GWR website to crash.
The Nigerians who attempted to break world records in 2023 are listed below.
1. Philip Solomon
Philip Solomon, an Oyemekun Grammar School student in Akure, Ondo State, accomplished 153 foot skips in 30 seconds in January 2023.
In May 2023, this accomplishment was officially recognized as a Guinness World Record. Solomon toppled Rasel Islam, a Bangladeshi native whose record stood at 145 skips, as the most skips on one foot with the confirmation released by GWR.
2. Chinonso Eche
The football prodigy, often called “Amazing Kid Eche,” has been shattering records ever since he set his first in 2019. When Eche balanced a football on his head with 111 touches four years ago, he set a new GWR for the most consecutive football touches in a minute. Eche fulfilled his vow to himself after accomplishing the achievement that it wouldn’t be his last.
Since then, the Warri native has broken four records. These include the fastest time to 1,000 football touches while balancing a ball on the head (7 minutes, 46 seconds); the most football headers (233) in a minute while in a prone posture; and the most football touches (197) in a minute while in a seated position while balancing a ball on the head.
The 14-year-old Eche broke his own 2019 record in February 2023 for the most consecutive football touches in a minute while holding a football in his head. Eche did this in Milan, Italy, on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, with 133 touches.
3. Hilda Baci
On May 11, 2023, at precisely 4 p.m., Lagos-based restaurateur Hilda Baci ignited the internet with her cooking gas switch. Within hours, Nigerian online users started to closely monitor her progress as she made her way toward the 96-hour target.
Watching history being made, a number of well-wishers, politicians, influencers, and celebrities flocked to the Amore Gardens Lekki, Lagos venue. When Baci eventually let off the gas on May 15, she had achieved her first target and then exceeded it by an additional four hours.
With a time of 93 hours and 11 minutes, Baci was proclaimed the World Record Holder for the longest cooking marathon by Guinness in June 2023. Since then, Irish chef Alan Fisher has beaten Baci’s record, having cooked for 119 hours and 57 minutes between September 28 and October 3, 2023.
4. Chef Dammy
In less than a month following Hilda Baci’s endeavor, Damilola Adeparusi, residing in Ekiti, initiated a 120-hour culinary marathon. The 22-year-old, also known as Chef Dammy, immediately attracted the interest of online users. She tried to beat Baci’s as-yet-unconfirmed record, and while some disapproved of it, others urged her on.
Because her attempt was not formally filed, the Guinness World Record was never able to verify it.
5. Oluwatobi Kufeji
In 2023, Oluwatobi Kufeji, a musician from Nigeria, attempted to break a GWR as well. Known as the Praiseworship-a-Thon, Kufeji attempted to beat the previous record, which was held by Indian singer Sunil Waghmare in 2012, which was 105 hours long for the longest singing marathon.
Following GWR’s consent, Kufeji started the marathon on July 5 and ran it through July 13. Regretfully, GWR did not approve of Kufeji’s effort. The performer alleged that the leader of his media team had ruined his efforts by losing some of the event-produced video clips.
“The head of the media team sabotaged the success, (of the marathon) by not being able to account for over 120 missing edited video clips of the concert yet to be submitted, out of over 600 video clips (sic),” Kufeji stated in a statement posted on his Instagram page.
6. Tonye Solomon
When Tonye Solomon, a student at Chukwuebuka Freestyle Academy, attempted to break the world record for the most steps ascended on a staircase while balancing a football on his head in September, the GWR-breaking attempts persisted.
The football player, who was born in Bayelsa, accomplished this accomplishment by climbing 150 stairs on a 250-foot radio pole located at the Nigerian Security and Civil Defence Corps, Bayelsa State Command complex. It only took him twelve minutes and thirty seconds to accomplish his goal. On September 13, 2023, the GWR certified his feat.
7. Lola Mewu
On October 28, 2023, at the Safe House, Adeola Hopewell Street, Eti-Osa, Lagos, Oyinlola Odumewu, well known as Lola Mewu, started an attempt to set a record for the longest painting session.
She was urged on by friends at the location on October 31 following a countdown to the 72-hour milestone. Even after reaching the goal, she kept painting to break her own unofficial record until November 1, 2023, when she reached 82 hours.
Mewu’s attempt is yet to be confirmed as at the time of filing this report. The Belgian artist Roland Palmaerts, who has held the record for the longest painting time by an individual for ten years, will be replaced if the Lagos-based artist is successful.
Palmaerts painted in Arches, France, from October 3 to October 5, 2013, and was subsequently certified as the holder of a Guinness World Record.
8. Helen Williams
Helen Williams, a professional wig manufacturer, was among the few Nigerians who sought to break the record in 2023. Williams’ certification as the world record holder for the longest handcrafted wig was revealed by the GWR in November.
The wigmaker took 11 days and more than N200,000 to complete the 351.28-meter-long item. The Lagos-Abeokuta Expressway was the only option available to the wigmaker when looking for a suitable location to showcase the length. To break the record, Williams also needed 6,250 hair clips, 12 cans of hairspray, 35 jars of hair adhesive, and 1,000 bundles of hair.
9. Subair Enitan
After attempting to hand-wash garments for 50 hours, Subair Enitan, an Obafemi Awolowo University student, demonstrated her laundry prowess.
The Wash-a-thon challenge for the 200-level Linguistics and African Languages student started on November 24 and ended on November 27.
As at the time this story was written, the GWR had not confirmed her record.
10. Mary Gold
Amuda Mariam, often known as Mary Gold, a Nigerian TV personality, made an attempt to shatter the record for the longest running chat show on television in December.
During the 100-hour marathon, Gold aimed to have conversations with 100 guests. Among the few celebrities who appeared on the broadcast were Nigerian comic Mr. Macaroni, actor Hussein Azeez Omotayo, and BBN star Adeoluwa Okusaga.
The challenge was initiated on December 16 and ended on December 20 by the presenter. It was held in Lagos at Tunde Odekunle Street, which is off Coker Street, Ogba.
In a marathon presented by Boris Tomai from September 24 to 27, 2023, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, NOVA24TV now holds the record.