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The Pursuit of a Guinness World Record: Triumphs and Pitfalls

Embarking on a quest for a Guinness World Record is no small feat.
May 19, 2024
1:02 am
Chef Hilda Baci
Chef Hilda Baci

The Guinness World Records (GWR) is a reference book that lists world records of human achievements and the extremes of the natural world. It’s published annually and covers a wide range of categories, from the tallest buildings to the fastest marathon runners.


Breaking this record is a highly coveted achievement, and a few notable Nigerians have been able to achieve this, making their marks on the world stage.


Kafayat Shafau Ameh
Kafayat Shafau Ameh a.k.a Kaffy

Breaking a GWR is a highly coveted achievement, exemplified by notable Nigerians who’ve etched their names in history. In 2006, Kafayat Shafau-Ameh, famously known as ‘Kaffy,’ danced her way into the record books with a marathon dance session lasting 52 hours and 3 minutes. Similarly, in 2017, Oluwafemi “Femi” Kuti held a saxophone note for an astounding 51 minutes and 35 seconds.


Recently, Nigeria’s Chef Hilda Baci gained acclaim by cooking continuously for an impressive 93 hours and 11 minutes, and Nigerian chess expert and founder of “Chess in Slums Africa,” Tunde Onakoya, embarked on and clinched a record for a 58 hours of non-stop chess marathon!


Tunde Onakoya
Tunde Onakoya

However, despite the allure of GWR glory, several individuals have faced disqualification for rule violations. Understanding these common pitfalls is paramount, and you know, you just might need it someday!


Inadequate documentation

Guinness World Records mandates comprehensive evidence to authenticate a record attempt. This encompasses witness testimonies, video recordings, and additional documentation. Inadequate evidence provision may lead to disqualification.


Unsuitable Environment

The attempt must occur in a conducive environment that meets the necessary hygiene and safety standards. For instance, a cooking record must take place in a certified kitchen with appropriate equipment and sanitation measures.


Lack of Proper Witnesses

Guinness World Records mandates the presence of impartial witnesses to validate the authenticity of the attempt. If there is a lack of witnesses or if they are deemed partial, the attempt may face disqualification.


Tunde Onakoya - 58 Hours of non-stop chess - Guiness world records
Tunde Onakoya – 58 Hours of non-stop chess – Guiness world records

Timing and measurement discrepancies

Discrepancies in this area have led many candidates to lose their chances at this prestigious award. GWR prioritizes precise timing, which is evident in cases like Nigerian Chef Dammy’s disqualification in 2023.


Employment of illegal or unauthorized methods

Guinness World Record attempts must adhere to ethical standards, prohibiting cheating, result manipulation, or the use of banned methods. This encompasses the prohibition of performance-enhancing drugs or mechanical aids in athletic records. Any such infractions will result in disqualification.


Avoiding these pitfalls is essential for a successful GWR attempt, and TNR salutes Tunde Onakoya!





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