“Congratulations to me”, Hilda says after smashing glass ceiling, “We made history”
● Strolls into the Guinness World Record as longest cooking chef in history;
● Nigerians make some noise, celebrate global spotlight;
● Argue back and forth over Hilda’s political leaning
By PHC Telegraph
“Congratul-ations to me and my team for breaking the Guinness World Record for Longest Cooking Time”, Hilda Effiong Bassey, new world record holder in marathon cooking said Monday on Twitter.
“We made history”, she said in another tweet a few hours ago, “Thank you for all the love,Thank you.”
Hilda Baci as she is popularly known early in the week smashed the glass ceiling, shattering the Guinness World Record for the longest cooking marathon ever achieved by an individual.
To surpass the record held by India’s Lata Tondon, Hilda cooked for more than 87 hours, 45 minutes. Tondon had set the record in 2019.
Hilda’s gratitude to her team, when the opportunity came to express her innermost feelings and her public acknowledgement of the support of the Nigerian people, was perhaps an open admission that team work rather than mere individual effort had taken her through the doorway of history into the record books.
Across the political aisle; across ethnic and religious lines; Nigerians rose in unison in celebra-tion of a rare moment of national pride.
“We have always blazed the trail in terms of support for the arts and entertainment industry, health care, and culture”, Dana Air said in a statement issued on Twitter, “and our corporate social responsibility has been all-encompassing.”
“We will be supporting Hilda’s local travels for one year and We are inspired by her strength and determination for greatness.
“We understand her mum is also a chef and she must have gotten this inspiration from her and in the light of this, we shall be supporting her mum with three (3) months of local flights for free.
“We thank Hilda’s mum for giving us an amazing daughter and for being a huge support system to Hilda’, Dana’s Chief Operations Officer said.
Apparently reflecting the mood of the nation, a nation in search of role models and public inspiration, President Muhammadu Buhari remarked: “I share the immense joy of all Nigerians as Hilda Bassey Effiong (Hilda Baci) makes history by breaking the world record for longest cooking marathon.”
The President described the moment as “A great day for Nigeria’, saying, “We’re all very proud of what she has personally accomplished”, particularly by “placing Nigeria in the global spotlight.”
“Hilda’s drive, ambition and resilience have brought great interest and insight into the uniqueness of Nigerian food.
“She is now a cultural icon, and I believe that this feat will inspire many more young people, in Nigeria and beyond, to follow in her footsteps”, Buhari added.
Also speaking, Bola Ahmed Tinubu, President-elect said, “I congratulate Hilda Effiong Bassey on her record-breaking achievement.
“It was a remarkable display of the Nigerian can-do attitude and the spirit of excellence that lies within. We are all deeply proud of her.”
Governor Udom Emmanuel did not have any doubt about Hilda’s ability to conquer the world when he said the government and people of Akwa Ibom State would be hosting her after the event.
“I spoke with Hilda Baci this evening and commended her for representing the best attributes of the Akwa Ibom woman, for her passion and determination to break the Guinness World record for the longest cooking marathon by an individual.
“This is what our Dakkada philosophy is all about; the determination to dare and conquer what others thought to be impossible. I salute her for putting our culinary skills on full display and of course, our nationally and internationally celebrated cuisines.
“She is an inspiration to millions of Nigerians, and especially our dear Akwaibomites. We are all solidly behind her as She embarks on this inspirational moment. We look forward to hosting her soon.”
Peter Obi in his own contribution noted, “The efforts being made by Hilda Effiong Bassey (Hilda Baci) to beat the current Guinness World Record for cooking for 4 days nonstop shows the true Nigerian spirit of hardwork and resilience.
“I applaud her determination and focus on the goal, which is inspiring many Nigerian youths to live their dreams through hardwork and dedication.
“I wish her well on this noble journey to pen her name in the golden book of history.’
Many Nigerians in Lagos defied the rains which came down relentlessly to cheer Hilda who began cooking on Thursday all the way to the finish line.
Her triumph, hailed by all and sundry has set the stage for a debate as well.
While some envious of her feat are making ridiculous and contemptuous remarks, many Nigerians pleased by her effort are happy Nigerian cuisines which are becoming popular in Europe and the Americas are more likely to gain more African and international acceptability.
Some are even talking about her political leaning, with a video showing she is a keen follower of Obi.
There are imputations that she terribly derided Tinubu, the eventual winner of the 2023 presidential election, in pursuit of her political preference.
Bashir Ahmad, aide to the President, dismissed growing insinuations, saying that although Hilda is entitled to her political beliefs, what matters most is the fact that she has brought honour and glory home.
Replying Obidients who had tried to put a spin on Hilda’s exposure and performance, Bashir said if Peter Obi had singularly done anything that will enhance the image of the country and bring honour, the Federal Government would waste no time in rolling out the red carpet.
Insisting BATists (followers of Bola Ahmed Tinubu) are not like Obidients, Bashir congratulated Hilda for making Nigerians proud.
An appreciative Akwa Ibom State Government lived up to its promise to stand with Hilda Baci. In its reaction, the Government donated a parcel of land to the record breaker for making the State and its people proud.
As Nigerians fell over one another in order to accord honour to the glass ceiling shattering record breaker, Publisher of the Port Harcourt Telegraph and one-time member of the House of Representatives, Chief Ogbonna Nwuke reminded Akwaibomites that the winner of the cookathon is no longer exclusive Akwa Ibom property.
Reacting to Governor Udom Emmanuel’s statement, Nwuke wrote on Twitter, “Hilda is not just a source of pride to Akwa Ibom State. She is a symbol of the resilience and the hunt for excellence that the Nigerian woman depicts.”
In the meantime, chef Hilda who savours her celebrity status took time off to warn Nigerians against falling prey to fake twitter handles.
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