Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci, a 27-year-old Nigerian chef from Akwa Ibom State, who just established a new Guinness World Record for “marathon cooking,” has stated that one of the reasons she undertook the assignment was to improve the unfavourable perceptions that people have about Nigeria.
Hilda who disclosed this in an interview with BBC, explained that Nigerians especially the youth are painted as scammers and bad people, hence the need to change the narrative.
According to her, she believed positive outcomes from the country will help transform people’s perceptions and images of it.
“I have been thinking of this five years ago have always wanted people to know that i am a cook.
“I started cooking at a small age and wasn’t planning on using it as a business. Before i did acting and presenting sometimes I cook in the presentation.
“Nigeria food are nice and it would be good if various people from across the country learn to cook and eat out food.
“So I decided to go into it full time and we know that there are alot of bad stories about Nigerians especially our youth they believe we are scammers and bad people but i feel if there are more good information on Nigeria it will help change the narrative and our image.
While expressing her relief, Hilda said that even though she put herself under strain, she thought the only way to get over it was by actually accomplishing it.
“I feel a lot of relief because i was under pressure before now, i wouldn’t say societal pressure. But there was a lot of internal pressure that I had mounted on myself. No matter the amount of prep talks that my brother, my mom, or my friends gave me, I couldn’t snap out of it.
“I knew that the only way I would be able to get past that was actually achieving it. It’s either I achieve it and I feel good about it, or I don’t and then I feel depressed about it. So obviously I chose the route of achieving it.
She also highlighted her resolve for Nigerian cooking techniques to become well-known throughout the world.
Ogunwatch gathered that Baci cooked for 100 hours between May 11th and 15th, 2023, to beat the record of 87 hours, 45 minutes and 00 seconds previously set by Indian Chef, Lata London, in Rewa, India in 2019.