“Idan doesn't break. She breaks records.” This was one of the thousands of supportive messages tweeted to Hilda Baci, the young Nigerian sensation who just broke the Guinness world record for the longest cooking marathon in the world. Idan is a Nigerian term that describes someone with exceptional abilities. And if cooking nonstop for four days is no ordinary feat, then Baci, by all standards, is an Idan.
With her 100-hour cook-a-thon feat, the 27-year-old chef broke the record set by Lata London, the Indian woman who clinched the record in 2019 with an impressive 87 hours, 45 minutes cooking time. Perhaps, more intriguing was Hilda’s ability to pull this off under backbreaking conditions: no coffee, stimulant, or energy drink to boost energy; no sleep for four nights; and no cooking in a sitting position. To cap it, Hilda has revealed that the cook-a-thon coincided with her monthly period, which meant she had to endure cramps while attempting to break a world record. With her 100 hours of non-stop cooking, Hilda literally did what no human has ever done, effectively etching her name in the global wall of fame, forever.
Hilda’s astounding achievement not only highlights her personal triumph but also carries profound implications for women worldwide. Her record-breaking feat serves as a powerful inspiration for women, challenging gender stereotypes and empowering women to reach for the stars. This is essentially the gospel we preach at Herconomy.
What Does Hilda’s Win Mean for Women?
More women are opening up to the mark that Hilda’s feat has left in their hearts. For many, the star chef represents what they could be if they set their heart to their dreams and pursue them with vigour. “Ï was praying for her all through. It meant so much to me that she broke the record. I was literally seeing myself in her,” Lauretta Okeke, a staff at Herconomy who spent days at the cook-a-thon shared.
Nigerian pop icon, Tiwa Savage, was also present at the cook-a-thon to support and celebrate Hilda. According to sources present, Tiwa was heard sharing her admiration and support for Hilda—a testament to the people-moving nature of Hilda’s story.
But beyond the emotive stories and paparazzi, the real question is how can we have more Hildas? How can more women take control of their lives and be the best version of themselves? The answer to this lies somewhere between finding (and creating) opportunities and building a rich community that helps to execute. Hilda did not just stumble on a Guinness world record. She went for it and pulled weight around her to make the dream work. That's the Hilda spirit. It goes for gold and gathers the right people around a vision. When you move like that, gunning for opportunities with clarity, conviction, and community, there’s only one way to end: as a successful Idan.
Speaking about Hilda’s success and what it means for women, Herconomy’s CEO, Ife Durosinmi-Etti, said: “Hilda's record-breaking accomplishment symbolizes a pivotal moment in the ongoing struggle for gender equality. As she shattered barriers and surpassed expectations, Hilda has become a beacon of hope for countless women who have faced societal limitations and prejudices. Her success redefines what is possible, encouraging women to dream big and pursue their passions. It also discredits the stereotype that curvy women are often empty-headed and reliant on their looks.”
‘Hilda is inspiring not just women, but also young girls. My 7-year-old daughter, Wami, asked if the government would honour Hilda by placing her face on the Naira note. Wami also added that she would work harder now, just because of Hilda’s example. The interesting thing is I had no prior conversation with Wami. She heard about the cook-a-thon from her friends in school,“ Ife added.
Nigerians will always remember Hilda Baci as the young chef that cooked the country into yet another international spotlight. Hilda’s extraordinary accomplishment will form part of the collective narrative of female achievement, creating a legacy that resonates with aspiring young women. It paves the way for a future where women are encouraged to chase their dreams fearlessly, knowing that the possibilities are limitless.
At Herconomy, we organise numerous capacity-building and wealth-creation programs to empower communities of women. We also have a savings solution; an app we designed to help women grow their wealth. With us, you get 10% interest on your savings and kiss transaction charges goodbye. You can also save with communities of women in a way that enforces your relationships and commitment to financial freedom. Herconomy’s got the solutions you need. We were born with you in mind.
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