Hilda Effiong Bassey, popularly known as Hilda Baci, portrays the image of a determined lady showing diverse strengths and making a statement.
A multi-talented actress, TV producer, host, and Foodprenuer, Hilda hails from Akwa Ibom, South Eastern Nigeria, revered for its rich culture, cuisines, dressing, and folklore.
Though a woman of many parts, interestingly, however, her love for cooking was all she needed to get going. Her cooking prowess is a skill that runs through the family. After spending hours with her mother, who also owns a restaurant, preparing various recipes, Hilda and her brother would later start a food business called ‘My Food.’ That was during her days as a student of Sociology at Madonna University, Okija. From being a Manager at Breaking King, a breakfast company, she learned further about the requirements of operating a restaurant.
Growing up for Hilda was delightful as she opened up opportunities to use her talent and efficiently express herself through various platforms that have gradually put her in the spotlight. Her story reveals that one can always get steps closer to achieving their dreams with utter purpose. At an early age, she was self-aware of her capabilities and the resolve to make an impact. More importantly, there was the instinct for her to embark on an entrepreneurial journey, although she was unsure where to start.
Armed with the vision to run a restaurant and food delivery, Hilda spends time on set as an actress or presenter. She starred in a couple of movies playing the supporting lead role in Dreamchaser, nominated for best film in the Multichoice factory for the Africa Magic Viewers’
Choice Awards (AMVCA). She also featured in prominent movies and soap operas, including Sideways, Flatmates, A Walk on the Water, and Mr. & Mrs. Robert. In 2020, sharing the stage with Tobi Bakare, former Big Brother Naija housemate, Hilda co-hosted Y’ello star, a music reality project by MTN to discover, nurture, expose, and launch music talents in young Nigerians.
Consistency is one of the factors that has kept Hilda going. Hilda nurtured her sojourn in cooking and built the insight to be a Foodpreneur by being a TV favorite on cook shows. From the ‘In my Kitchen’ segment on Rave TV’s flagship breakfast show, Morning Rave, to being the host of ‘Dine on A Budget’ on Pop Central TV, she showcased various recipes to the audience’s delight.
Her cooking talent was further showcased in 2021 when she emerged winner of the Jollof Faceoff Competition challenge in Ghana, going home with a $5,000 winning prize.
20 things to know about Hilda Baci and her Guinness World Record Marathon Cooking
1. Her real name is Hilda Bassey Effiong. She is a young Nigerian chef from Akwa Ibom State. She owes a food brand in Lagos called “My Food by Hilda”
2. She will be cooking for 4 days non-stop.
3. She must stand to cook, she is not permitted to sit while cooking.
4. She’s not allowed to take coffee, stimulants, or any energy drink to artificially boost her energy and bodily strength while cooking.
5. She’s allowed to eat food, drink water or fruit juice, and take glucose.
6. The cooking is taking place at Amore Gardens, Lekki, Lagos State, Nigeria.
7. She cooks round the clock, no sleep (Morning, afternoon, evening, and night. So, for 4 nights, she won’t sleep)
8. She has just 5 minutes rest per hour [meaning for every 1 hour, she is entitled to just 5 minutes rest or break, that’s an hour break in every 12 hours].
Other sources claim
She gets a 30-minute break every 6 hours, she spends the 30mins in a medical van which is just close by, within which she can nap, use the restroom, and also get a medical assessment or checkup by the medical team available on the spot.
9. Whatever she cooks is shared to the people at the venue for FREE. She is not selling the food.
10. She cooks different meals simultaneously. She is at liberty to cook any meal she likes. There are no restrictions as to what she can cook or not cook. The World Record title is about cooking within a time frame, not about what is cooked. As long as she is cooking, she is on track.
11. Every meal cooked and every plate served is recorded. She has cooked over 115 meals so far with almost 3,000 portions if not more by the time you are reading this.
12. She started the cooking on Thursday and is expected to complete the target time frame by Monday 15th May, 2023 evening.
13. The current holder of the title Hilda seeks to break is an Indian chef Lata Tandon, who set a Guinness World Record for cooking for 87 hours and 45 minutes non-stop in 2019.
14. To break the record, Hilda Baci is attempting to cook for 96 hours, using extra 9 hours to break the world record as the first human on earth to spend such an amount of time cooking a marathon.
15. She tagged the cooking project “Cook-a-thon”, a phrase literally coined from the word “marathon”
16. She appears exhausted already, but the people around her are cheering her on to boost her morale. And they are available with her as she cook 247, even at night.
17. Most of the food items, ingredients, utensils, etc she used for this project are provided by her sponsors. So, the money expended on this project is not 100% from Hilda or her Food brand.
18. Uber, one of her partners is offering a 40% discounted ride to the venue for people who wishes to join and cheer her up at the venue.
19. Hilda’s mum is also a chef. She owes a food brand called “Calabar Pot”
20. She is 27 years of age.