Why is the Guinness World Records dismissive to Nigerian feats?

Posted on May 09 2017 , at 04:03 pm
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  • Whenever a Nigerian accomplishes a feat it seems like it goes largely ignored.

Femi Kuti set the new record on Sunday, May 7, or so we thought

If you’ve paid any attention to Guinness World Records show on television, you’ll notice that there are several categories, some of them so obscure and seemingly ridiculous.

There’s a record for the most number of selfies taken in three minutes and then there’s the record for the longest cockcrow.


But whenever a Nigerian accomplishes a feat it seems like it goes largely ignored by the Guinness World Records organization.

First, it was DJ Obi who went on a 240-hour marathon to break the record for the longest disc jockeying set. Along with Obi’s well oiled PR machine, the move was well covered and got wide media attention.

READ: Nigeria’s DJ Obi sets new record at 229 hours of non-stop DJing

When he completed the set after 10 long days, he got featured on both BBC and The Guardian (UK). All that was left was ratification by Guinness World Records. It never came.

As of now, the record listed on its website is for 200 hours set by Ireland’s Norman Selmaj in 2014.

Then this past Sunday, Afrobeat legend, Femi Kuti broke Kenny G‘s 1997 record of holding a single saxophone note for 45 minutes 37 seconds. Femi clocked in at 46 minutes 38 seconds.

Of course, that’s amazing; certainly deserving of a recognition. However as the day went by, it became clear that even though Femi Kuti broke Kenny G’s record, there’s still a Guinness World Record holder: Vann Burchfield who did 47.5 minutes.

Confusingly though, when this Twitter user asked if Guinness World Records took note of Femi’s attempt so that it doesn’t become another DJ Obi case, the reply was an ambiguous ‘We have canceled that category’.

What that simply means is that even when Femi breaks the pre-existing record, it still will not be recognized by the body because they no longer monitor that category. Wawwu!

Femi Kuti himself said he was unaware of Burchfield’s record as he was only informed of Kenny G, but will attempt to break it at a later date.

He’s also been congratulated by Vann Burchfield by the way…

While Femi Kuti’s case was clearly no over-hype – try blowing a primary school flute continuously for five minutes and see how that works out – it is surprising at the Guinness World Record’s attitude to Nigerian attempts.

ALSO: How I broke world record by playing the saxophone for 46 minutes – Femi Kuti

Kaffy‘s triumph in 2006 lasted only a few months before it was broken. It seemed like the body couldn’t wait to replace her with the new holder.

For an organization that is happy to recognize the fastest time to report a weather forecast, it is incredulous that Femi’s feat will not be recognized, no matter what happens.

As for DJ Obi whose triumph is almost a year old, Guinness World Records says he has to provide ‘additional evidence’.

You still think there’s no hating involved? ‘Nuff said.

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