Chef Maliha was celebrated for her record attempt in November. Photo:  Chef Maliha/Instagram

By Charles Mgbolu

Kenyans in their legions on social media had braced for many weeks of celebrations after popular Kenyan chef Maliha Mohammed finished her cooking marathon at 150 hours in November.

All that remained was the confirmation from Guinness World Records (GWR) that Malihe had indeed set a new record.

But it was not to be, as Maliha broke the heartbreaking news on Instagram that she had been disqualified by the records body.

''It is with much sadness that I inform my family, friends, fans, sponsors , followers, and everyone who showed love and support towards my journey in the November cooking marathon... I was disqualified for one error made during my rest break,'' she wrote on Instagram on Saturday.

This was chef Maliha’s second attempt at breaking the Guinness World Record for longest cooking marathon by an individual.

Strick record-breaking rules

GWR said in a statement that chef Maliha had taken more rests than allowed.

''Unfortunately, it is not permitted to make up rest break as it must only be accumulated. In the interest of fairness across all applicants, we can only approve a record when all the guidelines have been adhered to fully,'' GWR wrote in a statement.

GWR acknowledged the impact the news could have on her.

''We appreciate this is disappointing news to receive but hope it does not deter you from future records,'' their statement added.

Repeated efforts

''I am not okay right now. I ask for your forgiveness to have let you all down,’’ Maliha said in her reaction.

Chef Maliha has been hailed for her persistence and courage. Photo: Chef Maliha/Instagram

Her first attempt in October 2023 saw her cook for 90 hours and 15 minutes, but she never got the chance to claim that win as Nigerian chef Hilda Baci swooped in November to cook for 93 hours and 11 minutes and claim the record.

Chef Maliha had really hoped her second attempt at the record now held by Irish chef Alan Fisher was so certain that her record certification was certain, but fate had different ideas.

‘’It wasn't easy, but I know God has other plans for me, in shaa Allah, because what's meant for you will simply find you. To those who were waiting for this record, I am truly sorry,’’ she wrote on social media.

The reaction from fans has been an outpouring of support.

“Maliha, you don't have to meet anyone's expectations, and you don't have to apologize. You are still a talented chef and an incredible professional. You will always have our support and love! Take care of yourself and have some rest; there is always next time!’’ wrote 3D on Instagram.

Chef Maliha has not commented on future efforts. Photo: Chef Maliha/Instagram

“You are still a hero to us; this is just a sign to go for it in a better way, never giving up; there's always other doors that will open, and we continue with them,’’ wrote another fan, Jevaney, also on Instagram.

Guiness World Records has a high number of strict rules that must be adhered to for all our record-breaking achievements.

‘’We assess all new record titles against our values of integrity, respect, inclusiveness, and passion, and it is of the utmost importance to us that all our records reflect this,’’ Guiness World Record says.

Many Africans caught in the record-breaking fever have fallen fowl to these strict rules and thus seen their painstaking efforts come to nothing.

Two months ago, Ghanaian media personality Afua Asantewaa’s hopes of entering the Guinness Book of World Records (GWR) for the longest singing marathon by an individual were dashed after GWR announced she had been disqualified.

Afua Asantewaa endured a five-day singing marathon that commenced at midnight on Sunday, December 24, and concluded at 7:00 a.m. on December 29. She sang for 126 hours and 15 minutes.

Chef Maliha has not indicated if she will be making a third attempt at breaking the longest cooking marathon by an individual, leaving Irish chef Alan Fisher still clutching the crown.

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TRT Afrika