Guinness World Records, originally the Guinness Book of Records, has been around since 1955. Up to 187,000 books were sold just for its very first edition, but this number was immediately beaten less than a decade later after one million books were sold in 1964. Described as “the ultimate authority on record-breaking achievements,” the Guinness World Records has since recognized individuals, groups, and institutions for out-of-this-world titles, such as stretchiest skin; or the standard ones, like the longest motorcade or the greatest robbery of all time. But getting a world record is not as easy as claiming it online (or even just manifesting it). The United Kingdom-based organization has a rigorous application process, from getting your application picked up to verifying exact measurements and documentation.
“Record-breaking is a serious business, which means we have strict policies governing what constitutes a Guinness World Records title to maintain these high standards,” the organization said on its website. From the longest distance walked on fire to the largest gathering of people dressed as Nelson Mandela, Africans have achieved some incredible feats that have earned them a place in the Guinness World Records. In this article, we’ll take a closer look at some of the most impressive world record holders from Africa and their incredible achievements. Let’s get down to history and memory lane.
1. Wayde Van Niekerk
The fastest 400 metres run by a male athlete is 43.03 seconds, achieved by Wayde van Niekerk (South Africa) at the 2016 Olympic Games, in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, on 14 August 2016
The previous record set by Michael Johnson had stood since 1999.
Wayde won gold in the event with the new world record achieved in the final.
2. Fela Kuti
Fela Kuti recorded 46 albums as a solo artist throughout a solo career spanning 23 years. The first solo album was recorded in 1969 and the last in 1992.
3. Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge
The world’s oldest person to begin primary school was aged 84. Kimani Ng’ang’a Maruge (Kenya) enrolled on Standard One at Kapkenduiyo Primary School, Eldoret, Kenya, on 12 January 2004. He even wore the school uniform and hoped to reach Standard Eight. On 6 April 2004, it was reported that Ng’ang’a passed his first end-of-term exams with straight A’s in English, Kiswahili and math, making him among the top five students in the class. The headmistress, Mrs Jane Obinchu (Kenya) made him a senior head boy as a reward.
Ayo Balogun, popularly known as Wizkid has a Guinness World Record for being the artist with the first track to reach one billion streams on Spotify. Wizkid achieved this with One Dance by Drake (Canada) which featured him and Kyla, on December 16, 2016.
5. Chinonso Eche
The most consecutive football (soccer) touches in one minute while balancing a football on the head is 133, and was achieved by Chinonso Eche (Nigeria), on the set of Lo Show Dei Record, in Milan, Italy, on 1 February 2023.
Chinonso Eche beat his record by 22 and dreams one day of being a professional footballer.
6. Stephen Keshi
The youngest person to win the Africa Cup of Nations as a player and coach is Stephen Keshi (b. 31 January 1961, Nigeria) who was 52 years and 10 days old when he won the tournament as head coach of Nigeria at the FNB Stadium, Johannesburg, South Africa, on 10 February 2013. Keshi was captain of the Nigeria national team when he won the tournament as a player in 1994, beating Zambia 2-1 in the final. As a manager, Keshi led his team to glory after a 1-0 win over Burkina Faso in the final.
7. Tuedon Morgan
The fastest time to run a half marathon on each continent and the North Pole (female) is 62 days 12 hr 58 min 49 sec and was achieved by Tuedon Morgan (Nigeria), from 8 February 2015 to 12 April 2015.
8. Percy Mailela
The largest coffee grounds mosaic (image) measures 25.96 m² (279 ft² 62 in²), achieved by BrainFarm (PTY) Ltd and Percy Maimela (both South Africa), in Sandton, Gauteng, South Africa, on 12 September 2019.
The image depicted in the coffee grounds mosaic is the face of DJ Black Coffee, a South African DJ and record producer.
9. Paul Kehinde
The heaviest para power lift by a male in the -65 kg category is 221 kg (487 lb 3.5 oz), achieved by Paul Kehinde (Nigeria) at the 9th Fazza 2018 World Para Powerlifting World Cup in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, on 19 February 2018. Kehinde broke his world record of 220.5 kg, set at the World Championship in December 2017.
Para powerlifters compete in just one discipline, the bench press, and are categorized according to their weight.
Signed under Nigerian record label Mavin, the young rapper Rema topped the charts worldwide with his hit single “Calm Down”.
The singer has been steadily on the rise ever since his debut, counting on an ever-growing fanbase and racking up international fame.At the moment of writing, “Calm Down” stands at almost 388,000,000 streams on Spotify, while its viral remix with US artist Selena Gomez achieved a whopping 717,512,920 streams on the same music platform.The 2022 international hit made history when it skyrocketed to the top of The Official MENA Chart, shortly after the launch of the chart itself.
That makes “Calm Down” the first-ever No.1 hit on The Official MENA Chart.
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