A man who forced himself to cry for seven days says he went temporarily blind as a craze for eccentric feats of endurance sweeps Nigeria.
Guinness World Records has seen a surge in record-breaking attempts from Africa’s most populous nation in recent months, sparked by a chef’s four-day cooking marathon that caught the public imagination.
Tembu Ebere, who has been attempting to weep non-stop for a week, said he had experienced headaches, puffy eyes and a swollen face, and went partially blind for 45 minutes amid his own efforts.
“I had to re-strategise and reduce my wailing,” he told the BBC, adding he was determined to sob towards his target despite the difficulties encountered.
The record frenzy erupted in May when a chef called Hilda Baci attempted to cook continuously for 100 hours to “put Nigerian cuisine on the map”.
Her attempt was so widely followed that it caused the official website guinnessworldrecords.com to crash for two days. She was cheered on by celebrities and Nigeria’s vice president.
The 26 year-old managed 93 hours 11 minutes, which was enough to break the previous cooking marathon record set in India in 2019.
Her success inspired a wave of similar attempts for activities including the longest time spent singing, praying, and even kissing.
John Obot, a schoolteacher, told the BBC he would be attempting to spend 140 hours reading classic literature aloud in September.
“The motivation is to promote reading culture in Nigeria,” he said, adding he had chosen a “record that is meaningful”.
But some of the stunts have faced criticism for being frivolous or offensive.