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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.

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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.

Yahoo News reports 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.

Hilda Baci did more than put Nigeria’s food on the map

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 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.

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John Obot, a schoolteacher, told the BBC he would be attempting to spend 140 hours reading classic literature aloud in September, according to Yahoo News.

“The motivation is to promote reading culture in Nigeria,” he said, adding he had chosen a “record that is meaningful”.

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But some of the stunts have faced criticism for being frivolous, offensive, and potentially dangerous.

A masseuse trying to set a massage endurance record collapsed after 50 hours and in another marathon cooking attempt, two chefs were disqualified after they turned off their stoves and went to sleep.

Guinness World Records not embraced by all

A suggested world record attempt for kissing was banned in Ekiti state and the authorities told organizers they would be punished if it went ahead.

“[The] ‘kiss-a-thon’ as an event is not only absurd, immoral, unhealthy [but] capable of denigrating the image of Ekiti,” a statement from the culture ministry said.

Guinness receives backlash from Nigeria

Yahoo News reports Guinness World Records itself has urged Nigerians to go easy and advised hopefuls to liaise with the body, or risk their records not being recognized.

“Please, enough of the record-a-thons,” the organization behind the book of records said on social media after someone broached the idea of two separate attempts – an “idea-a-thon” and a “puff-puff-a-thon”.

The remarks drew a backlash from some Nigerians who questioned whether Guinness World Records was “tired” of their country, forcing the organization to backtrack and state it welcomed “applications from all over the globe”.

“We can all be friends,” it later said.

Guinness World Records also said it could not confirm if the number of attempts from one country itself constituted a record.

Hailing from Charlotte North Carolina, born litterateur Ezekiel J. Walker earned a B.A. in Psychology at Winston Salem State University. Walker later published his first creative nonfiction book and has...

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