Ghana chef accused of faking Guinness World Records award

A Ghanaian chef who claimed to have broken the world record for the longest non-stop cooking by an individual has been arrested over a dispute with his sponsor.

Ebenezer Smith held a press conference on Tuesday announcing he was the new world-record holder after cooking continuously for 802 hours and 25 minutes - more than a month.

He presented a certificate purportedly from Guinness World Records (GWR) confirmed him as the record holder.

But on Wednesday, a GWR spokesperson told BBC Pidgin the claims were "not true" and added that it was "not our certificate".

In another response to a Ghanaian media outlet, GWR also explained they were not aware of his attempt and that they did not receive an application from him.

The chef was arrested by the police shortly after announcing his purported award, over a dispute with his sponsor, the Amadia Shopping Centre, Spintex, in the capital Accra, where he held his cooking marathon in March.

They accused him of breaching a contractual agreement by not informing them about the new developments regarding the alleged confirmation of the award.

Many Ghanaians have expressed shock and disappointment on social media about the case, which was widely covered when Mr Smith claimed to have broken the record.

The chef, who is still in police custody and has not been charged yet, has not commented on the accusations.

His unsuccessful record attempt earlier this year attracted the support of several local celebrities.

Several Ghanaians have attempted to break Guinness World Records in recent times, including media personality and entrepreneur Afua Asantewaa Aduonum, who attempted the longest singing marathon last year.

Earlier this year another chef, Failatu Abdul Razak, attempted the longest cooking marathon in the northern city of Tamale.

The current record for longest cooking marathon by an individual is held by Ireland's Alan Fisher at 119 hours, 57 minutes 16 seconds from 28 September-3 October last year, GWR said.

It had previously been held by Nigerian chef Hilda Bacci, whose record stood at 93 hours 11 minutes. Her win caused a sensation in Nigeria with people trying to get themselves in the record books by doing things like crying or singing non-stop.

She was dethroned by Mr Fisher months after being declared the record holder.

You may also be interested in:

A woman looking at her mobile phone and the graphic BBC News Africa
[Getty Images/BBC]

Go to for more news from the African continent.

Follow us on Twitter @BBCAfrica, on Facebook at BBC Africa or on Instagram at bbcafrica

BBC Africa podcasts