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The euphoria and aroma welcoming people to Ogbomosho Recreation Club is second to none. It is not just like a party. For one week, it was a non-stop carnival. Students, old and young people flooded the venue of the exercise, not just to see the cooking wonder but also taste the different types of food coming from the kitchen.
Aside from the tennis court where the temporary kitchen is mounted, on the training pitch of the Ogbomosho Recreation Club were tents and stages for musicians where several musicians performed everyday till daybreak.
The lovers of table tennis added colour to the environment as they thrilled spectators throughout the exercise. But all those were support scenes. The main attraction for the weeklong event was the competition for the Guinness World Record in marathon cooking. Tope Adebayo was thus the one for whom all the others, musicians and tennis players entertained the crowd.
Tope Adebayo, popularly known as Tope Maggie, who has been in cooking exercise since Last week Thursday, November 9 has been the cynosure of all eyes. He is the reason those who hardly stop over at the Recreation Club prior to his setting shop there on Thursday November 9 came to lay wait for a record that the world was waiting for. For the teeming crowd of fans Tope Maggie was like a deity in the cubicle where he churned out a series of delicacies for one week.
Alabi Tunji Michael, alias ATM, General manager of the exercise, described the exercise as successful. He said on a daily basis, they cook two to three bags of rice, aside semolina, Amala, spaghetti, and others. That must have cost a lot. Perhaps, that cost cannot be determined immediately. ATM said, “We spent a very huge amount of money. (If you) look at the kitchen constructed alone, we spent millions of Naira. Running generating set alone is huge, because we are live and it mustn’t break.”
Tope Adebayo, according to him, started cooking at the age of 6 years, then while helping his mother, a restaurateur who managed Mama Maggie Restaurant. He, however, started his catering career 22 years ago. When asked if he is not tired, Tope said cooking has been part of him that he can do it for a whole month.
“Sometimes I cook for an event and after having been through with the event I won’t sleep before another client calls for another party, so it’s been part of me”, he said.
Shola Aboderin, who has been eating Tope Maggie’s food for the past 30 years now, described Tope as a hardworking guy who knows his onions. Hear Aboderin, “I feel great tasting World Best Chef, his foods have been very sweet, but today’s food is greater than before.”
Margret Adebayo, Mama Maggie, mother of Tope Maggie, is overwhelmed with joy with the turn out. “I didn’t know it was going to be like this, I’m very happy for my son, though it’s not easy oo”, the joyous mother enthused.