10 World Records That Are Held by Africans

10 World Records That Are Held by Africans


The brilliance housed on the African continent never makes for a dull moment from a man with over 800 children to the trumpeting vuvuzelas. There are many world records held by Africans. Some of the records are centuries old and some might never be broken by anyone. We look at some of the globally recognised records held by Africans

1.      Most Vuvuzelas Playing Simultaneously 

The vuvuzela is an instrument that originated in South Africa before spreading across the globe. It is mostly played during soccer matches and other sporting events. It is fitting that the record for most simultaneously played vuvuzelas was achieved in South Africa. The feat was achieved by 12 511 spectators at the Vodacom challenge match at the Nelson Mandela Bay Stadium in Port Elizabeth on July 23, 2009, before a derby match between Orlando Pirates and Kaizer Chiefs. 

2.      The Oldest Person to Begin Primary School 

The adage “age is just a number” rings true in this situation. The Kenyan Kimani Nga’ang’a Maruge enrolled for primary school at Kapkenduiywo Primary School in 2004 at the age of 84. He said his decision was prompted by the government’s announcement of universal free elementary education in 2003. In 2005, Maruge boarded an airplane for the first time in his life headed to New York City to address the United Nations 2005 World Summit on the importance of free primary education. 

3.      Most Children Fathered 

This highly impressive feat was achieved by the last Sharifian Emperor of Morocco, Moulay Ismail ibn Sharif, known as The Bloodthirsty. He is reputed to have fathered a total of 867 children (525 sons and 342 daughters) between 1672-1727. The number two record is held by another African, King Sobhuza II of Swaziland, who had 210 children from 70 wives. 

4.      400 Metres World Record 

Athletics is one of the most watched sports across the world and highly competitive. Africans have been known for making their mark especially on marathons and other long-distance racing events. African endurance has most often prevailed. It is then not shocking that the world record for the Men’s 400metres is held by a South African Wayde van Niekerk (43.03 seconds). He achieved this feat on 14th August 2016 at Estadio Olimipico, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil. 

5.      Most Official Languages 

The country with the most official languages is South Africa. With eleven official languages it truly speaks to the diversity in the country known as the rainbow nation. The languages include English, Afrikaans, isiZulu, isiXhosa, Sesotho, Setswana, Sepedi, Xitsonga, Siswati, isiNdebele, and Tshivenda. 

6.      Largest Meteorite

A block 2.7m long and 2.4m wide, estimated to weigh 60 tonnes, is the largest known meteorite. It was found in 1920 at Hoba west, near Grootfontein in Namibia. It was discovered by a farmer ploughing his field. The meteorite has not been moved from its location because of its weight. 

7.      The Most Diamond League Appearances 

The diamond league is a yearly series of track and field meets designed to replace the IAAF Golden League. Nigerian sprinter Blessing Okagbare entered the Guinness book of records in 2016 as the athlete with most appearances at the games with 38 appearances. Okagbare who is also an Olympic medallist also holds the record for the fastest time ran in women’s 100 metres event in the British Commonwealth. 

8.      Largest Bird Count in 24-hour period 

Africa is well known for its diverse wildlife. It comes as no surprise that the largest bird count in a 24-hour period was in Africa. Three Kenyans, Terry Stevenson, John Fanshawe, and Andy Roberts hold the record for the greatest number of bird species spotted in a 24-hour period after spotting 324 different bird species. They set the record on Day 2 of the Birdwatch Kenya 86 event that was held November 29 to 30, 1986. 

9.      Survivor of Most Bee Stings 

This record is one set with no planning and one can presume no one is planning on breaking it. On 28 January 1962 Johannes Relleke of the Kamativi tin mine located in the Gwaii River in then Rhodesia (Zimbabwe) was stung by more than 2,443 bees. He survived the attack, and all the bee stings were later removed and counted. The survivor of the bee attack is still alive and currently resides in Australia. 

10.   The Shortest War 

The Anglo-Zanzibar war in August 1896 lasted 38 minutes. The military conflict was a result of Khalid bin Barghash moving into the Sultan’s palace after the death of Hamad bin Thuwaini. The deceased Sultan was suspected to be a British puppet and the British did not want Khalid in power. Around 500 Zanzibar men and women were killed or wounded during the bombardment by the British. Most of the deaths were a result of the fire that engulfed the palace. Only one British sailor was injured.









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