What Black History Month means to our record holders,What Dark History Month implies to our record holders
It’s Black History Month!
Running through the month of October and celebrating its 35th year, Black History Month UK and Ireland focuses on promoting and celebrating the Black community within British society as well as everyone having a better understanding of Black History.
We caught up with a few of our Black and British Guinness World Records holders, to get their thoughts on the importance of Black History, and what Black History Month means to them.
Here’s what they had to say, in their own words.
Richard standing on mountain summit holding welsh flag above his head
Richard Parks - Most solo, unassisted and unsupported journeys in Antarctica
"BHM UK gives me hope and gratitude as we celebrate our stories and our contributions as Black Britons," shared Richard.
"The collective focus of the month can be a powerful lever to implement meaningful change. Ultimately, it’s about representation. It’s important that our country sees us however, it’s also important that we see ourselves in those who inspire us, pioneer change and push boundaries." - Richard Parks
In addition to the record above, Richard also holds the record for the greatest distance skied solo, unassisted and unsupported in Antarctica, accumulated over the course of four Antarctic expeditions from Hercules Inlet to the Geographical South Pole. He also held the record for the fastest time to complete the climb the Seven Summits and ski the polar last degrees (male).
Before becoming a world record holder in endurance skiing, Richard was a professional rugby player and represented his national team, achieving four caps for Wales.
The skiing and rugby star recently visited the GWR HQ in London, UK for Black History Month to share his experiences and record-breaking expeditions.
Mariam Olayiwola - Longest duration spinning 30 hoops simultaneously
"Black history month in the UK means a lot to me. The UK itself is an incredible place to live because we have such a mix of so many different Black cultures. As you grow up you don’t just learn about your own culture, but other people’s cultures too.
When black history month comes around I think it can sometimes feel a bit overwhelming, because there is a lot of injustice and suffering in our history, but there is so much strength and joy in our history too. So much to celebrate and so much to inspire. - Mariam Olayiwola
"There are a lot of Black GWR holders who have inspired me. Marawa Ibrahim is the most important to me. She has 13 Guinness World Records including the GWR for the most hoops spun simultaneously. When I learnt to hula hoop I loved it to bits, but didn’t ever think I could make a career out of it.
"A lot of the career hula hoopers I had seen didn’t look like me and came from a very different place. And then there was Marawa!! She did it better than anyone!! Her style, her ambition, her drive, her insane creativity and hard work mentality were things I wanted to aspire to. Marawa mentored and encouraged me to get my GWRs."
Mariam set the record for the longest duration spinning 30 hoops simultaneously with a time of 2 min 9.33 sec in London, UK, on 15 August 2021.
radzi receiving certificate for Fastest time to dress in a Santa costume
Radzi Chinyanganya - Most hands shaken in 30 seconds
When it comes to Black History Month, Radzi believes it's important to reflect upon the past as well as the future.
"Black History Month is massively important as it's a chance to acknowledge the pain of the past, but to also celebrate progress, something which can be done just as much by my Black Zimbabwean Father, as by my white Scottish Mother," said Radzi.
Former Blue Peter presenter Radzi set the record for the most hands shaken in 30 seconds on 18 April 2019, with 40.
He also holds the record for the most toots of a party blower in a minute by a team of two (78) with Radio DJ Greg James.
Radzi has held various other GWR titles, including the fastest time to dress in a Santa costume and the most straws in the hair, though this record has now been replaced with the more environmentally-friendly most paper straws in the hair.
Tinuke Oyediran - Most 360° spins on e-skates in one minute
For record breaker Tinuke, Black History Month is a celebration of three main things...
"Black history month to me is a celebration of being Black, Beautiful and Badass! It's a whole month dedicated to our ancestors, to all our efforts in the current times and all our future achievements yet to happen" - Tinuke Oyediran
A circus performer and skating teacher by trade, Tinuke has pushed herself further and used her record attempts as a means of motivation at a time when she really needed some during the lockdown.
Tinuke has broken three Guinness World Records titles:
Most 360° spins on e-skates in one minute - 70
Most burpees on roller skates in one minute - 33
Mostcartwheels on roller skates in one minute -30, now held by Tiluck Keisam (India) with 41.
Tinuke describes her cartwheel record as "hardcore" due to the fact it relies on her having amazing upper body strength.
black history month graphic text with surrounding images
Celebrate your talents
In honour of the month's theme "Time for Change: Action Not Words", remember that every day is an opportunity to celebrate Black culture and Black creativity.
This month, we encourage you to celebrate your special talents, gifts or skills within the community - the perfect time to break a Guinness World Records title! If you think you’ve got what it takes to attempt a record, you can find out all about how to apply here. We can't wait to hear from you.