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Thursday, August 23, 2018

After playing for 15 days, DJ Venum breaks World Guinness Record

Venmak Agboola has returned Nigeria into the Guinness Book of Records for the Longest Playing DJ after playing for 15 days at the Akure City Mall. He broke the record on Thursday.

The Guinness Book of Record is a vital document that records extraordinary achievements of people. It is also a history book that distinguishes the men from the boys. No doubt, everyone wants their names in this monumental book.

Known affectionately as DJ Venum, the 400 Level student of Ecotourism and Wildlife Management of the Federal University of Technology, Akure is about to imprint his name forever in this world record that contains the names of legends and record-breakers like Kafayat Shafau, Chidera Anemege, Hilary Clinton, Donald Trump and Eminem.

DJ Venum ventured into this history-making journey on the first day of August after receiving the approval from the Guinness World Record office via e-mail.

With his conscientious acquaintance with the World Record since he was a child, he braced himself for the challenge.

The record is not alien to Nigeria though. A Lagos-based Obi Ajuonuma, known by his stage name – DJ Obi, brought the trophy home after playing for 229 hours and 58 minutes. He played from the 22nd of June till 1:28 p.m. in July 2016 at a Lagos café.

He had to stop playing due to medical issues. This can be attributed to the rigorous physical and mental activities required of the record breakers.

With only a five-minute break for every hour completed, no song repetition in four hours and, at least, one person dancing every time, the quest then, for DJ Òbí, was obviously a serious business.

DJ Obi acknowledged that the encouragement from his late father kept him going through the hardest moments of the quest. However, this did not stop another contender from shattering the record. That is exactly what the American, Chauncey Graves, AKA DJ Colossus, did.

In what DJ Colossus considered an act “for God and Country,” he broke the Nigerian DJ Obi’s record at 1 p.m. on the 20th April 2017, having started playing on the 20th of the same month. He rescaled the record by three hours and 56 seconds.

In an interview he granted after shattering the record, he said, “It bothered me that scratching and turntables started in America, but the record is being held by a Nigerian. I felt I could be the one to bring it back to America.”

DJ Venum’s inspiration was, however, different. He acknowledged that he had always been driven by the need to do something different. The urge to distinguish himself was why he felt the Guinness World Record for The Longest Playing DJ should be given another shot by another Nigerian.

The previous record holders played a maximum of nine days and several hours. None  crossed the 10-day threshold. That was until the 16th of August when DJ Venum set a new record for the Longest Playing DJ.

Not only has he broken the record; he has now returned the trophy where it used to be – Nigeria.

It is imperative to state that this is the second time that DJ Venum is venturing into this quest. His first attempt in 2016 failed. But like the phoenix, he rose from the ashes.

Interestingly and nobly, he used the world record opportunity to raise awareness about the importance of books in formal and informal educational systems. He also used the opportunity to receive books from people, which he plans to distribute to primary and secondary school students in rural areas.

To avoid eventualities, the venue for the event had to be one with uninterrupted power supply, as an interruption would cause a premature end to the quest.

With the help of sponsors and volunteers, DJ Venum was able to secure the location and ensure that other logistics were in place.

With medical personnel on ground, in case of eventualities, DJ Venum began the longest-playing-DJ odyssey on the first of August.

He recognised the support he received from all and sundry as the reason he never gave up on the quest. It was particularly hectic for him on the 13th day. At a critical moment in the quest, though he was in tears and felt a need to sleep, he kept going.

On the ninth day, he posted a picture of his legs being massaged by a medical personnel.  He admitted that it was numb as a result of standing for too long. His medical team waved it off as a minor issue and declared him fit to continue.

During the quest, he was visited by several notable personalities, including Mrs Betty Akeredolu, the wife of  the Ondo State governor.

Others included his fellow disk jockeys, FUTA students union executives and some students of the university.

The visits translated into an online furor, with the hashtag #DJvenumworldrecord which trended on Twitter on the 10th of August.

When asked if he had plans to recalibrate the record anytime soon, he replied, “It is not in my plans right now. I, however, want to use this as a stepping stone to push my career further.”

Though DJ Venum’s goal of  donating a million books to students in rural areas have not been met, he has not lost hope. He is confident that the publicity the successful completion of his quest has given him could spur more people to donate the books.

On how he was able to sustain himself and manage through 15 days of no sleep, he said, “It’s really crazy. At times, I felt like I was fighting with demons beyond my physical power.”

In a world where only a few people can do without sleep for two days, DJ Venum has established himself as a ‘superhuman’ with this feat.

He ate fruits and vitamin supplements to combat the effect of losing sleep. He also took disco naps, which involved closing his eyes for only a few minutes while struggling not to lose consciousness.

He highlighted the fact that patience was an important ingredient during the entire quest. He had to wait for three months for his application to be accepted officially by the governing body for the Guinness World Records.

Having crossed the threshold of the record, with extra five days, it took perseverance to remain at the turntable. There was really a big drive, a higher cause, behind all these.

When asked what kept him going after shattering the record, he said: “I did this first of all because I love it.  I extended the duration to make it look more appealing to whoever might want to take interest in my type of career.

“People tend to be more fascinated when the feats achieved by people like me sound almost impossible.”

DJ Obi, after the premature completion of his own attempt in 2016, said he would not advise anyone to venture into this type of demanding quest on health grounds.

But DJ Venum has not only proved him wrong; he has also successfully completed his quest.

He is much younger and there is a lot of untapped energy in him. Besides, he said he saw no reason why he should back down on fulfilling his dreams because someone much older than he had their own set of challenges.

Venmak Agboola, AKA DJ Venum, has indeed proved that the saying ‘The only limit a man has is the one he imposes’ is true.

As there was no adjudicator from the Guiness World Record at the event, there would be a need to upload evidences of the event on the Guiness World Record Website.

While the 2018 Guinness Book of Records may already be in the stores, DJ Venum would definitely be immortalized in the 2019 edition.

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