Richard Branson the guest of honour as SA breaks Mini-cramming record

Sir Richard Branson was the guest of honour at the Mini-cramming Guinness World Record attempt at the Virgin Mobile Store in Braamfontein. (Reuters)

Sir Richard Branson was the guest of honour at the Mini-cramming Guinness World Record attempt at the Virgin Mobile Store in Braamfontein. (Reuters)

The Virgin Mobile store in Braamfontein, Johannesburg hosted the official Guinness World Record event on Wednesday.

The task: to fit 25 women into a Mini. And no, not a Clubman with extra boot space. It was a Mini Cooper classic model, with all its original parts and interiors. Even the handbrake was intact. I checked, because I was worried about the additional discomfort.

The guest of honour, British tycoon Sir Richard Branson, notably added that it had "long been a dream of mine to be crammed into a small space with 25 ladies." 

Mini-cramming, as it's officially called, is one of the more popular events when it comes to Guinness World Record attempts, and this record previously belonged to the UK when, on the 15th of November 2012, 23 people were fitted into the automobile. To qualify for the record, the people in the car must be adults and must be taller than 1.5 metres.

Jack Brockbank, the official Guinness World Records adjudicator for the attempt was also in attendance. He kept a close eye on the car and ensured that everyone played by the rules. Brockbank loves his job. I could tell by his passionate glare. He has adjudicated attempts like these all over the world and says he takes it very seriously.

Here are more eye-popping pictures from the record-breaking event in Braamfontein:

See? Handbrake intact. And yes, I also thought fitting 25 people in here would be impossible.


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

Peek-a-boo! Sir Richard Branson strolls into the store ahead of the attempt.


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

When it's not being used to break world records, this little car remains parked at the store so that visitors can use it as photo booth. Just don't try to get all 25 of your friends in there at the same time. That's already been done!


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

Call him Jack. Jack Brockbank. The adjudicator of the world record attempt. 


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

If you blinked, you missed it. Almost. When I looked again, Number 8 was already on her way into the vehicle. The organisers had a paramedic nearby, just in case any of the girls felt woozy on the inside, which luckily no one did. 


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

And two moments later, Number 25 was being slipped in sideways. Snug as a bug in a ... Mini. For the record to be set, however, the door of the car needs to be closed. Preferably without decapitating the last contestant.


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

But close it did, and when it was all over, this knight in shining black clothing was there to help the 25 record breakers out the car.


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

Not bad for a day's work I'd say. After the official announcement, Ol' Richie strolled over to the Motherland coffee counter to order a cafe latte ...


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

And leave his mark…


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)

Here's your new Guinness World Record South Africa.


(Pic: @sage_of_absurd/Instagram)
 

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee

Haji Mohamed Dawjee became Africa’s first social media editor in a newsroom at the Mail & Guardian, where she went on to work as deputy digital editor and a disruptor of the peace through a weekly column. A stint as the program manager for Impact Africa – a grant-disbursing fund for African digital journalists – followed. She now pursues her own writing full time by enraging readers of EWN and Women 24 with weekly and bi-monthly columns respectively. She also contributes to the Sunday Times and a range of other publications. Mohamed Dawjee's inaugural book of essays: Sorry, not sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa, is due for release by Penguin Random House in April 2018.Follow her on Twitter: @sage_of_absurd Read more from Haji Mohamed Dawjee

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