Is this ‘160-year-old’ Ethiopian man the world’s oldest ever person?
Reporters in Ethiopia say they have discovered the oldest man in the
world, a farmer and community elder who could be 160 years old.
The state-run TV Oromiya published a 30-minute interview with Dhaqabo
Ebba, whose vivid recollections of historical events and family tree
indicate that he may have been born in the 1850s.
Mohammed Ademo, who has translated Mr Ebba’s remarkable story for the
English-language OPride.com website, has suggested that the different
government leaders the farmer remembers being ruled by would take him
back at least 160 years.
Even today the majority of rurally-based
Ethiopians do not possess birth certificates, and with the same applying
to Mr Ebba it would be impossible to find any verification of precisely
when he was born.
But the evidence from what the man can remember is compelling, according to Mr Ademo.
Italy [first] invaded Ethiopia [in 1895], I had two wives and my son
was old enough to herd cattle,” Mr Ebba said to the TV reporter in the
native Oromo language, at his house near Dodola town.
recalls the 8-day horseback trek it took to get from there to the
capital of Addis Ababa – a journey which now only takes a couple of
Mr Ebba has far outlived anyone of his generation, making
it difficult to find someone to corroborate his story, but he claims to
have the largest extended family of anyone in his region and has seen
great-grandchildren grow up into adulthood.
It may never be
confirmed definitively whether Mr Ebba is really as old as it would
appear. No efforts seem to have been made to have him medically assessed
or to call in representatives for the Guinness World Records.
current holder of the organisation’s official accolade for oldest
person ever is a French woman called Jeanne Louise Calment, who died in
1997 aged 122 years and 164 days.
Mr Ademo did say that he was
working towards finding further proof of Mr Ebba’s extraordinary 160
years, and if anything concrete can be found it would smash the current
record by a quite phenomenal margin.