Friday, 26 July 2013

'World's oldest person' may be in South Africa

At 119 years old Johanna Mazibuko, who lives in small town south-west of Johannesburg, could be the world's oldest person. Ms Mazibuko was born in 1894, according to her identity papers, and has outlived five of her seven children. "God gave my life in abundance, plus a bonus. I am very old now," she said. 

According to Guinness World Records, the oldest living person is Misao Okawa, from Japan, who is 115. Ms Mazibuko shares her house in Klerksdorp, which is about 160km (100 miles) south-west of Johannesburg, with her 77-year-old son, Tseko Mazibuko, who is also a pensioner. According to the Sowetan, Ms Mazibuko prides herself on still being able to make her bed every morning. "I'm doing alright," she said.

Her ID book, issued in 1986, shows her date of birth as 11 May 1894. South Africa's home affairs ministry has not confirmed the authenticity of Ms Mazibuko's identity documents. Ms Mazibuko, the oldest of 10 siblings, reportedly cooks, dresses herself, does the laundry and watches television. "She is able to move on her own but cannot stand for a long time. She gets dizzy," her son said. 

Ms Mazibuko has lived through British colonialism, apartheid and the era of democracy led by Nelson Mandela, who was elected South Africa's president in 1994. The oldest person recorded in history was Jeanne Calment from France who died 4 August 1997 aged 122.


Oldest person and woman recorded in history: Jeanne Calment, France, died 4 August 1997 aged 122

Oldest man recorded in history: Jiroemon Kimura, Japan, died 12 June 2013 aged 116

Oldest living person and woman: Misao Okawa, Japan, 115

Oldest living man: Salustiano Sanchez, born in Spain lives in the US, 112

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