September 6, 2013 (ADDIS ABABA) – An Ethiopian peasant and renowned community elder living in Ethiopia’s Oromia region has claimed that he is 160 years old.
In an interview with a local Television station, Oromia TV, Dhaqabo Ebba claims to have passed through power transfers under the Gadaa system – the Oromo people’s own cultural, social, and political system – which accordingly will make him at least 160 years old.
Ebba doesn’t have birth certificate to proof his age, but if we are to consider the centuries-old Gadda system as perfect to determine his age, the Ethiopian man will be the oldest living person on earth.
He remembers 1895, when the Italians first invaded Ethiopia. He said he then had two wives and a son who was old enough to herd cattle.
According to him, birth certificates did not exist in Ethiopia during his early ages.
While noting that all his peers are gone he says there is no secret behind his longevity.
He recalls the transportation problems they had then and the changes seen these day.
“When I was young it used to take us around 8 days on horse back to get to Addis Ababa”, he said adding “now it only takes two hours” to reach to the capital which is around 230 Kilometers away from his village near Dodola town.
Births are not registered particularly in Ethiopia’s rural areas hence delivery are taken place at home and most Ethiopians still don’t have birth certificates.
According to Guinness World Records, Misao Okawa, a 115-year-old Japanese woman is the oldest living person verified.
Jeanne Calment of France, who died in 1997 at the age of 122 years old was the oldest verified age.