128-year-old man tries to get health insurance

Kenya's Daily Nation newspaper reports that Mzee Julius Wanyondu is having trouble getting coverage under the National Hospital Insurance Fund. The reason is that he's 128 years old, having been born in 1884. However, the NHIF's computers will only accept birthdates later than 1890.

Remarkably, the article doesn't address the obvious question: Does this guy have any proof that he's really 128? He has some kind of ID card that displays 1884 as his birthdate. But what evidence did he present to get this card?

The article says that Mzee Wanyondu has a son who's 70. Based on that, I'd say it's likely that he's in his 90s. Or maybe slightly over 100. 128? No way.


Posted on Mon Aug 27, 2012


Yeah.. the standard Age Inflation thing meeting the present day.
Posted by Robin Bobcat  on  Mon Aug 27, 2012  at  07:17 PM
How long until this is incorporated into Kenyan birth certificate conspiracy theories?
Posted by Mark  on  Tue Aug 28, 2012  at  12:17 PM
"the article says that Mzee Wanyondu has a son who's 70. Based on that, I'd say it's likely that he's in his 90s. Or maybe slightly over 100. 128? No way."

SORRY - You are way off base, My Father was 60 when I was born. His father (my Grandfather was 59 when he was born.

The Oldest father I know of was known as "Felix" in the TV series the "Odd Couple" I believe he was in his early 70's when his son was born.
Posted by STEVE ESK  on  Sat Oct 06, 2012  at  08:45 AM
I'm wondering if he's trying to either make a point about elder care, verify his so-called age, or both.
Posted by Panda Rosa  on  Sun Oct 14, 2012  at  09:33 AM
An 1884 'birthday' would make him a native African, rather than a German citizen (Germany established a German protectorate over the Sultan of Zanzibar's coastal possessions in 1885). This would have exempted him from the WWI draft in 1914. There were many who lied about their birthdates to avoid the draft.
He still would be over 98 years old, though.
Posted by tadchem  on  Mon Oct 22, 2012  at  12:08 PM
An age of 128 is theoretically possible it is not particularly plausible. The most long-lived person with proper documentation was the Frenchwoman Jeanne Calment. She lived between 1875 and 1997. As such she reached an age of 122 years. A Japanese named Shigechiyo Izumi is said to have died the same year as he would have turned 121. If so he would have lived between 1865 and 1986. All other cases of persons claimed to be 120 or more have turned out to be unverifiable or been falsified.

Interestingly, most cases of old people exaggerating their age are found in countries where the chance of living to old age is relatively small. This make claims of being 120 years or more even less plausible. Also, these countries don't keep any good track of their populations. Often their authorities can't tell how many people there are in the country. This is most likely the case in Kenya. Not long ago I read about a controversy about how many people really lives in a certain shanty town. I don't remember which one it was but I remember it was in Kenya. Keeping good track of the population likely prevents most cases of age exaggeration. I have never heard of any Italians or Icelanders claiming to be 120 years or more. Yet Italy and Iceland are countries where the chance of growing really old is relatively high. However, these countries keep so good tack of their populations such hoaxes have little chance of success. Sweden keeps particularly good track of its population an has done so for a long time. You will simply would not find someone with a Swedish ID card saying he or she was born in 1893 or earlier. Unless the ID is a forgery, that is.
Posted by Lena Synnerholm  on  Wed May 22, 2013  at  05:03 AM
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