The current Guinness World Records holder for being the oldest living person is Misao Okawa, who is 114 years young. Dhaqabo Ebba (pictured), a retired Ethiopian farmer, allegedly remembers Italy’s invasion of Ethiopia back in 1895 because he lived through it. How? Because Ebba claims he is 160 years old! Even though there isn’t a birth certificate that could verify Ebba’s birth, his very vivid and descriptive memories of Ethiopian historical events so impressed a historian reporter filming a documentary that he is convinced Ebba has lived through 16 decades, according to OPride.
In a country where the average life expectancy is 60 years old, Ebba is considered to be quite a phenom. Experts say that verifying Ebba’s age would be next to impossible since most Ethiopians do not have birth certificates, and in rural parts of the land, home births are common., As far as living witnesses who can corroborate Ebba’s story, there are none — his original family and peers are reportedly all deceased.
Ebba said in the documentary that when Ethiopia was invaded in 1895, he had two wives and a son who herded cattle; Ebba does have extended family and it is large by all accounts. The Oromo man, who is a member of a group of people who make up 40 percent of the population, has reportedly seen all of his great-grands grow up as the oldest living person in his town of Dodola.
Currently, Ebba lives in a one-room shack that is constructed of bamboo with a corrugated metal roof. During the half-hour interview, Ebba was surrounded by neighbors who huddled around him, all sitting on a dirt floor that was cleanly swept.
Watch the untranslated interview with Ebba here:
For a man who claims to be 160 years old, Ebba can be seen on the above video speaking in a firm voice as he talks about his life in his native Oromo language. Now blind but with all of his teeth intact, Ebba told the unnamed reporter that he can still chew sugarcane, while his eldest son, Hamid, is toothless and appears older than his alleged 160-year-old dad.
Watch an English-speaking video of Ebba here:
The elder statesman discussed life under previous Ethiopian rulers with a recollection that seemed accurate. He also discussed how in his generation, it took eight days on horseback to visit his nation’s capital, which is only 140 miles away from his home. The journalist, who was taken aback by Ebba’s recollection, noted in the documentary how the Oromo people are an oral group, so “each time an elder dies, a library is lost.”
Ebba is a living, breathing compendium of knowledge whom many are in his area are in awe of.