135-Year-Old Kenyan Man Shares Secrets to Long Life

  • File photo of mzee Julius Wanyondu Gatonga holding his ID card. Daily Nation
  • Mzee Julius Wanyondu Gatonga, arguably Kenya's oldest man, on Sunday, celebrated his 135th birthday in the presence of his children, grandchildren, great-grandchildren, neighbours and friends at his home in Mihuti village, Mukurwe-ini in Nyeri County.

    According to Citizen TV, Gatonga was born in 1884 when Kenya was yet to be colonised by the British.

    Surprisingly, the family claimed that Mzee Gatonga is still very strong and walks without using a walking stick.

    He is also said to be grateful to God as he can still see and hear very well despite his old age.

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    Mzee Julius Wanyondu Gatonga during his 135th birthday celebrations

    Robert Wanyondu, one of his grandchildren, revealed that the secrets to his grandfather's long life was leading a happy life, eating well, loving everyone and always calling for love and unity.

    During his heydays, the family narrated how he used to be a village chief and would perform his duties diligently.

    In 2012, Wanyondu’s efforts to get a medical insurance cover under the National Hospital Insurance Fund(NHIF)  hit a snag after the system deemed him to old to be registered.

    The NHIF systems reportedly accepts details of persons born after 1890 only, six years after Wanyondu was born.

    However, according to NHIF registration policies, as long as you are a Kenyan who has attained the age of 18, whether from formal or informal sectors, you are eligible for cover. 

    There is no upper age limit.

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    A collage of mzee Julius Wanyondu Gatonga