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I Want To Die, I Am Tired – World Oldest Person Begs As She Clocks 129 Years

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A woman purported to be the world’s oldest person has celebrated her ‘129th birthday’ – but she wishes she had died young.

Koku Istambulova says she has never lived a happy day in her life and she has no idea how she has lived so long that she has outlasted her children.

'World's oldest person'


Other centenarians have credited a healthy diet or a lifetime of exercise for their longevity.

But Koku says “it was God’s will” in her case – and she considers it “punishment” instead of a gift.

Russian officials believe Koku is 129-years-old, which would make her the oldest person in the world.

Koku, from the village of Bratskoye in the south-western Russian Chechen Republic, celebrated her birthday at the start of this month with her six grandchildren and 16 great-grandchildren.

She said: “I see other people eating healthy and doing fitness routines, I have no idea why I have lived so long.”

She added: “It was God’s will. I did nothing to make it happen.”I have not had a single happy day in my life. I have always worked hard, digging in the garden. “I am tired. Long life is not at all God’s gift for me – but a punishment.”

She would also have been 55 when World War II ended, and 102 when the Soviet Union collapsed a generation ago.

According to the Russian government, Koku’s passport states her date of birth as 1 June 1889.

During her long life, she lost several children, including a son who died aged six.

Relatives say Istambulova’s only surviving daughter Tamara died five years ago, aged 104. During her long life, she lost several children,

‘I survived through the Russian Civil War [after the Bolshevik revolution], the Second World War, the deportation of our nation in 1944 and through two Chechen wars.

And now I am sure that my life was not a happy one.

‘I remember tanks with Germans passing our house. It was scary.

‘But I tried not to show this, we were hiding in the house. Life in Kazakhstan was the hardest for us.

‘When in exile – we lived in Siberia too – but in Kazakhstan we felt how the Kazakhs hated us.

‘Every day I dreamed of going back home. Working in my garden helped me to get rid of my sad thoughts but my soul always wanted home.’

She recalled how Muslim restrictions on clothing eased after the end of tsarist times under Soviet rule.

We were brought up with very strict rules and we were very modest in our clothes,’ she said.

‘I remember my granny beat me and reprimanded because my neck was visible. And then Soviet times came and women quickly began to wear more open clothes.’

‘Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. ‘I worked all my life. I did not have time for rest or entertainment.


‘We were either digging the ground, or planting the watermelons. When I was working, my days were running one by one. And now I am not living, I am just dragging through.

Officials say all her documents were lost during the Second Chechen War from 1999 to 2009.

The pension fund, a state body, claims there are 37 people over 110 years of age in Russia yet all these claims, including Koku’s, are impossible to verify because of the lack of reliable birth or early childhood written records.

Most live, like Koku, in the Caucasus which has a history of longevity among its peoples.

Since the death of 117-year-old Nabi Tajima in Japan last month, the oldest documented woman in the world is regarded as Chiyo Miyako, born on 2 May 1901, also from Japan.

The oldest documented human lifespan is Jeanne Calment, from France, who lived 122 years, 164 days, dying in 1997.



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  1. This is a case of a blessing becoming a punishment

  2. Edith Jesuorobo

    Wao great grand ma is tired of living. Who will not be tired?. She has lost all her children and age mates. Oh God of miracles, grant her happiness before you finally call her home

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