Date: Friday, 01 October 2021
An Eritrean man has died at the age of 127, his family has claimed, as they called for Guinness World Records to recognise him as the oldest person to ever have lived.
The family of Natabay Tinsiew said he died peacefully on Monday in his remote village of Azefa - which is found in a gorge surrounded by mountains and has a population of around 300 people.
Mr Zere told the broadcaster that church records, including his grandfather's birth certificate, say that he was born in the same year he was baptized in 1894, which would make him 127 years old at the time of his death.
However, the family of Natabay Tinsiew claim that he was actually born 10 years earlier in 1884, and that he was actually baptised 10 years later when a priest came to their village.
At the time, priests were few and far between, and people would have to wait for them to visit their more remote villages.
Father Mentay, a Catholic priest who served in Azefa for seven years, confirmed that local records show Mr Natabay was born in 1894, saying that he was present when Azefa village celebrated his 120th birthday in 2014.
Mr Zere said that he had already contacted Guinness World Records to validate the official documents of his grandfather's birth, and was waiting for a response.
Mr Natabay married his wife in 1934. She later died in 2019 at the age of 99.
The Eritran worked as a herdsman, and owned many cattle, goats, honey bees and during his life has seen give generations of his family grow up.
Mr Zere told BBC Tigrinya his grandfather would be remembered as 'an extraordinary man' who was kind, caring and hardworking.
Currently, the record for the world's oldest person to have ever lived is held by Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997 at the age of 122.
Meanwhile, the oldest man to have ever lived was Japan's Jiroemon Kimura, who died in 2013 at the age of 116, according to the Guinness World Records.
The oldest person alive today is Kane Tanaka, a 118-year-old Japanese woman.