By Jimmy Nsubuga, Metro
Koku Istambulova is apparently 128 years old so that is a long time to be miserable. Her birth date of June 1, 1889, was apparently confirmed by the Russian government on her passport but it’s still hard to believe considering the oldest person ever documented was 122. Despite possibly being a record breaker Ms Istambulova, who lives in a village in Chechnya, is not too happy with her life.
‘I have not had a single happy day in my life,’ Ms Istambulova said. ‘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. ‘Looking back at my unhappy life, I wish I had died when I was young. ‘And now I am not living, I am just dragging through.’
Ms Istambulova has lost all her children, with her last surviving daughter Tamara dying five years ago at the age of 104. The pensioner says she has no secret to living long but admitted she loved fermented milk and didn’t eat meat or soups, which may have helped. She added: ‘It was God’s will. ‘I did nothing to make it happen. ‘I see people going in for sports, eating something special, keeping themselves fit, but I have no idea how I lived until now.’ Ms Istambulova claimed she survived through the Russian Civil War (after the Bolshevik revolution), the Second World War and two Chechen wars. She said she was also exiled by Stalin, adding: “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.’
Despite the doom and gloom Ms Istambulova is apparently happy sometimes, especially when she’s sitting in her favourite place outside her house in summer. The current oldest person in the world is 117-year-old Chiyo Miyako, from Japan. The oldest documented person was Jeanne Calment, from France, who lived 122 years, 164 days, dying in 1997.