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.
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.
Koku lost all her children except for one daughter during the Chechen Wars, and her remaining daughter died in 2013.
Some years ago Koku lost her eyesight and now depends on her descendants to take care of her as there are some things she cannot do on her own.