‘I just want to die’: Indonesian man claims to be world’s oldest person, aged 145

© Paul Downey
Meet Mbah Gotho. In 1992, he had a gravestone produced for himself in preparation for his death but 24 years later, he still hasn’t used it. He’s now 145 years old.

Gotho, who lives in Indonesia, has official documentation stating his date of birth as being December 31, 1870. This makes him 23 years years older than the official oldest recorded person, Jeanne Calment, who died in 1997.

While Gotho’s age is impressive, having now outlived his ten siblings, four wives, the most recent of whom died in 1988, and his children, he now just wants to die.

“What I want is to die. My grandchildren are all independent,” he told a local news network this week, admitting he began preparing for his death in 1992 when he was 122, even getting a gravestone produced for himself.

Although the Indonesian records office say they have confirmed Gotho’s 19th century date of birth, the documents have yet to be independently verified before he can be officially given the world record.

When asked what the secret to such a long life is, Gotho simply said that “the recipe is just patience.”

Having become increasingly frail in recent months, Gotho now needs assistance to eat and bath. He also spends most of his time listening to the radio to while away the days, as his eyesight is too poor to watch the television.

A number of other people have claimed to be older than Jeanne Calment, including 171-year-old Nigerian James Olofintuyi and 163-year-old Dhaqabo Ebba from Ethiopia. Neither have had verifiable documents to prove their dates of birth, however.