Elizabeth Gathoni from Kiambaa, Kiambu County, has officially become the oldest living person in the world following the death at the same age of Emma Morano from Verbania in Northern Italy, who died on Saturday.
The only surviving widow of colonial-era Chief Koinange wa Mbiyu, Ms Gathoni was born in 1900 in Muchatha village in Banana, Kiambu County.
Ms Gathoni said she was ‘grateful to God’ for her longevity: “It was not my doing but His” she told reporters. Ms Gathoni was recently the subject of a documentary on the BBC World Service made by her great-granddaughter Priscilla Ng’ethe who is a freelance journalist with the BBC.
At 117, colonial-era chief Koinange’s widow has seen it all but is full of life (Sunday Nation April 16, 2017).
My Grandmother: Celebrating life at 117 (BBC World Service).