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Is Alo Alarika the oldest living Ugandan, at 108 years?

 

Born over 100 years ago in 1913, Alarika is now 108. Here she poses with her grand daughters recently. PHOTO BY VERON OPOYA – FACEBOOK

📍 Uganda 🇺🇬 population figures
✳ Aged 0-14yrs – 46%
✳ Aged 10-24yrs – 34.5%
✳ Aged 15-64yrs – 52%
✳ Aged 65+ – 2%
✳ Life expectancy 64yrs

Tororo, Uganda | THE INDEPENDENT | There are a lot of undiscovered gems hidden in the heartland of Padhola. It is not easily accessible as the main roads going through West Budama from the mineral-rich main town Tororo have oddly remained murram despite the fantastic tarmac growth figures the country displays to the world annually.

There was John Paul Ofwono, who a New Vision Photographer accidentally bumped into deep in Yokolo, West Budama in February 1999.

It turned out that at the verified height of 7ft 6 1/2inches, he was one of the tallest men on earth, but was lying ‘undiscovered’ in the West Budama hinterland.

Now, the West Budama heartland in Tororo may just be home to one of the oldest Ugandans alive.

Deep in Nagoke village, Soni Lakwari in Kirewa  sub-county, lives Alarika Alo of  Amori-kagulu clan. She is frail, but recently marked her 108th birthday, as she was born in 1913.

Alarika (Ulrika) had only two boys in her life, Simeon Ochieng and Christopher Columbus Opoya (RIP), but is now surrounded by dozens of grand, great grand children, and their children.

“Pray for our  grandmother. Adhadha (grandmother) is not well and is on treatment. Her legs and breasts are swollen, even the hand where she was injected is swollen too. She can’t  walk or stand. Her age is now 108 years,” her grand daughter Veron Opoya said in a Facebook post on Tuesday, January 26, 2021.

Veron Opoya says Alarika has 27 grandchildren, 104 great grand children and 10 great-great grand children.

The world’s oldest verified living person is Japanese Kane Tanaka at age 118 (born 2 January 1903).

Europe’s oldest person is French nun Sister Andre, who will turn 117 next month. She was born Lucile Randon on February 11, 1904.

The Ofwono Story

Ofwono was at first declared the world’s tallest human at 8 feet 4 inches, until a a Briton travelled all the way to Padhola (land of the Jopadhola in Tororo) to see for himself.

He discovered that the locals had gotten excited.

“I did the measurement on behalf of the Guinness Book of records, who asked me to,” Richard ‘Dick’ Stockley of the Surgery, British High Commission told Sunday Vision. “You have to take three different measurements because the body shrinks during the day. I measured him at 8:30 a.m., at 2:00 p.m., and at 8:00 p.m.”

Ofwono measured an average of 228.5 centimeters (7ft 6in) standing, and 230.5 cm (7ft 6 1/2in) when lying down.

Ofwono died aged 43 from complications related to his height, and diabetes, in 2003.

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