Since she stopped taking alcohol, Baringo County oldest woman became allergic to drunkards, as she celebrates her 118 birthday on Saturday.
Magdaline Kobilo Chebet who hails from Kabasis village in Baringo Central Sub-County, stopped partaking alcohol and she was baptized at the Roman Catholic church in 1952.
“She is now allergic to alcohol, she wipes her nose with handkerchief or bare hand if someone smelling alcohol moves closer to her,” said her 70-year old third born son Michael Chebet.
Kobilo was married to her late husband Chebet Korombori who passed on in 1999 aged 90 years old.
She has seven children, four sons and three daughters while first born Nicolas Chebet who passed on in 1977, was born in 1930.
Chebet told the media during a visit to her home on Tuesday that despite her old age, his entire mother’s 32 teeth are tact.
“She is strong and healthy, although due to the weakening jawbones she stopped chewing meat two years ago, but the meat is boiled and she takes the soup” said Chebet.
He said her favorite food is Ugali, indigenous vegetables and meat “we make sure her meal is ready and available at anytime.”
Again he said her weakening legs no longer supports her to walk around alone, so she either relaxes in the house or someone lifts her to come out and back.
“But her memory is so sharp such that she can recognize all the voices of her children, grandchildren, relatives and neighbours whom she has interacted with them before” said Chebet.
According to Kalenjin -Tugen age set Kobilo is ‘chepngwek’ and she is the only one alive after majority wives of ‘chumo’ and their husbands died many years ago.
Secrets of Culture
Chebet said culturally they always kept his aging mother indoors to avoid mingling and interacting with her great grandchildren outside in the compound.
“It is believed in Kalenjin culture that if the great grandchildren interact with an aging person then might definitely die faster, though we still value seeing her alive” he said.
Wisdom from Granny
Being asked what she had to tell the younger generation, she only cracked a single joke by saying in Tugen dialect, ‘Okurgei- meaning ‘you are on your own’.
It translates to telling someone the decision is yours, how you chose to become in life is upon an individual mindset or decision.
However Baringo Central Member of Parliament (MP) Joshua Kandie visited the granny on Tuesday and paid for her National Hospital Insurance Scheme (NHIF).
He also handed the family sh10, 000 to buy her some basic needs like food and clothing.
“It is also my duty as the area MP to ensure all the elderly people above 70 years receive their monthly government cash transfer fund” he said.
He lauded jubilee government for putting the elderly on a monthly payroll saying it reliefs their dependents cost of sustaining them.