'World's oldest woman' dies aged 128

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A woman who is thought to be the world's oldest person has died at the age of 128.

Johanna Mazibuko, a mother of seven from Jouberton, in South Africa North West Province passed away at her home on March 3 and would have turned 129 on May 11, according to local reports.

Her caregiver and daughter-in-law Thandiwe Wesinyana believes that she may have died from a stroke.

"A wound has opened, my heart is sore, and I am shattered. The community is saddened. We’ve all lost a mother.’" she told News24.

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Mazibuko grew up on a maize farm and never went to school and could not read or write, according to those close to her who also say there are ID documents that prove she was born on 11 May 1894.

She went on to have seven children, two of whom have outlived her, and over 50 grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

At 128 years-old, Mazibuko survived both World Wars as well as two global pandemics - Covid-19 and the Spanish Flu - as well as being alive to during Queen Victoria's rein in Britain, the Wright brother's first flight and the first Russian revolution.

On her 128th birthday last year, Mazibuko reflected on her age, and was pretty surprised at reaching this milestone.

"I am amazed at why I am still here after so many years. Why am I still here? People around me have been dying," she told News24.

"When will I die? What's the point of being alive? The world has tired me because I am just sitting here doing nothing."

Though claims of Mazibuko being the oldest person in the world are unverified, and the community has been trying to get her formally recognised by the Guinness Book of Records.

Currently, 116-year-old Maria Branyas Morera from the US is the world’s oldest person after being named by Guinness World Records back in January.

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