A 121-year-old man said to be the oldest man alive has started a new career as a celebrity as well-wishers flock to have selfies taken with him.
Andrelino Vieira da Silva went viral when he celebrated his 121st birthday in Aparecida de Goiania, Brazil, on 3rd February with a cake topped with a sign saying “O terror do INSS” (The terror of the INSS).
Among other things, the INSS, or National Institute of Social Security, deals with pension payments.
Following the viral snap, Brazil’s minister of Labour and Social Security, Onyx Lorenzoni, issued him with a metal plaque commemorating his 121 years.
It was delivered to his home with the message: “It is a great honour to have you as a beneficiary of the INSS.”
Minister Lorenzoni said: “You are not the terror of the INSS. You are a blessing to the INSS. We wish Mr Da Silva many more years of life.”
And now his granddaughter has revealed he has become a local celebrity, with people asking for selfies with him when he is out and about.
Janaina Lemes de Souza told local media: “Depending on the place, people even recognise him. Some ask if they can take a picture with him and he agrees.”
Janaina says her grandfather is well and does not dwell much on his newfound fame. She told local media: “He’s fine, living his ordinary life.”
Andrelino was allegedly born on 3rd February, 1901. He was married and had seven children, five of whom are alive. He also has 13 grandchildren, 16 great-grandchildren, and a great-great-grandchild.
A month after his 121st birthday, dengue fever put him in hospital for five days. However, he made a full recovery and went back home, with the team that treated him remarking on his energy and good humour.
If Andrelino’s age is independently verified, he will overtake France’s Lucile Randon, who is blind and wheelchair-bound, to officially become the oldest living person.
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Story By: William McGee, Sub-Editor: Marija Stojkoska, Agency: Central European News
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