How does one become the oldest person in the world?
According to 117-year-old Violet Brown of western Jamaica, it takes faith and "hard work."
Brown gained the title after the previous oldest person in the world, Emma Morano of Italy, died last weekend. Morano was born on November 29, 1899, and was 117 years and 135 days old at the time of her death.
Morano was also the last person born in the 20th century.
Brown, born in March 1900, is now believed to be the “new” oldest person in the world with credible birth certification as issued by British authorities, who governed the island at the time of her birth.
“I didn’t know that I would become the oldest,” Brown told The Associated Press. “I feel I would have passed off a long time ago, but thank God for what he has given me.”
She credits her long life to her dedication to her work, citing long days farming sugar cane with her husband over the hills, and her unwavering faith.
After being baptized when she was 13 years old, “I spent all my time in the church from a child to right up,” Brown said.
While she has given up eating pork and chicken, Brown said she would eat “anything at all [that] makes my belly full,” including greens, mutton, beef and fish.
She also still has five out of six of living children, including her oldest son, 97-year-old Harold Fairweather, with whom she spends most of her days.
According to APTN, Brown has not yet been officially declared the world’s oldest person by Guinness World Records. The organization is still researching different candidates who might be next to hold the title.