World’s oldest man dies four months after his 116th birthday when he complained he couldn’t find any tobacco to roll his own cigarettes due to the Covid lockdown
- Fredie Blom died Saturday four months after his 116th birthday in South Africa
- On his birthday he said lockdown jarred him because he couldn’t buy tobacco
- South Africa prohibited the sale of alcohol and cigarettes during its lockdown
- Blom was described as ‘unofficially’ the world’s oldest man because he wasn’t listed as such in the Guinness Book of World Records
The world’s ‘oldest man’ has died four months after his 116th birthday in South Africa.
Born on May 8 1904, South African Fredie Blom had ‘lived this long because of God’s grace,’ he said on his birthday earlier this year.
The 116-year-old told local media the most challenging part of his country’s lockdown was that he was unable to buy tobacco to roll his own cigarettes on his birthday, his only wish for the special day.
South Africa’s banned the purchase of alcohol and cigarettes during lockdown in a bid to decrease hospital admissions from booze-related violence on the country’s streets.
Blom, who was the sole survivor of his family after they were all wiped out by the 1918 Spanish Flu, was described as ‘unofficially’ the world’s oldest man by South African media.
South African Fredie Blom said the most challenging part of his country’s coronavirus lockdown was that he was unable to buy tobacco to roll his own cigarettes for his birthday (Pictured: Blom smoking a pre-rolled cigarette on his birthday)
The Guinness World Records lists the eldest living man as Briton Bob Weighton, who died in May aged 112.
After the death of his family, Blom went on to raise the three children of his wife of 46 years, Jeanette, as his own, becoming grandfather to five over the years.
‘Two weeks ago oupa (grandfather) was still chopping wood,’ family spokesman Andre Naidoo told AFP, recalling the old man using a 4lb hammer.
‘He was a strong man, full of pride,’ he added.
But within three days, his family saw him shrink ‘from a big man to a small person’.
Mr Blom, who was born in 1904 and the sole survivor of his family after they were all wiped out by the 1918 Spanish Flu, was described as ‘unofficially’ the world’s oldest man by South African media
Mr Blom stopped visiting doctors more than two years ago, claiming he was tired of being pricked and prodded.
Born in the rural town of Adelaide, tucked near the Great Winterberg mountain range of South Africa’s Eastern Cape province, Blom died at Tygerberg Hospital in Cape Town.
His death was ‘not a COVID death at all, it’s normal natural death,’ Naidoo said in reference to the coronavirus pandemic.