Celebrating Life at 117

This is an affectionate portrait of Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange - a woman who lives a short drive outside Nairobi - and who celebrated her 117th birthday this year. Her story, and that of her family, is told by Elizabeth's own great granddaughter Priscilla Ng'ethe.

The joy of family life is captured when many generations come together. But it is a short mental journey to the past and more turbulent times. When the British were rounding up suspected Mau Mau independence rebels and putting them in detention, where some faced torture and death. Elizabeth's husband was one of those detained and she led the family through a period of extreme austerity. The family survived and flourished in a new independent Kenya. The wife of a senior chief, in a polygamous marriage, Elizabeth has known better and worse times. She shares her secrets in this BBC World Service documentary told by her great granddaughter.

Producer: Nina Robinson

(Photo: Priscilla visits her great grandmother Elizabeth Gathoni Koinange at her home in Kiambu, Kenya)

Release date:

Available now

27 minutes

Last on

Thu 13 Apr 2017 01:32 GMT

Featured in...

Space

The Space Race

Stargazing - from eclipses to the spacecraft changing our view of the Universe

70 Years On: Partition Stories

27089dde23c5424721c0d88abb370d39.jpeg

Memories and stories of Partition in 1947 and the legacy Partition leaves with us today

The Compass

The Compass - branding 1920

The essential take on big ideas, issues and trends from the 21st century

The Documentary Podcast

The Documentary Podcast

Every episode of The Documentary, on your mp3 player, to play wherever you are