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Your dreams are valid and age is no barrier to fulfilling your ambition

The picture of Mzee Silas M’Rinyiru, 97, with other coffee growers on his farm in the Daily Nation of August 20, which reported that he had applied for a coffee milling licence in a bid to achieve his dream of processing his own coffee, is testimony that dreams are valid at whatever age. Examples abound of people who have defied the myth of age as a barrier to achieving one’s dream.

Many questioned whether the new Prime Minister of Malaysia, Dr Mahathir Mohamad, could govern at 92, but he has been serving the community and the nation well.

At 102, Agnes Zhelesnik was America’s oldest — and most adorable — schoolteacher. Affectionately referred to by her pre-primary and elementary school pupils as “Granny”, she has been teaching sewing and cooking at The Sundance School in New Jersey since she was 80.

At 91, Allan Stewart of New South Wales completed a Bachelor of Law degree from the University of New England. At 95, Nola Ochs became the oldest person to receive a college diploma. At 96, Harry Bernstein published his first book, The Invisible Wall, three years after his wife of 70 years, Ruby, died.


At 97, Martin Miller was still working as a lobbyist for seniors. At 98, Beatrice Wood, a ceramicist, exhibited her latest work. At 99, Teiichi Igarashi climbed Mt Fuji. At 100, Frank Schearer seems to be the oldest active water skier. People do extraordinary things all the time.

“Age is no barrier. It’s a limitation you put on your mind,” said retired star athlete Jackie Joyner-Kersee.

Derek Liech, Mombasa.