Negewo Jima, an Ethiopian, recently took to social media to claim he’s “longer” than a Ghanaian who was previously reported to be the world’s tallest man. Jima’s claim comes after the BBC published an article about a local hospital in Ghana claiming Sulemana Abdul Samed was 9 ft 6in tall (2.89m).
If the local hospital had been certain of Samed’s height, he would have been declared the tallest man in the world. According to the BBC, the hospital is unsure because it lacks the necessary measuring tools. And in a bid to challenge his height measurement, Jima took to Facebook to share a photo collage of himself and Samed, writing “never give up”.
“Bring him if you want – this guy will not be longer than me,” Jima also shared in an initial post.
In an interview with the BBC, Jima also stated that based on the photos, Samed is not “longer” than him.
Jima, who stands 7 ft 4.6in (225cm), is said to be Ethiopia’s tallest man. The BBC reporter measured Samed in order to confirm his height claim. The end result was 7ft 4in, which means Jima is taller than him.
Even after the reporter informed Samed that the local hospital’s measurement was incorrect, the 29-year-old replied that he could one day reach the height of the world’s tallest man because he is still growing. Sultan Kösen, a Turkish national, holds the Guinness World Record for the tallest man at 8ft 2.8in.
“I’m still growing tall. Who knows, maybe one day I may get to that height too,” Samed said. “Every three months of four months I grow… If you’ve not seen me for three months or four and you see me, you’d realised I have increased.”
Samed has a condition known as gigantism. According to the Cleveland Clinic, the condition “occurs when a child or adolescent has high levels of growth hormone in their body, causing them to grow very tall.”
“Gigantism is treatable, but early diagnosis is crucial to prevent excessive height and other complications,” the clinic adds.
But despite his diagnosis and health issues, Samed said he doesn’t have a problem with his condition. “That is how Allah chose it for me, I am OK. I don’t have a problem with the way God created me,” he said.