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John Waweru: Kenyan Man With 1.4ft Nails Invited by World Guinness Records to Participate in Global Competition

Whenever Kenya has been associated with the World Guinness Records, athletics is often what comes to mind. This time around, the country is set to make an entry into the history books for a rather peculiar feat.

John Waweru, a resident of Mombasa has gained the attention of the Guinness Book of Records after he claimed to have the longest nails in the world.

According to a report, the ‘talons’ measure 1.4 feet and the World Guinness Records wants him to enter a global competition.

Waweru first appeared in the media in 2013 after he attended the Mombasa County Agricultural Show where he showcased his nails. He had also visited coastal beaches, schools and estates, showcasing the nails at a reasonable fee.

John Waweru: Kenyan Man With 1.4ft Nails Invited by World Guinness Records to Participate in Global Competition
File image of John Waweru and CNN Correspondent Larry Madowo. |Photo| Courtesy|

Guinness World Records Talent Researcher Charlie Anderson wrote an email to a local publication, seeking contact to Waweru so he could apply for the record.

Mr Anderson further called on anyone who believes they have the longest nails to come forth, noting that an attempt to contact Waweru does not declare him the winner yet.

“Hopefully he or anyone else with longer nails can earn themselves a place in the next edition of the book,” Anderson said.

In 2013, Waweru began showcasing his nails which at the time were painted in the colours of the Kenyan flag to commemorate the country’s 50 years of independence. He made between Ksh2,000 and Ksh10,000 per day.

The Guinness World Records enthusiast hails from a fairly superstitious community and his decision to grow the nails had people associating him with witchcraft and devil worship.

He ignored the criticism and decided to grow his nails.

“You know the stories people tell about Mombasa and ghosts? My parents thought I had joined a cult. After high school I got a job but my nails which were growing very fast were a hindrance to my work. So I decided to stay at home and let them grow without interference,” Waweru told the Nation in 2013.

He stopped clipping the nails in 2002.

The Guinness World Records has no history of an African man with such long nails. The world record holder is Chris Walton – a 58 year-old woman from Las Vegas Nevada in the US whose nails are over 20 feet long.

John Waweru: Kenyan Man With 1.4ft Nails Invited by World Guinness Records to Participate in Global Competition
File image of John Waweru. |Photo| Courtesy|

Waweru notes that for the nails to grow longer, he invests a lot in his diet which includes milk for calcium and lots of water.

“My nails have changed me. I am a peaceful man. I do not drink drink alcohol because I might forget and break them accidentally. I never fight, I bathe using one hand and take one hour to dress up,” he narrated.

Waweru explains that he decided to grow the nails on his left hand because it is inactive and uses the right hand to do his chores.

He notes that his parents changed their minds about his decision once he began to earn money from it.

“I have built a four roomed Swahili house. I have a nail salon that offers manicure and pedicure,” he revealed at the time.

Waweru notes that he faces challenges cooking by himself or washing his own clothes. He also has trouble when going to bed because a wrong move and the blanket or bedsheets might break his nails.

He is still disappointed that some people still think he is a devil worshipper.

Waweru advices youth in the country not to despair in life despite the harsh economic challenges, and find something within them – body feature or talent – that can earn them a living.