Edward Nino Hernandez is in many ways a typical 24-year-old Colombian male. He loves to dance reggaeton, dreams of owning a fast car and wants to see the world.
Top on his list of people he would like to meet are Jackie Chan, Sylvester Stallone and former Colombian President Alvaro Uribe.
What sets Nino apart is his size.
He is slightly taller than a piece of carry-on luggage and weighs just 22lbs (10kgs).
And he has just been officially certified as the world’s shortest living man by Guinness World Records, measuring 27ins.
Nino, who works part time as a dancer, said:’I feel happy because I’m unique.’
He also reveals he has a girlfriend – an 18-year-old who is just under 5ft.
Although he has cataracts in both of his eyes that blur his vision and, require urgent surgery that the family can’t afford, the budding actor has won a part in a new film, playing a drug thief.
He may like being in the spotlight, but Nino said there are some drawbacks to being the world’s smallest man.
‘It bothers me that people are always touching me and picking me up,’ he said.
Nino’s mother, Noemi Hernandez, said of her oldest of five children: ‘He hasn’t grown since he was two years old.’
She added that doctors never could explain why Nino is so small.
‘They never gave us a diagnosis,’ Mrs Hernandez, 43, said from her home in Bosa, a poor district of southern Bogota.
She said Nino weighed just 3.3lb (1.5kg) when he was born and was just 15 inches long.
Doctors were at first intrigued as to why he was so small and studied him until he was three years old, but then ‘lost interest’.
She and her husband, a security guard, lost a daughter who was born similarly small in 1992.
Their youngest child, Miguel Angel, 11, stands 37ins tall. The other three boys are of normal height and appearance.
Nino is mentally sharp and laughs easily though it’s sometimes hard to understand his high-pitched speech and his stubby fingers make writing difficult.
He had to repeat several years of school before dropping out aged about 13.
His mother said he loves to travel – though he hasn’t been outside Colombia – and likes to play dominoes and checkers.
‘He only gets depressed when he’s shut in at home,’ she added.
However, it is unclear whether Nino’s fame will last long.
Khagendra Thapa Magar of Nepal is expected to take over after he turns 18 in October. He measures about 22ins and is currently recognized by Guinness as the shortest living teen.
The previous smallest man in the world was He Pingping of China, who was 1.5 inches taller and died in March.