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Thursday

We married twins to avoid trouble – 50-year-old male identical twins


Fifty-year-old male identical twins, Taiwo and Kehinde Oluwafunso, married to identical twins, tell GBENGA ADENIJI and TOLUWANI ENIOLA the story of their lives.

Tell us about yourselves.
Taiwo: I am Taiwo Johnson Oluwafunso, born at Papa Ajao, Mushin with my twin brother in the mid-sixties by an Ibadan man and a wonderful woman, Mrs. Celinah Oyafunso; an indigene of Ekiti State. She was a trained secretary but our birth compelled her to be a full-time housewife.
My brother and I attended Mushin Primary School in 1972. We later went to Oduabore Primary School in Mushin and proceeded to Oyo State for our post-primary school. We separated for the first time when I attended the Lagos State College of Education, Ijanikin and my twin brother attended The Polytechnic, Ibadan. We thank God that we divinely came together and attended the Lagos State University. We are both pan-Africanists as Panafest representatives in Nigeria. We are saddled with the responsibilities of propagating the rich culture, values and ethos of Africa.
Kehinde: I am Kehinde William Oluwafunso, born 50 years ago, precisely on November, 1966. At the Lagos State University, the then Vice Chancellor, the late  Prof. Fatiu Akesode, treated us as his biological children.
We were introduced to him by Chiefs Dotun and Femi Oyewole of Abeokuta, Ogun State. Our parents taught us contentment, hard work, honesty and the essence of prayer.
How was your upbringing like?
Kehinde: Our parents told us that we were given tags of two different colours in the hospital because we are identical.  The tags were meant to identify us so that one was not given a double dose of medication or baby food. On our christening day, our parents wore colourful wrist bands for us so that the officiating pastor would not christen a child twice.
At birth, an herbalist told our mother to bring us to his shrine in her best attire and bring faded clothes she would put on while leaving the place with us. Their early acceptance of Christ changed the way we were raised. We wore colourful dresses from childhood, ate, slept and did homework together.
Was there any time your resemblance put any of you in trouble?
Taiwo: There were many instances but let me share this. I suffered for an offence that my brother committed and he ran away. I innocently walked into the trap. Kehinde beat up a girl and I was made to pay for his sin. I went home crying and my mother was angry seeing her son beaten for no reason. She followed me to the place, spoiling for showdown but the poor girl could not identify who beat her between the two of us. The whole scene became interesting and confusing. The people that beat me became sober. The girl’s mother, who is also a twin, had to give me gifts which I took home. Many times, I have had to pay for my brother’s wrongdoing.
Kehinde: There was a time Taiwo offended a prefect while we were in secondary school. The project vowed to punish him. How Taiwo escaped from the scene remains a mystery till date. Anytime the prefect saw Taiwo, he would deny knowledge of the incident, calling himself Kehinde.
One day, I ran into the prefect and he asked if I was Taiwo and I said, ‘No, I am Kehinde.’ Instantly, a cane landed on me and I cried profusely.
I prayed that Taiwo should be seen so I could prove my innocence. The prefect later ordered me to follow him to a forest near the school to uproot some trees as punishment. I was afraid as he left me alone in the place.
Not long after he left, I heard a noise in the forest and ran away as fast as my leg could carry me to meet the prefect. I panted like a dog as I faced him to tell him I saw a tiger. He and his friends started laughing as I described the animal I saw. It was at that point that Taiwo arrived, looking worried and crying. He had been searching for me all over the place and when the seniors saw our resemblance, they forgave us and asked us to go.
What position are you in your nuclear family?
Taiwo: We are second set of children. We came after a male child, Toyin Solomon Oyafunso.
Have you ever experienced any case of mistaken identity?
Taiwo: This question brings back fond memories. In 1999, we travelled abroad to attend the African-American Summit. The convener was the late American civil rights leader, Dr. Leon Sullivan. I did my registration and left and my brother had done his earlier. We did not know that an American lady reported my brother to the police that a particular African man did double registration. As they were going round looking for the ‘African’, they stumbled on us in a restaurant where we were drinking tea with some participants from the US. The lady was shocked when she saw us and quickly explained something to the policemen who insisted on calling us. By the time they came to our table and explained our offence, the whole place was thrown into laughter and news went round about this “wonderful twin brothers from Nigeria.”
Kehinde: There was a time I went to visit Taiwo at the College of Education in Ijanikin. I took his room key where he always kept it and slept on his bed, awaiting his arrival. Not long after, a lady came into the room and joined me on the bed. I tried to restrain her as she started to hold me. But she insisted. It was then I realised that Taiwo did not tell her he is a twin. As she stood up to lock the door, Taiwo came in. She looked at him and then back at me, shouting ‘ghost’ and fled the room. The two of us immediately burst into laughter.
Who between the two of you tries to resolve disagreements before they fester?
Taiwo: We both ensure that women and money do not cause any disaffection between us. These are the two tools use by the devil to separate twins. The issue of money and women are slippery terrain for male twins and men generally. It requires the grace of God and Solomonic wisdom to pass the test.
Kehinde: I have always been doing that. If Taiwo would be honest, he would agree with this because I am the older.
You married twins. Did you plan it?
Taiwo: No. We are proud husbands to Taiwo and Kehinde Oluwafunso (nee Oyawoye); a wonderful set of twins. We are lucky to have met these great ladies. We never planned it. It was divinely inspired. We did not set out to marry twins. It must have been for a purpose because, at times, it amazes us too. To some people, it is a like a fairy tale.
Kehinde: We never planned it. We met them during our annual twins’ festival. They were part of the participants who came from Kwara State. Their humility and quiet nature impressed us so much that day and we asked them out. I made the first move to Kehinde and Taiwo later spoke with Taiwo.
Before then, we had failed relationships. My girlfriend then accused me of loving my twin brother more than her while his girlfriend accused him of divulging her secrets to me. The trouble was much and we had to run to God. We got a leading to marry twins. Our wives are good to us. They are sweet and homely.
For how long have you been married?
Taiwo: We got married about 10 years ago in Emmanuel Baptist Church, Sabo Oke, Ilorin, Kwara State.
Are your wives identical or dissimilar?
Taiwo: Our wives are identical but they are not fanatical like us. They do not always wear the same attire like we do.
How have they been able to interrupt your closeness?
Taiwo: (Smiles).Our wives never attempted to disrupt our closeness. They only strengthen our closeness which would not have been possible if we didn’t marry twins. We married twins to avoid trouble. Like we earlier explained, we had troubles from ladies who were not twins. One even told me that after our marriage, Kehinde’s visit to my place would be minimised.
How old are you and your wives?
Taiwo: We just celebrated our 50th birthday anniversary.
Kehinde: Our lovely wives are in their 30s.
What pranks did you play on people with your semblance while growing up?
Taiwo: (Smiles). Our resemblance has always been a blessing to us. At times, we play pranks to save ourselves from embarrassing situations or to confuse people. We deliberately played pranks while growing up at times on our parents to escape punishment and mostly in school. We played pranks too on girls who may prove stubborn, especially to me. I used to employ the services of my twin brother who is a great ‘toaster’ and smooth-talker. Whenever my brother talks to any lady with a heart of steel, she will yield. Most times, these girls won’t know that my twin brother spoke with them to win them over for me. Immediately he achieved this, we exchanged position and I continue from where he stopped.
Do you have twins as children?
Taiwo: No. None of us has twins for now but we are working very hard on it. We pray that very soon you will be invited to celebrate with us.
Kehinde: I know I will have twin girls.
What are the things you have in common?
Kehinde: We love travelling, writing and dancing. I can dance very well but Taiwo cannot dance. We love good music, blues, classical, apala, gospel and Ebenezer Obey’s old songs. We love meeting people and have read over 5000 books together.
How can you describe yourself?
Taiwo: We are humble, prayerful, respectful, innovative, dynamic and fearless to take up gargantuan tasks.
What is your favourite food?
Taiwo: I like pounded yam and egusi soup with chilled bottle of coke or juice.
Kehinde: Rice and chicken with a good stew. I also love black amala, gbegiri, ewedu and goat meat.
How do people react whenever they see you both?
Taiwo: There are always different kinds of reaction from people when they see us together. Some will see us and start smiling while others will run after us, requesting prayers from us. Some see us and ask, “Are you married? If you are not, we have daughters to give to you.’’ Others demand to meet our mother for labouring to bring us up successfully. At times, expectant women solicit prayers from us so that they would bear children. We are often touched by these feelings. We had prayed for many and have five cases of answered prayers in that regard.
Kehinde: Some ladies had confronted us many times, asking us who would marry them between the two of us. Most times, we have to show our wedding bands.
Do you stay together?
Taiwo: Yes, but we do not live in the same room.

Our identical husbands are too close — wives

Can you briefly introduce yourselves?
Taiwo: I am Mrs. Taiwo Oluwafunso. I work as an accountant in the office of the Lagos State Auditor General.
Kehinde: I am Mrs. Kehinde Oluwafunso. I am also an accountant with the Treasury Office of the Lagos State Government.
How did you respond to your husbands’ proposals?
Taiwo: At first, I wasn’t interested (in his proposal). Along the line, we got to know more about each other. I realised he is an interesting man. I didn’t know I would marry a twin. His behaviour and attitude to life made me develop interest in him.
Kehinde: I accepted his proposal immediately. I was thinking that when I get to Ilorin, Kwara State, he won’t be able to follow me there. I didn’t know he would come all the way from Lagos to Ilorin to visit me. When he came again, I told him yes. Initially, I didn’t know his twin brother proposed to my twin sister too. I knew he has a twin brother but I didn’t know there was any discussion about marriage between them. It was in Ilorin that I got to know that he proposed to her. I see them as visionaries and we decided to accept their proposals.
What are the challenges you face living together?
Taiwo: The major challenge is getting my husband’s attention. Sometimes, I want him to be with me but he may prefer to be with his twin brother. That is the only challenge. I have called his attention to this, to complain that he is too close to his brother (laughs).
Kehinde: There is really not much challenge except that they put on same clothes. I want my husband and I to wear matching attire when we go out but he prefers doing that with his twin brother. Another challenge is that they both go out together all the time.
How do you identify your husbands?
Taiwo: One of them has a big tummy, the other does not have. My husband does not have a big tummy (laughs).
Kehinde: The first time I met them, I knew the difference. My husband looks a little bit bigger than Taiwo and facially, I can tell the difference.
How has it been living together?
Taiwo: It has been interesting.  But I sometimes wish we live separately. Intimacy with his twin brother is strong. Sometimes, I don’t get close to my husband as much as I want to.
Kehinde: It has been tough because sometimes, I would want my husband and I to be alone. Although we live in the same building, our apartments are adjacent to the living room. We share the same living room. Sometimes, when my husband and I are discussing, his twin brother could just barge in and interrupt the discussion.  I may consider that we live separately in the future. For now, I am still enjoying it.
How do you settle quarrels?
Taiwo: We hardly quarrel and when we do, we talk about it and settle it.
Kehinde: Sometimes, my husband tries to defend his twin brother when we have a disagreement. For instance, if my husband’s twin brother offends me, I express my grievance. My husband will try to protect his brother rather than side with me (laughs).
Do you wish to have twins as children?
Taiwo: I wish to but it is late now. I already have two children.
Kehinde: I love to. But I am okay with the two children I have. I know that twins can’t give birth to twins. I don’t bother myself about the wish again.
Can you share any memorable experience living together?
Taiwo: Till now, people can’t identify us because we look so much alike. Even our father can’t tell us apart. While growing up, our father would say, “Kehinde, go and do this for me.” I would say, “Daddy, I am Taiwo, not Kehinde.” He will then say, “You go and do it then.”  People are always surprised when they see us. Marrying a twin was not my plan but I am enjoying it and there is no problem.
Kehinde: I experience funny moments when my twin sister and I visit my children’s school. My children’s friends in the school would tell my child, “Toluwani, how come you have two mummies and two daddies?” It is usually very funny. It has been positive though because most times, when I see twins who marry non-twins, it is not that easy. Even if they are not living together, there are always difficulties.

6 comments:

  1. I know them, they used to live at Ifako Sawmail around Gbagada then. If you got to read this, this is Bola. But I cant identify them.

    ReplyDelete
  2. But how come they waited till age 40 to get married

    ReplyDelete

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