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.
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.
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.
Dotun and Femi Oyewole of Abeokuta, Ogun State. Our parents taught us
contentment, hard work, honesty and the essence of prayer.
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.
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.
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.
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.
asked if I was Taiwo and I said, ‘No, I am Kehinde.’ Instantly, a cane
landed on me and I cried profusely.
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.
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.
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.”
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Our identical husbands are too close — wives
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.
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.
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).
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.
I met them, I knew the difference. My husband looks a little bit bigger
than Taiwo and facially, I can tell the difference.
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.
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.
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).
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’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.
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.