Gist: Welcome to the land where all families has twins.  (Read 2339 times)

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Welcome to the land where all families has twins.
by olaniyi « on: September 21, 2014, 08:15:06 AM »

Dosa; his daughter, Comfort Hungevu; and his three twin grandchildren | credits: Leke Baiyewu
Maun, a small town in Ogun State, has a peculiarity: nearly a half of its 10,000 population are twins, writes LEKE BAIYEWU
If you are visiting Maun for the first time, it’s important that you know the surname of the person whom you are looking for. This is because half of the population either bear the name: Taiwo or Kehinde.

The Yoruba, one of Nigeria’s tribes, give special names to twins: Taiwo (he who first tasted the world) and Kehinde (the one who arrived last).

But call any of these names on the streets of Maun, a small town in the Ipokia Local Government Area of Ogun State, not a few heads would turn.

Welcome to Maun where strikingly identical persons abound. First time-visitors find it surprising and amusing.

While twins are not uncommon in Nigeria, it is rare to find a town with half its population being multiple births.

One of them is Mr. David Dosa who was born and bred in Maun. Dosa has male twins among his children. When the twins began to raise their families, each of them had a twin each. The twins’ immediate younger sister is Comfort Hungevu. When she got married, she had two sets of twins successively. Dosa is however not a twin.

There is also the Zinsu family. The couple gave birth to two sets of twins and each of the twins also gave birth to twins – one of the twins has also had two sets of twins.

In this rural community dominated by the Egun, it is not uncommon to see a woman giving birth to a set of twins as many as five times. Twins marrying twins and giving birth to twins in Maun is a common thing.

So, how come Maun has such high number of twins? Is the ‘secret’ a food that is commonly eaten in the town or is the ability to sire twins in the genes of the people of Maun? When SUNDAY PUNCH asked Dosa these questions, he shook his head and answered that there was no secret.

He said, “I have a twin; both of them got married and gave birth to twins. Their younger sister, Comfort, is currently nursing her second set of twins. As you can see, (pointing to three sets of twins sitting on a mat to have their lunch of a local delicacy, tuwo and stew), my house is full of twins. I am one of those with the highest number in his family in the land.”

Taiwo Zinsu described Maun’s high multiple births to providence or what he described as “gift of God”.

He said, “My parents gave birth to two sets of twins. They first had a child, then twins (male and female) and later twins – I am one of the second set (a male-male set).

“The male in the first set has given birth to twins twice – male and female and later male and male. The female in the first set just had her twins a few weeks ago. God has just blessed us”

Zinsu and his twin brother have yet to marry but he strongly believes that both of them will have twins as children.

“We are from the Zekanme Compound in Maun – the compound with the highest record of twins in this community. I will not be surprised if my twin brother and I give birth to twins when we get married,” Zinsu said.

It is a similar case for the Atene family. Taiwo Atene is one of the five sets of twins her mother gave birth to. She had also been delivered of a set of twins. To her, giving birth to twins is a “common thing.”

“My mother had five sets of twins and I’m one of them. It may interest you to know that I’ve had a set of twins and some of my siblings have also had theirs. My step-mother also has two sets of twins,” she said.

Taiwo’s step-mother, Mrs Bose Atene, is crippled, not literate and lives in an uncompleted building. But neither poverty nor disability could stop her from having her own sets of twins.

Atene said, “I have two sets of twins. The first set are about nine years old; the second about two years old. I didn’t eat any special food. I believe it’s God’s blessing. My husband’s brother also has twins.”

In all, Atene’s nuclear family alone has seven sets of twins.

She lamented that she had been unable to cater for her twins after her husband died a few years ago. She had given the two twins for adoption.

She said, “I used to sell provisions until my husband died while I was pregnant with the second set of twins. Because of my condition, I had to give them out to those who can help me train them. Now, I make mats and brooms. It’s been hard.”

In the case of Deborah Eweje, her immediate younger siblings are twins and she gave birth to two sets of twins.

“I had two twins but the younger set died not long ago. I now have a set – male and a female. I was followed by a set of twins – two males. We also have several cases of multiple births in my family,” Eweje, a palm tree farmer, said.

The Head, Department of Obstetrician and Gynaecology, University of Ibadan, Professor Ayodele Arowojolu, said the factors for Maun’s high twin rate could be migration and dietary.

He said people would continue to give birth to twins in a community where they don’t marry away from their roots. He also said the type of food the people consume could affect their fertility.

Arowojolu said, “Diet is one thing. And if the people in a community don’t move out, as they grow older, they will start to have twins. If they don’t go out to mix with other people, after a while, they will start having twins. They will continue to exchange genes and twining tendency among themselves.”

Confirming the rate at which twins are born in the community, a matron at the Maun Health Centre, who declined to mention her name because she was not authorised to speak to the press, said the facility recorded an average of five twins out of 10 deliveries at the centre monthly.

She added, “Yes, twins are common here. On the average, we record at least five twin deliveries in this place per month; and about 10 births are recorded every month. And not all of them use the health centre, some use the traditional doctors.”



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