Many identical twins also claim to share something more mysterious: a special psychic connection. Some twins claim to know what the other is thinking or feeling.
Being Identical twins could be both exciting and frustrating at the same time. From the mystery of telepathy to tales of twin siblings switching places and denying culpability for offences in order to avoid being punished for misdemeanors, many identical twins have reaped unmerited favours and suffered undeserved punishments at different times.
Not a few parents and friends of identical twins would agree that a lot of things could be incredibly confusing when dealing with identical twins. ‘My dad had a lot of difficulties in identifying us and on most occasions he had to rely more on my late mum to differentiate between me and my twin sister,” began Mrs. Taiwo Jemiseye (formerly Miss Taiwo Fagbohun). “As a matter of fact, his confusion over who is who between Kenny and I persisted until few years ago when our mother passed on. It was after the death of our mother that our daddy started making serious efforts to be able to differentiate the two of us,” she said.
The Fagbohun twins are both staff of Nightingale Academy in Alagbado area of Lagos, where most of their colleagues equally find it difficult to differentiate between the sisters except by their job descriptions. Taiwo is a teacher in the School while Kehinde Akinyemi (also formerly Fagbohun) is the School bursar.
“Despite having worked together for a few years, I still can’t differentiate between the two of them except when I probably see them in their respective positions in the school,” a teacher in the school said.
The fact that the school also has a dress code for each of the days of the week further adds to the dilemma of their colleagues when dealing with them. The school proprietress, students and parents are not immuned to this dilemma of identity which the twin sister’s semblance creates within the school environment. “Mum (the school proprietress) sometimes jocularly warns us not to wear similar dresses to school so as to be able to identify us,” Mrs. Kehinde, the school bursar, said.
Mrs. Taiwo also said: “Most parents and the students on number of occasions would stop me to discuss issues bordering on school fees and other payments with me, thinking they are talking to the school bursar.”
The Fagbohun twins admitted to creeping out on those who cannot differentiate them. “On several occasions, we have deceived many people with our identity. There was a time during our secondary school days when Kehinde beat one of our classmates up. When she realized that the student had gone to report to one of our teachers, she rushed to me and pleaded with me not to reveal her identity since the student in question could not differentiate between the two of us. Eventually, the teacher sent for both of us and we were asked to identify who did it but we both denied being responsible. The teacher asked the two of
us to kneel down until we were ready to own up but neither of us was ready to say who did it. At the end, the teacher set us free, perhaps out of the fear of the superstitious belief that twins shouldn’t be treated unjustly,” Mrs. Taiwo said.
Their trick still works not only on outsiders but also on their own blood as Mrs. Kehinde recalled. “One of the notable pranks we played with our identities most recently was on my second child, David. I discovered that I was getting too emotional when it was time to wean him. I kept postponing it because I could not withstand to see him cry whenever he wanted to be suckled. Since I knew that he could not differentiate between Taiwo and I then, I decided to relocate him to her house. while he was there, he didn’t know Taiwo wasn’t his mother. He was there for several days until he no longer cried to be breastfed.”
Like the Fagbohun twins, Doris and Dorothy Ikoli are also identical twins whose striking semblance confounds those who come their way. Although, their mother easily recognizes and differentiates between them when they are present, the twin sisters told Sunday Sun that they still have a way of playing pranks on their mom. “If she calls one of us, let’s say she is in the sitting room, and she wants to talk to my twin sister, I can answer and respond to her enquiries to cover up for my sister, Dorothy said.
Miss. Judith Nwackukwu who is a church member and friend of the Ikoli twins said despite being very close to the twin sisters, she still has difficulty in identifying them properly especially when she is with just one of them. “Even when they are together, it is sometimes difficult particularly when they are in relaxed mood. However, when they are not, I can differentiate them based on their emotions.
Over the years, I have got to realize that Doris is shy and a bit reserved. On the other hand, Dorothy is moderately strict,” she noted.
Twin’s striking semblance is indeed a major challenge not only to those who come there ways but also for the twins themselves. “As a child and even as a teenager, there were instances when I got punished for offences I never committed. There was a day I was sent on an errand. It happened at Olateju, Mushin in Lagos. A guy accosted and beat me up, claiming I abused him some moments earlier when he passed in front of our house. I was baffled by his claim because I didn’t even know him from Adam.
“Intuitively, however, I knew Taiwo must be responsible for the offence I was accused of. So I cried back home and when my mum saw the sincerity with which I denied the accusation, she followed me to the place together with my twin sister. When the guy saw the two of us, he became confused and could not identify who the real culprit was. At that point he concluded by saying he was sure one of us abused him when he passed in front of our house,” Mrs. Kehinde narrated.
Taiwo on the hand has had cause to pay dearly for her striking identity with her twin sister. “There was an occasion when one of my brothers-in-law wanted to give me money but he mistakenly gave it to Kehinde. When he saw me later, I think he had some misgivings about the person he handed the money over to. So, he informed me that he had given my twin sister some money. Ordinarily, the money was meant for me but because of the confusion, we had to share it,” she disclosed.
The Ikoli twins also have their own headaches as identical twins. Although they claimed never to have run into serious problem with outsiders as a result of being identical, they sometimes have issues with each other as Doris noted. “The major issue we sometimes have has to do with our dresses. We have an aunt who is a fashion designer. Anytime she made clothes for us especially when they are of different colours or different fabrics, my twin sister may want to lay claim to mine probably because she likes it more than the one given to her. Issue like this always causes problems between us,
Besides their pranks and challenges as siblings, twins, both fraternal and identical, are known to have fascinated the world for centuries. A good number of them are often very close, and share not only genes but also, of course, secrets. However, many identical twins also claim to share something more mysterious: a special psychic connection. Some twins claim to know what the other is thinking or feeling. It’s an intriguing idea many would like to describe as sheer coincidence while a few others will attribute it to psychic powers.
While the Ikoli twins say they do not exhibit such trait as twins, the Fagbohuns have the feelings that they seem to communicate with each other by means other than known senses.
“There are instances when we take similar decisions on some issues without prior discussions or agreements. Again, we have also discovered that we wear similar clothes to occasions and church without telling each other in advance.
“Apart from this, we both have two kids each and I strongly believe that it is not by mere coincidence that we gave birth to them on the same days of the week. I gave birth to my first child on a Sunday and Kenny gave birth to hers on Sunday. Again, my second child came on a Monday, and Kenny also had her second child on a Monday,” Mrs. Taiwo revealed.
However as intriguing as the idea is, not a few believe that there is no credible scientific evidence that psychic powers exist, either in the general population or among twins specifically.