Thu Oct 27 11:13:05 CAT 2016

Birds of a feather

By unknown | Sep 20, 2007 | COMMENTS [ 0 ]

Before the birth of Mpho and Mphonyana Mathibela, South Africa's famous conjoined twins, all twins were the most cherished gifts. People say that twins are God's way of duplicating his craftsmanship after observing His perfection of the first twin.

Not one to be deterred by the daunting adversity of her twins, Sophie Mathibela stuck to the names subscribed by society.

For decades now, twins have been given similar names, dressed the same and made to do everything else together.

Social worker Priscilla Sibane says: "If they could have their way, my relatives would like to see identical twins marry other identical twins.

"But as far as I'm concerned, identical twins are separate individuals who are made to feel like one person because of the twin-fascination treatment they receive," says Sibane.

But Rockey Street twins Mbongeni and Bonginkosi Banda refute Sibane's claim. They say that the bond is unshakable.

"Sometimes we have the same de javu moments," says Mbongeni.

Originally from Vryheid in KwaZulu-Natal and fairly new in Johannesburg, their striking resemblance has made them celebrities in Yeoville. Sometimes they spend hours trying to get from one point to the next because people continuously stop them to ask for a third look.

"It becomes unbearable sometimes. Even children seem to think we are an identical outfit at their disposal," says Bonginkosi.

So identical are they that they even finish each other's sentences.

But similarity in twins is downplayed by scientists who say that twins, identical or not, are a result of a mishap during the fertilisation process.

Chris Lubede says: "Twins are formed when only one ovum is impregnated by only one spermatozoid, but the egg divides in two embryos afterwards."

The doctor adds: "Twins have exactly the same chromosomes, a perfect resemblance and the same sex."

But the Banda twins are not swayed by science.

"We have the same dancing and design habits. God gave other people talents to use individually, ours just come together.

"Some people even believe that when one twin passes on, the other inherits the dead twin's endowments," says Bonginkosi, whose sentence is completed by Mbongeni as if they rehearsed the statement.

Scientists say that the mind is a flexible tool that perpetrates or influences ideas.

"If you are raised as one person, you are bound to feel that way," says Lubede.

Assertions from both sides are better explained by Poland's identical Kaczynski twins who are heading that country's politics. Lech and Jaroslaw are so similar that voters can't tell them apart, though only one is married and only one has a mole.

The Kaczynski's share the same passions though, and one of them is acting. They have starred in the film The Two Who Stole the Moon.


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