My twin cousins

My grandmother had three sets of twins. The youngest set of fraternal twins, my uncles, are so interesting: Uncle Taye* is the spitting image of my grandmother, while his slightly younger brother my Uncle Kehinde* favours his father. Uncle Taye married a lovely, hard-working woman and they had two sons, followed by a set of twin girls! My mother is especially happy that her baby brother is now tormented by his two daughters who appear to be identical twins. When we were in Nigeria a year and a half ago, I know that one of the twins was missing an earring and was possibly taller or shorter, and that’s how I differentiated them. One loved the camera while the other was literally scared of it. It was always a challenge to snap a picture before she realized what was going on and started crying.

The girls were so mischievous! If there was something you didn’t want them to get into, they’d be there, leaving destruction in their path. I so badly wanted to cuddle them but good luck tying them down long enough to get close!

And they had such enormous appetites! Seriously between them they could polish off a helping of iyan that would make me push the plate away half way through.

I can’t wait to see them again, to see how their personalities have solidified or developed. I’m particularly fond of twins (as if they need any more attention!) so I’m hoping I can get to know them a bit better next time.

*For the non-Nigerians Taye (or Taiwo) and Kehinde are the names traditionally given to twins by the Yoruba people: Taye is the name given to the elder twin, while Kehinde is given to the younger twin. The names’ meanings reflect this birth order but I don’t know the full version of each name. I’m not sure if this is a new thing but I noticed that some twins aren’t being called Taye/Kehinde anymore but prefer to be called by one of their other names instead.

Bonus trivia: Nigeria has the highest rate of twins in the world! I already knew this but while looking up information on how to increase your chance of having twins (not for me o!), I came across this article which made me laugh because it lists “Eat Yams” as one of the ways to increase your chances!

28 thoughts on “My twin cousins

  1. They are cute. We have twins in my family also. My paternal Aunt has twins, and my cousins from her, has twins also. My maternal grandma's sister (my great aunt) had multiple set of twins, and my mom has twins also (my youngest siblings are twins).

  2. lol @ eat yams to increase ur chances of having twins…I'll check d article out though…

    So u have a family history of twins (same as me)…does that mean that u just might carry on d legacy? lol…

  3. Lovely, Taiye or Taiwo is from O to aiye wo meaning the child came to taste the earth and if it was sweet would cry out to the other twin Kehinde which means 'came behind' the first twin.

    Igbo ora is a village in Oyo state that has the highest number of twins in the world, we spent about 6weeks there during a community posting and the names Taiye and Kehinde were as common as the sand on the earth.

    They eat a lot of yams and Okra in the village and they attribute this to their predilection for birthing twins. Im not sure if this is anecdotal but there is supposed to be something called 'dionin' in the yams….. which is responsible for increasing fecundity:)

    Enough said, your twin cousins are lovely!

  4. Twins! I love twins. i would love to have twins a boy and a girl though.

    Its genetic too and since you have a couple of twins in your family you might probably have a set too.


  5. Cute girls. They do look like they could tag team you and drive you nuts though.

    I never knew that Nigeria had the highest rate of twins! Must be something in the water. ha ha

    I don't think there are any twins anywhere close in my family though.

  6. â–ºHarry

    You sure are first! Nicely done.

    You wish you had a twin sister, while Andrea wishes she had a twin brother. I think you and her should be fake twins!

    And yes, they look adorable; it's meant to deceive you into thinking they are innocent!


    Wow, you guys have twins a-plenty in your family! Maybe you will be the mom of twins yourself!


    You and Harry (see above) should be honorary twins!

    â–ºAnoda Phase

    Or maybe *you* will carry on the legacy! Maybe we both would! I wouldn't mind actually!


    Oh yes, I remember now that you are a twin! Do you like having a twin? I hope you two are close!


    Thank you so much. I was hoping someone would break down the meanings for people like me or non-Nigerians more generally.

    Thank you for your comments on the cutie pies too!


    I love twins. Maybe you'll have two sets of twins: one set boys, and one set girls ;)

    Yup, there's definitely a genetic element so maaaybe, just maybe, I'll have twins!


    hehe, you read them correctly!

    There are other factors (I read elsewhere that consuming dairy is a factor) so you may still be a parent of twins!


    You learn something new every day! :)

    â–ºnaija mom abroad

    lol we're something else, us Yorubas!

    I don't have such ready access to yams so I need to do the same!

  7. How cute and I so love twins…and I wont be surprised if you have them :-)…Anything special about the yams to be eaten?

  8. Not sure of this yam thingy. I did my NYSC in a town in Benue State, Nigeria, where they had yams in abundance and the largest tuber market in West Africa and they could even eat yam for breakfast, lunch and dinner. I saw twins once or twice.


  9. I always wanted to be a twin, infact I called myself wale and my younger brother vale (pronounced like wale except with a V) and we pretended to be twins for the longest time..LOL. I always planned to have twins, but now I know that multiple births are considered high risk pregnancy and are difficult..I am scared lol. Your lil cousins are so cute.

  10. Didn't know we had the highest number of twins…interesting!!

    I won't mind a set myself. My maternal Aunt had like 2 sets of twins but I think that's as far as twins go in my family…I can only wish

  11. Isn't this just an awesome coincidence?

    My sister-in-law just had a baby yesterday (Thank God!) and we started talking about twins and i told them that I'd watched a documentary about a town in western Nigeria where almost every household was blessed with twins. And I clearly remembered that it had something to do with yams but I just couldn't remember the details.

    And see here you're talking about the exact same thing! I'll go check out that link.

    My mom has twins, her sister has twins, my dad's sister has twins, his brother has twins.. so would you say it runs in my family? lol!

  12. I have a twin brother, he's just from another mother and his name is samson adegunle

    more light on the names

    Taiwo (Taye wo): Taye is simply the bold one that takes the risk to come check out what is going on out on Planet Nigeria… he's more like the messenger that is sent to pave the way for the other guy/girl sharing the same fallopian space with him/her…..

    Kehinde( Akéyinde Gbégbon) Kenny is like the big one that comes after taye, he's traditionaly viewed as the eldest but biologically the youngest… more to being a twins than one coming after the other it's more more more mistery

  13. Am so heading to the african store to get more yams….I want me some twins(that way i dont have to go thry labor and pregnancy twice)

  14. i'm a twin and i so love my twinnie even though she's refused to mention she's one (yeah she's dropped more than one comment here :) ) but I do not want twins!

    Enough hard work o! and after having one child , I wonder how my mum coped with two of us!

    Good luck to all who want twins!

  15. I love twins!! maybe because I'm a twin ( to a boy)..but twins really are special..i want twins my self ( boy and girl)…i read about Nigeria having the highest twin rate in the world a while ago..i was soo happy when i was reading it LOL…those twins cousins of yours are CUTEEEEE!!!!

  16. â–ºRita

    It doesn't seem like there's anything special about the yams to be eaten.

    I don't eat nearly enough yams here in Canada…so I don't know if I'll be blessed with twins!


    Oh, well I hope you have your twins!


    Maybe you weren't looking well enough ;)

    â–ºMyne Whitman

    And I will cross my fingers for you too! There's something sort of endearing about having twins, isnt' there?


    I've heard that too…so I'm hoping my gran's triple whammy of twins affects me!


    That is such a cute story!

    You doctors and your "facts". I feel you though on not wanting to deal with any wahala. People don't often think of the implications of carrying twins. Honestly, we've just got to put the whole thing in God's hands…you've scared me too!

    I agree: they are cuties!


    You didn't know that? Well now you know!


    It is an interesting fact, isn't it?

    You never know! Would be cool if you end up with twins.

  17. Too funny, I read the same article 2 years ago. 2 of our friends are having twins this year. Fun times are ahead. God bless your grandmother for 3 sets of twins! Your cousins are adorable :-)

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