Sunday, 23 August 2009

The Terrific Twins: Karijo Twins


So finally I get to write about my sisters. I’m hoping that it will help me avoid questions that include: How is it growing up with twin sisters? Isn’t it interesting? Are Twins are weird? Do they think alike? So does that mean I’m also likely to have twins?
The last borns in our family of five children are the twins Edna and Evalin. In public circles they go by all sorts of other names. The most common is the terrific twins which was the name they used in KTNs Can you Dance Competition. It is still the name they use on their KU Fm Sunday Catholic programme. The twins are multitalented they act and have been members of the Kenyatta University Travelling Theater, they dance under various stage names including Karijo Twins. They read news on the Universities radio station KU fm. They play piano in Kenyatta University Catholic Chaplaincy and the list goes on and on and on.
Of course I should be proud as big brother but also that comes with the name tag “brother wa twins” or “the twins brother”.
So disadvantages of growing up with twins include you will never win an argument because you will always be outnumbered. I learned that early and always chose the path of diplomacy and compromise my younger brother took a bit more time and when we were kids the twins were specialists in driving him up the wall.
Advantages include when you need family to run to when in trouble you get it in double dose which is good. It was especially useful for me when I decided to resume my studies back at the University. The twins handled everything I needed from administration including registration, fees statements etc. If it wasn’t for them I would be lost in the new look Kenyatta University which is very much unlike the one I left five years ago and even different from the KU I oriented the twins into. It is more beautiful and larger than life…well it is Professor Olive’s Kenyatta.
Other questions about the twins are more easily answered by the science of twins rather than by looking at my younger siblings.
Finally if you ask me being a brother to the two is great and I wouldn’t trade it for anything in the world.
Monozygotic twins, frequently referred to as identical twins. Genetically speaking, the children of MZ twins are half-siblings rather than cousins that means if or when my twin sisters do get kids those children will be more like brothers and sisters than cousins.
It is estimated that there are around 10 million monozygotic twins and triplets in the world which means that twins are 0.16% of the world populations.
The likelihood of a single fertilisation resulting in MZ twins appears to be a random event, not a hereditary trait, and is uniformly distributed in all populations around the world although people such as the Yoruba of Nigeria have shown to have high affinity for it.
Hopefully that last point should put to rest anyone who wants to be with me as a potential twin making machine … you can pick any other specimen among men it is a random event.
The number of epigenetic differences between MZ twins increases with age. Fifty-year-old twins had over three times the epigenetic difference of three-year-old twins. Twins who had spent their lives apart (such as those adopted by two different sets of parents at birth) had the greatest difference.
That should answer questions like can I tell them apart? Yeah of course I’ve known them for 20 + years so I should be able to tell them apart. However sometimes I pick up their pictures and I have to look at it twice before telling who is who. The twins also have different reactions to situations but somehow their different responses seem to strengthen them emotionally, psychologically as a pair. I however have to warn you if you have something confidential to say to them make sure you are speaking to the right twin whether it is on phone or face to face they have been a nightmare to many teachers and …unlucky boys.
However, certain characteristics become more alike as twins age, such as IQ and personality. This phenomenon illustrates the influence of genetics in many aspects of human characteristics and behaviour. The twins recently attended the World Youth Day in Sidney Australia as part of a group called MAGis which brings together people from all over the world in Cultural and social experiment meant to lead them towards growth, discovery and more openness to the world.
One of the experiments had the participants draw pictures. The twins sitted on opposite ends of the table and with no restrictions on theme or color painted almost identical pictures using the same colors and with a similar theme. (I promise to upload these pictures as soon as I have the permission)
But the explanation above on IQ and personality can explain this phenomenon. My kid sisters have grown up in the same schools and all their exposures have been the same so more of similar events like the above are bound to occur. However it is interesting to note that for them it did not seem weird or strange that they painted the same picture.
Do they do things differently? Yeah, always … they are two people even in their choice of study and career Edna is a B.Com student majoring in Marketing while Evalin is a Environmental Health student they are both in their third year of study. While Edna stayed in Nairobi for her attachment with one of the government agencies on export Evalin was out in Makueni with AMREF in their water projects.
I could write ten pages about them but for today I hope that reduces everybody’s curiosity on the terrific twins.

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Loving life and living it. “Live with intention. Walk to the edge. Listen hard. Practice wellness. Play with abandon. Laugh. Choose with no regret. Appreciate your friends. Continue to learn. Do what you love. Live as if this is all there is.” (Mary Anne Radmacher)
Give yourself completely in everything for that is love and only when we love can we find God.