Nigeria And The Blessing Of Twin Birth

Nigeria is home to the highest number of twin births in the world. During the pre colonial era, twins were regarded as evil. People believed they brought bad luck to their families, especially the annang, Efik, Ibiobio people of Akwa Ibom and Cross River state. Whenever a woman gives birth to twins, they were either killed or taken to the forest to die. With the Intervention of a scottish missionary named Mary Slessor, the killing of twins was abolished. Although there are still some people in some parts of Nigeria that still practice the killing of twins, like the people of Bassa Komo who believe twin children are demons who suck their blood at night and predestined to kill a parent or both, Gbagyi, and Ganagana communities of FCT Abuja. Albinos are not left out as they are killed also because the people of these communities believe they are evil.

Which part of Nigeria has the highest rate of twin birth in the world?

The Yoruba people of the south western part of nigeria has the highest rate of twinning in the world. The yorubas believe that giving birth to twins brings Joy, good fortune, and happiness to the family. The first of the twins is called ‘Taiye’ or ‘Taiwo’ which means the first Twin to taste the world, while ‘Omokehinde’ which is usually shortened as ‘Kehinde’ means the second born of the twins or the one who comes after taiwo. Kehinde is believed by yorubas to be the older twin even though Taiwo is the first to be born. This is because Kehinde sent Taiwo to taste the world first to determine if it is time to be born ,according to the Yorubas.

What particular town in the south west has the highest rate of twin birth?

A small town named Igbo Ora, is in Oyo state which is about 80 kilometres from Lagos. The people of this town are quite welcoming and ready to accommodate other people especially those who are not from the town. They rely on subsistence farming and trading, in order to make ends meet. Igbo ora apart from being the place known for producing the world’s highest number of twins, is also known as one of the largest producing towns of charcoal in Nigeria.

FUN FACT: This town has also been regarded as the ‘Twin Capital of the World’

Why Igbo Ora is regarded as the Twin Capital of the World?

The town is named the twin capital of the world simply because people of this community give birth to more twins than anywhere in the world, and they are taken care of with love and affection. Every household of the community has at least one set of twins.

What could be the cause of twin births in Igbo Ora?

Although it has not been scientifically proven as to what causes twin births in the community. The members of this community likened the cause to the food they eat, especially the women Amala (yam flour) and Okra leaf (Ilasa) soup. An investigative research was carried out by the University of Lagos Teaching Hospital to determine the cause of twin births and it found out that there is a high level of chemical in the peelings of yam tubers. According to a gynaecologist who had experienced twin births in the hospital stated that the substances are linked to the release of more than one egg which causes twin pregnancies

Twin festivals

A yearly festival is usually held in honour of all twins born in the community. The activities of the festival include Twin parade, circus performances, twins talent show etc. This festival was initiated by the Oyo state twin ambassadors. Taiwo and Kehinde Oguntoye. They are of the opinion that the twins festival can be used to boost the economy of Nigeria through twin tourism.

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