Sunday, March 26, 2006

seeing double

We encountered this pair of identical twins walking towards us on a street in Surulere, Lagos, in August 2004. The sight was a bit surreal, especially as they dressed alike and had the same gait, walk, the same everything. My brain was still trying to get round it when my companion blurted out the rather obvious question: "Ah, se ibeji lawon eleyi ni?" - meaning: are these twins? Duh?!

My camera was out in a flash. Photographing in Nigeria, I normally encounter a lot of resistance when I turn my camera onto people. There is this belief that you will use their image for voodoo, and this gets in the way of getting images of people.

These twins were very cool. Yes, I could take their picture, they agreed without hesitation. "I'm not going to use it for anything untoward," I said by way of assurance. "It doesn't matter," said one, "you can use it for whatever you like." And so here they are. What sports.


Blogger Styl Council said...

MW..I agree that it was cool of guys to let you take their picture, considering the way people's minds work in Nigeria (as mentioned in your piece).However, i personally find it a little disturbing when i see adult twins dressed alike? Surely it's enough to have been made in the same pod...No? To contiue to deliberately dress the same or even in the extreme do everything together; can possible stifle individual growth and possible the independence from the other twin?! Despite my comments, i still think it must be a glorious feeling to give birth to twin children!!! Emi fe bi ibeji mo patewo ...ken de re!!!!..HAppy Mother's day!

7:35 pm, March 26, 2006  
Blogger Nkem said...

Isn't the world tiny. That's Tonte and Telema, my boys from when I used to hang out in Suru-Lere. What are the chances! They're good people. Didn't see the last time I was in Nigeria, but the memories abound.

2:56 pm, March 27, 2006  
Anonymous mw said...

Isn't the world tiny indeed, Nkem! When I was going to post this, I did feel a little something was missing, and that was these twins' names. Tonte & Telema - now it's complete. Thank you for putting names to the faces.

11:24 pm, April 03, 2006  

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