Nigerian city celebrates its many twins with annual festival

Oct 14, 2022, 1:29 AM | Updated: 1:40 am
Twins Oladapo Taiwo, left, and Oladapo Kehinde, right, 21, pose for photographs during the annual t...

Twins Oladapo Taiwo, left, and Oladapo Kehinde, right, 21, pose for photographs during the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

(AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

IGBO-ORA, Nigeria (AP) — Twins appear to be unusually abundant in Nigeria’s southwestern city of Igbo-Ora.

Nearly every family here has twins or other multiple births, says local chief Jimoh Titiloye.

For the past 12 years, the community has organized an annual festival to celebrate twins. This year’s event, held earlier this month, included more than 1,000 pairs of twins and drew participants from as far away as France, organizers said.

There is no proven scientific explanation for the high rate of twins in Igbo-Ora, a city of at least 200,000 people 135 kilometers (83 miles) south of Nigeria’s largest city, Lagos. But many in Igbo-Ora believe it can be traced to women’s diets. Alake Olawunmi, a mother of twins, attributes it to a local delicacy called amala which is made from yam flour.

John Ofem, a gynecologist based in the capital, Abuja, says it very well could be “that there are things they eat there that have a high level of certain hormones that now result in what we call multiple ovulation.”

While that could explain the higher-than-normal rate of fraternal twins in Igbo-Ora, the city also has a significant number of identical twins. Those result instead from a single fertilized egg that divides into two — not because of hyperovulation.

Taiwo Ojeniyi, a Nigerian student, said he attended the festival with his twin brother “to celebrate the uniqueness” of multiple births.

“We cherish twins while in some parts of the world, they condemn twins,” he said. “It is a blessing from God.”

___

Asadu reported from Abuja, Nigeria.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


              Twins Oladapo Taiwo, left, and Oladapo Kehinde, 21, pose for photographs holding relative's twins during the Annual twin festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Obasekore Damilade, left, Obasekore Damitola, 28, attend the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Taiwo Ojeniyi, left, and Kehinde Ojeniyi, 27, attends the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Kehinde Adamolekun, left, and Taiwo Adamolekun, 28, attend the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins wait to perform during the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Kehinde Dahunsi, left, and Taiwo Dahunsi, 65, attend the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Taiwo Adebowale, left, and Kehinde Adebowale, 47, attend the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Kehinde Oyediran, left, and Taiwo Oyediran, 52, cassava farmers from Igbo-ora attend the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Taye, Tijani, left, and Kehinde Tijani, 48, pose for a photo at the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Taiwo Lateef, left, and Kehinde Lateef, 13, from Igbo-Ora town and students of Igbo-Ora grammar secondary school attends the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Taiwo Asisi, left, and Kehinde Asisi, 13, students of Igbo-Ora grammar secondary school attends the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, Saturday , Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)
            
              Twins Oladapo Taiwo, left, and Oladapo Kehinde, right, 21, pose for photographs during the annual twins festival in Igbo-Ora South west Nigeria, on Saturday, Oct. 8, 2022. The town holds the annual festival to celebrate the high number of twins and multiple births. (AP Photo/Sunday Alamba)

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Nigerian city celebrates its many twins with annual festival