On Saturday, DNA results from the Lancet laboratories in Nairobi showed that the Kakamega girls are identical twins.
The Kenyan twins who were separated at birth
The power of intuition has finally reunited Kenyan twins switched at birth. What started as a casual social media chat, will forever change the lives of Sharon Mitekwa and Melon Lutenyo, as well as Mevies Imbaya.
On Saturday, DNA results from the Lancet laboratories in Nairobi showed that the Kakamega girls are identical twins. “Sharon Mitekwa and Melon Lutenyo share identical DNA profiles, with the 23 allelic loci tested showing 100 percent perfect match, which is consistent with the two being biologically identical twins,” the results state.
The report emphasised: “Rosemary Khaveleli Onyango could not be excluded as the biological mother of the twins who have a compatible obligatory maternal allelic profile with a 99.999 percent probability.”
Mrs Onyango has raised Melon Lutenyo and Mevies Imbaya for nearly 19 years as twins. The test indicates Onyango is not Mevies’ biological mother, 12 out of 23 loci tested showing a mismatch.
Imbaya exhibited a compatible obligatory maternal and paternal allelic profile with those of Ms Angeline Omina and Wilson Lutah Maruti respectively, the couple that raised Sharon. Kenyans were treated to something akin to a soap opera. But this time, the quest for reality seems to have been plucked from the gourd of American poet Henry David Thoreau.
“If you have built castles in the air, your work need not be lost; that is where they should be.” Indeed, the two families kept their eyes on the ball and all doubt was erased. The strong hand of fate, that shaped the Kakamega General Hospital mix-up, was having a sequel after 19 years.
Court date looms Kenya newspaper Standard, reported that both families are weighing the option of the court action. “We plan to take legal action against Kakamega General Hospital. They have caused us a lot of pain,” the parents said.
Standard reports that the conveyor of the DNA results Dr. Ahmed Kalebi described it as a case of negligence, that is not isolated. “It is a worrying trend. We have had at least four cases where parents were given a baby that was not theirs,” Kalebi said.
Road to reunification Kenya’s Daily Nation, reports that Sharon and Melon met in April 2018 on social media. At first, they mistook each other for online identity frauds. While browsing, Sharon came across a Facebook suggestion of ‘people you may know’ but she noticed a profile that looked like hers.
She sent Melon a ‘friend request’. Shortly after Melon ‘accepted’, the request, the two started engaging in a war of words with each of them questioning the authenticity of the other’s online profile.
Standard reports that the two girls who resemble each other were being spotted at different events, causing confusion among people who knew them. When a friend raised it on social media, Sharon and Melon embarked on a quest for the truth. They wanted to know how two strangers who had never met, had so much in common.
They smiled the same way. Liked the same things. Harboured similar hates. When it was revealed that all the three girls had been born on the same day, at the same hospital, their curiosity peaked.
They were now skirting around the idea that they could have been switched at birth; an idea that was cemented when the test confirmed that Sharon and Melon are siblings, and Mevies who has all along thought she is Melon’s fraternal twin was not related to her, at least not biologically.
But on every other scale, they were siblings, for the two shared every single milestone together, memories that not even the DNA test could dispute. “We will not be separated. Not even when taking pictures. We want to be one unit,” Mevies said, huddling closer while putting on matching pendants that had their names engraved.
Wilson Lutah, who has been raising Sharon, let out on them occasional sighs as the family talked to the press on how they plan to move forward. “We are still taking in the results. We will all go to Kangemi and have a long talk, some celebration and reflection on what next,” he said.
As he spoke, the weight of the responsibility of the task awaiting them could be seen settling on not only his shoulders but on the shoulders and backs of all the adults in the room. The three girls are expected back in school this week after an eventful mid-term break. They are all Fourth Form candidates. But the family says they may seek an extension of this break.