How It Feels to Be a Twin - Edem & Efi Andah
One fascinating thing about Edem & Efi is that they're named after both of their parents - that is very cool!
As noted in the past features, being a twin makes you selfless and imbibe a spirit of sharing. However I'm not quite sure these ladies loved the fact that they had to share a cell phone while their younger sister got one to herself!
Edem & Efi both doctors in the UK happily share all of their experiences with us. From ditching the concept of wearing the same clothes, being compared, telepathy & the truth about twins as best friends.
In addition, they've shared two of their terribly cute baby photos! And while it does seem that they looked much more alike when they were younger, you will see it's still not that easy to tell them apart. Or is it?
On your names:
Edem: I’m called Edem and the twinnie is called Efi.
We’re named after our parents so my dad is Edem and my mum is Efi. I guess I kind of have a male name but my full name is actually Edemanwan, which is the female version but hardly anyone calls me that as it’s a bit of a mouthful! I love that we’re named after our parents; it’s an absolute honour as my parents inspire me immensely.
In terms of the names others call us, when we were younger and even up until now we tend to get called Ibeji a lot. We get people asking who is Taiwo and who is Kehinde even though we’re not Yoruba. We’re Efik! However that may well be because we’re usually in Lagos which although multicultural, has a significant Yoruba population!
Efi: I actually love my name so no complaints here! We sometimes get called Taiwo and Kehinde which is the Yoruba version which often leads to ‘discussions’ as they believe the 2nd born is actually the 1st born, which as the actual first born, I can confirm is not the case for us!
On Growing up:
Edem: Growing up as a twin I absolutely loved the fact that I always had a best friend and companion in most situations!
We were usually put in the same class at school particularly when we were younger except for the odd occasion. Birthday parties, sleepovers, church, social events where we didn’t want to be, you name it, I always had a buddy - It was and still is great!
As we got older people tried to make a conscious effort to separate us a bit more but we always still found a way to be together most of the time. The not so great part was people always expecting us to share everything. I recall that we had to share our very first phone whereas our younger sister got her own phone! The justification was that we were always together which was true but at the time we would have loved our own phones. In hindsight one phone was more than sufficient because we were actually always together.
We dressed in the same clothes until we were about 12 years old. Our parents still shopped for us so we had the exact same clothes. I remember we’d wake up every morning and say to each other ‘what are we going to wear today?’. As time went on we started wanting to wear different things. Initially one of us would compromise then we had the revelation that you know what, we don’t have to wear the same clothes!
It was quite a bittersweet moment that although liberating was tinged with a bit of sadness at the same time. We haven’t really worn the same clothes since then except on the odd rare occasion.
I can’t really recall anyone having favourites when it came to us, they usually just gushed over us as the twins or scolded us as the twins! Once in a blue moon we would get compared to each other but we performed quite similarly in terms of academics, sports etc and our behavior and mannerisms are extremely similar so there wasn’t much to compare!
We hardly ever argue as well, we have slightly heated ‘discussions’ which if we don’t agree on by the end, we have a few hours of silence away from each other and then we resume life as normal. That happened more so when we were younger and it hardly even happens now. I honestly can’t remember the last time we had an argument. Let’s keep the streak going twinnie!
Efi: I actually really love being a twin. We moved around a bit growing up so it was always nice to move and always be with your best friend.
We dressed in the same clothes till we were about 11yrs old as my mum dressed us alike and we just kept it that way. Even when she stopped actively picking clothes for us to wear, we’d get up in the morning and be like, "what are we wearing today?"
One day we both really wanted to wear different things and it finally clicked that we had that option, so we did! From then on, we haven’t dressed the same. Well, apart from one time we met up from our different cities where we lived and showed up in the same outfit without planning it!
With 5 children, my parents were good in that it never came across that they had favourites – I mean we all have our different strengths and talents, but in my opinion they nurtured it well for us all individually.
On being psychic / feeling how the other feels:
Edem: In terms of being psychic, I’d have to say that I personally don’t quite believe in that! I believe it’s a case of us knowing each other so well seeing as we’ve spent so much time together since birth.
We’ve also grown up in the same environments and hence we automatically know what the other one would be thinking and would tend to respond to situations in the same way. For example, if we were at opposite ends of a room and something happened in the middle of the room, we would both instinctively turn to look at each other and would know what the other was thinking immediately and then would respond in the same way e.g. by laughing, rolling our eyes etc. People see that and think we may be a bit psychic but I think it would be similar in any close relationship between two people who know themselves so well!
If she’s hurt and I know about it which I usually do as we’d likely be in the same place, I tend to empathise with her quite intensely and be extremely saddened by it. I do think that’s a by-product of me loving her so much! I haven’t had any instance though where we’ve been in separate places and I’ve sensed something is wrong so I can’t comment too much on that. Having said that nothing has ever gone significantly wrong to a point of substantial concern and I pray it stays that way by God’s grace!
Efi: We always get asked this question! We even get people hitting us and asking the other person if they felt it! Usually we just respond by hitting them back and asking if they felt that.
I think it just goes with any relationship where you are really close and spend a lot of time with a person. You start to know what the other person would think in a particular situation and you can say a lot to each other just by a look. I haven’t really had any unusual experiences when we’ve been apart and I’ve ‘felt’ something – not that I’m aware of anyways!
On Sharing everything:
Edem: As I mentioned previously when we were younger we were expected and made to share most things. As we got older though we made a point of having our own individual things!.We now would maybe lend each other an item of clothing, book etc for a period of time. We are very much our own people but we would happily share anything of ours with each other in a heartbeat .
Efi: We don’t really share much nowadays as we live in different cities and don’t see each other as often.
Actually, we do share a Netflix account – does that count?
When we were younger we shared most things. Even at school if there weren’t enough textbooks to go around, the teacher would be like, you two can share.
On playing pranks:
Edem: I must say that I feel we definitely didn’t make the most of our ability to play pranks on people when we were younger! We were definitely your classic goody two shoes, so that opportunity was missed.
However as adults we realized the error of our ways and as we went to different universities, we used the opportunity to try and trick friends whenever one of us was visiting the other. We usually would pretend to be the other to see if friends would notice, some did, some didn’t and then the other would randomly show up and the initial look of bewilderment/confusion on their faces were gold!
Efi: Surprisingly, we didn’t really play too many pranks on people as children that I can remember…missed opportunities aye! We did start taking advantage of it as we grew up, and we did trick our university friends from time to time when we would visit each other which was fun!
The older we’ve gotten, the less alike we look though, and I think we do have slightly different styles as well. If you saw just one of us on our own, you would probably have to look more closely to make sure you had the right person as I think it’s easier to tell us apart if we’re stood next to each other!
On marrying / giving birth to a twin:
Edem: It would be quite cool to marry a fellow twin as I believe we would probably have an even greater understanding of each other but I believe I can still have that with someone who isn’t a twin.
In terms of us marrying twin men I personally would want to avoid that unless God says otherwise of course! I’d find the whole concept quite strange.
I would love to have twins though as it’d be great to be able to directly witness the relationship dynamic of twins from an outsider perspective! I’d pray that if I had twins they would be best of friends like my twin sister and I.
Efi: I’m not particular about getting married to a twin or twin men.
I guess it would make things slightly easier in that they would understand where we’re coming from, but it’s something that any man who is willing can learn and accept.
Twins run in our family so I think it’s almost inevitable that at least one of us will give birth to twins if we have children! I love being a twin so I wouldn’t mind having twins! I think same sex twins tend to be closer which is nice.
On being compared and having a permanent bench mark in life:
Edem: In terms of our achievements, goals and dreams in life I personally don’t feel we compare ourselves to each other. It’s quite simple really, I’m her biggest cheerleader as is she for me. We have always strived to push each other to be the best we can be and we always encourage each other through the good and the not so good times. We have both achieved similar things in life and we’re both currently doctor’s and I’m proud of the both of us for getting to this point!
Inevitably we do have people who try to compare us. I tend to shut it down quite quickly if it’s a somewhat negative comparison and I’ve noticed it doesn’t really happen that often anymore. If it’s an innocent/neutral/positive comparison we’ll acknowledge it and even sometimes discuss it between ourselves especially if it’s something we hadn’t noticed before.
Efi: People outside did and do still compare us, so we learnt early to enjoy doing our own individual things! We are unique, individual and special to God, even though we may look alike, sound alike, and have most of the same interests! It’s probably the reason we aren’t very competitive as people. Hardworking, determined and ambitious - yes! Super competitive – no!
We are also very supportive of each other, which I think has helped to take away any potential weirdness that could have developed. It’s great to have your best friend supporting and championing you, and apart from maybe wanting the same thing when there’s only one left, which is easily solvable by compromising, I don’t really have any not so good parts! Being a twin is awesome!
On being best friends:
Edem: Being a twin is the absolute best but then again I don’t know what not being a twin is like. We do have other best friends and we actually have some of the same best friends but nothing can really compete with our twin relationship and I’m quite confident if you asked our best friends they would know it too!
I know and have seen myself that not all twins get along so I feel so blessed that we do and that we have the privilege of experiencing this special and unique relationship in our lifetime.
So, the moral of the story is pray that you have twins! We’re awesome!
Efi: It is lovely being a twin, and as of now, I can say we are best friends! I do know that not every set of twins are best friends but I think for us, even as we’ve grown and now don’t see each other as often, there’s still that innate closeness that picks up right where we left off when we do see each other! We can still say a lot to each other with just a single look.
I do think you can have more than one best friend, which I do and she does, so I don’t feel limited or like I have to choose just one. My twin sister just happens to be the first best friend I had and still have!
Well I hope you enjoyed this! Three features down, and we've gradually come to the end of exploring the minds of twins and basking in the tales of their experiences. I think it's safe to say that my (and hopefully your) curiosity has been somewhat satisfied.
I haven't met Edem & Efi in person, but I could see so much similarity from their responses and how much they love each other. I had to edit the responses, but almost every answer from both of them ended with "love you twinnie" or a variant of that phrase.
They most definitely enjoy the friendship that they share, and I guess being a twin is one of life's privileges that we singletons may never really understand. But at least, now we have an idea...