Monthly Archives: February 2016
Posted by Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
Did you know that Nigerians are more likely than anyone else to have twins? More specifically, Yoruba women are most likely to have twins, especially if you come from a town called Igbo-Ora where “three sets of twins were born in every 19 births” giving them the highest birth rate of twins in the entire world.
This high occurrence is argued to be due to the amount of yams that Yoruba people like to eat. Yams contain phytoestrogen which is supposed to encourage the release of several eggs by the woman’s ovaries at the same time.
It is such a regular occurrence in Yoruba culture, we have names, specially designated for twins. Hence why we have the beautiful names Taiwo and Kehinde. I actually love these names because they are just rich in heritage, culture and meaning. And the names are also very close to home for me (hi mum 🙋)
Taiwo or taiye wo literally means let me taste life. Kehinde or keyin de literally means came last or came afterward. In the specific context, it means coming after the first twin. These names as their meanings show are given to babies in order of when they are born. The first born of twins will bear the the name Taiwo and the second born will bear the name Kehinde. Story has it that Kehinde is the bossy of the two twins and forced the first twin, Taiwo to taste life first to decide if it was good for her to come out after. So Kehinde is actually the older as she sent her younger sibling on an errand. As Yorubas know, an unspoken right of being the older sibling is that you send your younger siblings on errands.
So if you’re Yoruba, you potentially have twins to look forward to. I love Yoruba culture, is it obvious? 😅
Until Next Time
Memoirs Of A Yoruba Girl
Tags: babies, baby, children, fraternal, fulani, genetic, hausa, ibeji, igbo, igbo ora, increase in birth, isu, Kehinde, Kenny, keyinde, maternal, most twins the world, oduda, omo, ooduda, paternal, phytoestrogen, small children, southwest nigeria, Taiwo, taiyewo, taye, twins, west Africa, west african, yam, yams, yoruba