Hey are you Tshepho or Tshephiso? Which one are you? Where is your twin sister? Often these are the questions we get when we bump into someone when anyone of us is running errands on their own. Do we have to be together all the time, as twins we thought we would be used to these questions but it is not all that. People often forget that we are more than just twins but two individuals.
The world is fascinated by twins and people often wish they could switch places just for a day and experience a day in twinhood. When people meet us for the first time and realise that we are twins, it arouses a lot of questions, who is the oldest? Do you enjoy being twins? Do you ever fight? The list is endless but the most frustrating question is what would you do if one of you passes on? Senseless!!
When we came to realise in our teen years that the most common asked questions was who is the oldest, we pleaded with our parents not to reveal the information to us. This was to help create individualism among us and avoid twin rivalry, to look at ourselves as individuals rather than as a set of twins. No matter what theory you bring in to tell who is the oldest or youngest, we don’t buy it, never had never will.
“You guys need to find your individualism.” (Like some friends would say) Finding our own individualism was never an easy path. Like the saying goes, never judge a book by its cover, before start making assumptions it is okay to get to know the real us. Yes we have a great bond, you know we spent our first nine months cramped up in a “small apartment” you can’t get any closer than that. Our bond shouldn’t block people from getting to know us.
Not always do I look at myself as a twin, I know I am different from my sister. My character, personality and preferences are different form hers. Finding my own individuality has never been easy because there are moments where twinship has to be nurtured. Not thinking for yourself alone, and again some actions are natural, sometimes acting in the same manner and talking at the same time. We have grown to understand that we are two unique individuals, so should other people. -Tshephiso-
In many cases we are looked at and addressed as one, in the past when having group discussion the coordinator would say “only one speak for the both of you.” Like hello! We are two individuals with different opinions, why exclude the other. We often get mixed up, even by the system hahah, funny right???!!! As much as we love being twins we would also love to be addressed as singletons, our sense of style, characters are totally different. What makes it hard to maintain our individualism is the people around us that continue to address us as one, like say when my sister gets an invite automatically I got it! “You know, she knows.” What they often say but that shouldn’t be the case. -Tshepho-
We get to be addressed as a collective unit a lot, funny enough each one of us as “half of a twin unit” and not individuals. Okay fine, we have come to embrace that, we are Dithebe twins, FACT! Nonetheless People still need to understand that we are two individuals, we are not obsessed with twinship. We are Tshepho and Tshephiso, two unique individuals.
From early childhood, individualism has been encouraged among us we have been apart for most of the time and had separate friends, and from grade one to seven we were in different classes, one of us was in the morning session and the other in the afternoon. What made finding our individualism difficult growing up was that most our mates in secondary school did not call us by our names but rather by our last name, Dithebe or twin one and twin two. Our social studies teacher even called us Mickeys and the name got stuck with us and we still get to be called by it. Having traveled separately and spent two years apart from one another in different countries has helped us develop our individuality. We are UNIQUE and UNIQUE.