DNA test results confirm lookalike girls are identical twin

Identical twins, Melon Lutenyo and Sharon Mathias. [File, Standard].

Two Kakamega girls, Sharon Mathias and Melon Lutenyo have finally been confirmed to be identical twins.

According to the DNA analysis conducted by Lancet Kenya (PLK), Sharon Mitekwa and Melon Lutenyo share identical DNA profiles with 23 allelic loci tested showing 100 per cent perfect match which is consistent with the two being biologically identical twins.

The DNA results have also revealed that Rosemary Oyango, a woman who has been raising Melon in Kakamega, as the mother of Sharon and Melon.

“Rosemary Onyango cannot be excluded as the biological mother of Sharon Mathias and Melon Lutenyo, who have a compatible obligatory maternal allelic profile with a 99.99 per cent probability,” read the findings.

Melvis Imbaya, who has been living with Melon as fraternal twins in Kakamega County, has been confirmed to be the daughter of Angeline Omina and Wilson Luttah, who has been living in Nairobi with Sharon Mathias as their daughter.

“Melvis Imbaya exhibits a compatible obligatory maternal and paternal allelic profile with that of Angeline Omina and Wilson Lutah, respectively, Thus Angeline and Wilson cannot be respectively be excluded as the biological mother and father of Melvis Imbaya with a probability percentage of 99.99 per cent,” the DNA analysis further stated.

The DNA profile analysis on the samples was completed early in May, but the reports were withheld until the girls and respective families were available to receive the results.

The three girls dominated the news in April after the uncanny resemblance of Sharon and Melon sparked speculations that they could be identical twins who were switched at birth with both mothers saying they gave birth at Kakamega hospital 19 years ago.

Wilson Lutah, who raised Sharon as his daughter, had said whichever way the results go, the girls’ lives will never be the same.

 “From when they found each other, to the attention they got when their story was first told, it has changed them,” he said.

He also added that her daughter transformed from a quiet girl to one who is curious about everything around her. He admitted that the sudden media attention that her daughter got affected her perspective of life.

“She is always asking questions. It is like she is trying to make sense of her past and future,” he says.

Lutah hopes that the results from the DNA test will now put an end to the lingering questions the two families have had ever since Sharon and Melon found each other.

He said that after the results, the family will embark on guiding the girls who are Form Four candidates to shift their focus to academics. 

“The results will allow them to move on, and it will make us as parents decide how to move forward,” he said.

The story of Sharon and Melon unfolded like a movie. Angelina Omina and Rosemary Khaveveli both went into labour around the same time and were admitted to Kakamega hospital.

Rosemary was told she had twins whom she named Melon and Melvin. Angelina was given her little girl and she called her Sharon.

Almost two decades later, Melon and Sharon met, and it became apparent that everything about them, from their dental formula to the nails, were similar.

Even more, confounding was that they would find themselves going to school in the same county and re-connect through social media.

“From the moment we met, we knew we had a connection… we felt like sisters. Even if DNA tests say something different, we will always be sisters,” the twins had said in the previous interview.

Lutah said behind the scenes, the families had been communicating and exploring different scenarios of what would happen if Melon and Melvin are found to be twins.

The questions they have had to deal with and not find a definite answer to is the living arrangement of all the three girls in case it is found that Sharon and Melon are twins.

It all started when Sharon, who was raised in Nairobi by Angeline Omina, joined Shikoti Girls Secondary school in Kakamega that the journey of their meeting began.

For Melon, joining Kongoni Secondary School after failing to adapt to a boarding school life marked the journey of meeting her would-be twin sister.

After academic outings, classmates and teachers who met any of them could not understand how their student and classmate belonged to another school.

Melon did not take the news of her resembling someone seriously. She knew she had a twin sister by the name Melvis Imbaya, but they were not identical to warrant comparable attention.

But the reports became persistence each day. And when she received a picture of Sharon from her teachers, it dawned on her that the puzzle was real.

“When the teacher brought the picture to me, she placed it before me and asked me do you know this person? I told her, how can I fail to know myself? The teacher asked again, are you sure this is you?” Melon told KTN on April 18.

“I told him this is not my uniform but it is me. After insisting it was her, the teacher opened up and said the person in the picture was not me but Sharon Mathias from Shikoti Girls. I could not believe it. It dawned on me that I have heard of this confusion before and began searching for answers,” she added.

During the holiday, the two girls made efforts to look for each other. After several interactions, a determined and curious Sharon took a journey to Nairobi.

When she arrived in Nairobi, Kangemi, the two had an emotional reunion that any long-separated identical twins can have.

When it was clear to both families that their appearance had all hallmarks of resemblance, a DNA test came calling.