They are the ones who went out in search of the truth; now they must be prepared to handle it.
Those were the words of Rosemary Khaveleli, a mother of the twins reunited after nearly two decades apart. Seated nearby, Angelina Omina, the mother of Mevies Imbaya, the other girl swapped at birth, nodded in agreement.
And today, said the two mothers, both families will meet to decide the way forward for the three girls whose world has been thrown into a spin.
Yesterday, The Standard caught up with the women at Angelina’s home in Kangemi, Nairobi, a day after the dramatic DNA findings were released.
The room was dimly lit. Only a few pockets of cold air filtered inside the house through holes in the tattered curtain. Two scones and unfinished chapatis lay on a plate on the table. Next to it was a wooden sofa, and a bed.
Part of the room has been partitioned to house a shop.
This is the place where Angelina and Rosemary spent the night after the big news that the two girls they raised separately were identical twins.
The women have not left each other’s company since the big announcement that each had, for nearly two decades, raised a child that was not hers.
They share hearty laughter, and even use each other’s phones.
Just like their daughters, who are now inseparable, the two women are like sisters. “Mimi sina ubaya. Kwanza nimefurahi hii maneno imeisha. Sasa nitakula ninone (I have no qualms. In fact, I’m happy this matter has been settled. I can now eat and regain the weight I had lost),” said Angelina, laughing out loud.
Rosemary had just stepped outside to take a shower. This is the place one of the twins, Sharon, has known as home.
So famous has the family become that it is hard not to locate their home in the deep informal settlement of Kibagare.
At first, Angelina was not willing to speak to the media, insisting that she would only talk once Rosemary showed up. A few minutes later, Rosemary emerged.
She disclosed that a meeting had been scheduled for Sunday afternoon to chart the way forward.
However, the meeting was rescheduled to today, since some of the family members who were supposed to attend were in Western Kenya, which is a whole day’s journey.
The women said they were also under strict instructions from some Government officials and their daughters not to divulge more information, at least until the meeting is held.
The girls were not at home when The Standard team visited. We were informed that they had gone to church after spending the night at their uncle’s home, after which they went to Lang’ata to visit one of their aunts.
Just for the women to talk, they had to make frantic calls to the girls “for permission”.
At one point, they both retreated to the shop and could be heard discussing in local dialect if they should talk to the media.
“You know we have to call the girls for them to give us a way forward,” muttered Rosemary.
“I have called them but none of them is picking,” Angelina replied. “They were supposed to be here by now for the meeting.”
“Let us keep trying to get in touch with them. The most important part is that they should come; we have the meeting then get them transport to go back to school.”
“I will keep calling them.”
Dialogue over, the women emerged.
“Dealing with today’s children is not easy. They said we should not do anything without informing them. If we do, they promised they will vanish and we will never see them,” said Angelina.
By the time the media left the home, the girls were yet to show up. Rosemary, who was identified by the DNA results as the mother to the twins, said the revelation of their true identity would not separate her from Angelina.
“Kwani ni sisi tulienda kutafutana ama ni wao? Sisi tulikuwa vizuri na tutaendelea kukaa vizuri (Were we the ones who went out to search for the truth or is it them? We were okay and will continue to be with each other),” said Rosemary.
In the midst of the conversation, The Standard learnt that a former aspirant for a parliamentary seat in Western Kenya had offered to assist them to settle the matter and also get them a lawyer.
Angelina said the main purpose of today’s talks had nothing to do with traditional cleansing but to find a solution on how the girls will pursue their education, and how to ensure peace between the two families.
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