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Lookalike girls’ life-changing DNA test results out today

By Mercy Adhiambo | June 15th 2019
Melon Lutenyo and Sharon Mathias. (File, Standard)

A few hours before 2pm yesterday, Sharon Mathias, Melon Lutenyo and Mevis Imbayi were preparing for a journey that would change their lives.

They were leaving Kitale for Nairobi to get results of a DNA test they had taken three months ago – one whose verdict will inadvertently change their lives.

The three girls dominated news in April after the uncanny resemblance of Sharon and Melon sparked speculations that they could be identical twins who were switched at birth in Kakamega hospital where all the three children were born 19 years ago.

Today, they confront a reality in the form of a much-awaited DNA results. Wilson Lutah who raised Sharon as his daughter says 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 says.

He says he has watched her daughter transform from a quiet girl to one who is curious about everything around her. He admits that the sudden media attention that her daughter got affected her perspective of life.

Past and future

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

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

He says after they get the results, they will embark on guiding the girls who are Form Four candidates to shift their focus to academics.  

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

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 reconnect through social media.

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

Three girls

Lutah says behind the scenes, the families have been communicating and exploring different scenarios of what would happen if the 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 is fortunate that this happened when they are older. They can live like siblings and visit both families at their convenience,” says Lutah.

Melon’s mother, Rosemary says the girls are excited about travelling to Nairobi and that even after the results are out today, she is sure that the bond they have created will not break.

“Let us wait and see how the results go. There is not so much to say,” she says.

In previous interviews, the girls’ parents expressed the emotions they have had to deal with when the possibility that they have been raising a child who is not theirs, and the implications it would have on all of them if DNA proves it.

“I keep asking myself what will happen if they do the tests and say all of them are not my babies. Where is mine?” said Angelina amidst sobs when they first went for DNA sampling.

Lutah says it is too early to predict how the future will pan out for the girls.

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