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Identical twins who won’t be separated

By Peter Muiruri | July 22nd 2018

Mercy Wanjiru and Hottensiah Wanjiku, 22, waitresses in the same hotel

How did you end up working together?

Mercy: Well, it is about the same of everything. We went to the same schools. It was natural that we end up working together.

Hottensiah: We were even interviewed for this job on the same day. We live together too.

You must have confused the interviewer …

Mercy: I don’t think so since the questions were about what we both had to offer, nothing personal.

Do you like working together?

Mercy: Oh yes. I don’t have to worry about my sister. I know where she is all the time.  

Hottensiah: Mercy is my best friend.

Can people tell you apart?

Hottensiah: No. Most customers can’t. There are times when a customer will place an order and take it up with my sister who had no idea about the particular order. We just play it cool and assure the customer that we are on top of things. Then we confer and sort it out.

Mercy: At least we have the name tags…

What is one thing you don’t like about each other?

Hottensiah: (looks straight into Mercy’s eyes) This one loves sleep. It is a struggle to wake her up.

Mercy: My sister is a perfectionist. The bed must be made in a particular manner, food cooked in a certain way…I am the opposite. But she understands. I am the younger one you know, five minutes younger.

How do you handle boys who show interest?

Mercy: Boys can be complicated. There is one who played us. He tried to hit on both of us at the same time. Of course we kicked him out when we realised his tricks.

Hottensiah: But we have one common friend…

What will happen after one of you gets married?

Mercy: Hey…I don’t know. I try not to think about it now.

Hottensiah: I will go home and perhaps cry. Well, I will be happy for her, really.

People say twins think alike. Is that correct?

Mercy: Not correct, but there was a time we both gave the same answer to a person though we had no prior consultation.

Have you always wanted to be in the hospitality industry?

Mercy: I actually wanted to study medicine. Our mother died of cancer when we were very young. I have always wanted to study medicine and help others cope with the sad effects of the disease. However, we were both sponsored by well-wishers in the hospitality course. It is a good place to start. I hope to pursue medicine one day.

Would you like to have twins yourselves?

Hottensiah: I wouldn’t mind, especially boys.

Mercy: If they come, I won’t mind it at all.

What is one thing people may not know about you?

Hottensiah: (long pause) We lost both our parents very early on in our lives. Life was hard. We know little of what it means to grow up with parents.

We are best friends

Niger Atieno and Merab Achieng, 25, work as chefs in the same hotel.

How did you end up working for the same employer?

Merab: I was here first, one year and five months now. We both did courses in hospitality management and got the jobs on our own merit.

Niger: I am 10 months on the job.

What do you like about working with your twin sister?

Niger: My sister is my best friend, and I guess I am her best friend too. We tell each other stuff that we wouldn’t tell any other person in the workplace?

Outside of the workplace, how close are you?

Merab:  We stay together, cook and eat together and even leave for work together. That is how close we are.

You are never apart…?

Merab: The only person who tried to separate us was our primary school teacher who made my sister repeat Class Seven. Well, that plan also backfired. As you can see, we regrouped.

Do you have similar personalities?

Merab: Well, those are assumptions. My sister is a bit of an introvert, the milder one. I am the chatterbox.

How do you sort out such conflicts?

Merab: We do have some pretty serious arguments especially at home. Sibling squabbles are normal. But no one dares interferes, because they end up being the casualty.

Nigel: We sort out our differences with no third parties.


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