Kemri offers to solve Kakamega twins identity puzzle

Wednesday April 17 2019

Sharon (left) and Melon pose for a photo during their emotional reunion on April 16, 2019, in Kakamega County. PHOTO | FILE | NATION MEDIA GROUP


Two identical girls who suspect they were separated at birth in 1999 will soon find out if they are indeed related.

Sharon Mathias and Melon Lutenyo, who reunited on Tuesday last week in Furfural village, Likuyani, Kakamega County, made an emotional plea for a DNA test. Their prayers seem to have finally been answered.

The matter caught the attention of the Kenya Medical Research Institute (Kemri), which on Wednesday expressed willingness to fund the DNA testing process.

“This is a matter of public interest, and to bring it to closure for the interested parties Kemri will be willing to offer DNA services if requested,” Prof Sam Kariuki, Research and Development director, told the Nation last evening.

Both girls are KCSE candidates. Sharon studies at Shikoti Girls High School while Melon is at Kongoni Secondary School. Both schools are in Kakamega County.



They said they would like the matter to be cleared as soon as possible so that they can focus on preparing for their national exams at the end of the year.

“We are appealing to any well-wisher out there who is willing to fund us to do so before we open school for the second term. We want to be at peace after knowing our identities,” said Sharon.

She also appealed to professional counsellors to come out and help them cope up with the new development in their lives.

“It is also our wish that before and after the DNA, we will get professional counsellors to help us cope with the outcome,” she added.

According to Melon, the unfolding events have put both of them in a strange situation, although they are happy to know each other.

“Since we arrived at Furfural market from Nairobi, we have been receiving so many people especially from the media. This is a new experience for us and within no time we have become celebrities,” she said.


The two said that their parents had also been plunged into a dilemma and are also eager to know their identities.

“My mother, who is in Nairobi, wants to know what went wrong. And back in Furfural, the other family is anxious. But all I can say is that I will not abandon Sharon no matter the outcome of the DNA test,” explained Melon.

Their sentiments were echoed by Mevis, who has been Sharon's twin sister since they were born.

“I also want the DNA test to be done so that I know whether my mother is Rosemary Khavereri Onyango or Angeline Omina, who stays in Kangemi, Nairobi, because as an individual it might affect me in future,” said Mevis, maintaining that she will always respect the two women as her parents.


The parents of the three teenagers said they would be satisfied after the DNA is conducted. They also urged the government to step in and help them offset DNA expenses.

“The results will give us peace because I will have known if I’m the mother of the children I have been raising, but I will accept the outcome of the DNA test as long as we get the government’s support,” said Ms Khavereri.

Mr Richard Lukokha, Sharon’s father, said he is eagerly awaiting the DNA test results.

“I would really appreciate if my children could get professional counsellors to talk to them because they are still young and in school,” he said.