Stop Disputing the Fact that Some Africans Killed Twins Yesteryears. One of my Uncles Narrowly Escaped Death for being born a Twin, and was named "Nwaiwu" (child of the law).
Some Africans dispute the fact that some African communities killed twins in precolonial and colonial times. They regard it as a part of the whiteman's propaganda against us. I don't know the basis of their contention. Granted that the whites have told so many lies against us, to justify their slave trade, economic exploitation, and colonialism, yet we should be modest enough to admit the factual ones. As a matter of fact, some African communities killed twins. Why? It was their firm belief that only lower animals can give birth to more than one of their kind at a time. So, they saw the birth of twins by a woman as an abomination. In my place, years ago, when a hen hatched one chick, a hole was dug in the ground with a big, long, and pointed wooden farm implement (called "obi" - used to dig holes to install sticks for yam tendrils), and the chick buried therein.
Dee Anyanwu Akalonu was a younger half brother to my great grandfather, Onyemachi Akalonu (Kalu). He had a daughter and five sons (Nwokonko, Ikerionwu, Nwaiwu, Ohawuiro, and Onyenmobi). His first son, Dee Nwokonko was born around 1918-1919, on the eve of Dee Anyanwu's initiation into the elite Okonko Society. That was during the period of Mgberegede or Oganelu (Spanish flu/influenza) which, like the current COVID-19 pandemic, killed so many people. Around 1933, Dee Anyanwu's wife, Daa Ngwanze, was delivered of twins, a boy and a girl. By the traditional law (iwu) prevalent then, the twins were to be killed! But Dee Anyanwu was wealthy, strong, and stubborn. He surrendered the girl for killing, but refused to allow same fate befall the handsome boy. Amala/Umunna pressurized him, but he was unshaken. He reportedly drew his sharp ishingu (sword) and awaited the first person to come for the boy. Being the only son of his mother, Dee Anyanwu wanted more sons, and couldn't afford to lose any born to him. Amala/Umunna backed down, after he accepted to offer the alternative costly sacrifice to appease Ala (the Igbo goddess of land). So, on the eighth day, the boy was circumcized and named Nwaiwu (child of the law). I heard this story from eyewitnesses - my grandfather (who used to call Dee Nwaiwu "Okeiwu" i.e. strong law) and Dee Nwokonko,, etc. Incidentally, Dee Nwaiwu begot twins - a boy and a girl - in 1977. He was a handsome, hardworking, caring, amiable, humble, and good man. A lively and jolly good fellow whose presence was felt anywhere he went. From the late 1950s, he lived and farmed cocoa in Kinisho, Ondo State, and was crowned Baale of Igbos there. However, on February 5, 2012, Dee Nwaiwu Emmanuel Anyanwu joined the ancestors. May his soul rest in perfect peace.
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