Jessica Kehinde Ngo will be signing Second Twin, First Twin on Sunday, November 15th, from 12 - 2 p.m.
When 24-year-old Jessica Kehinde Ngo decided to research and write about the meaning of her middle name for her master’s degree graduation thesis, she had unsuspectingly embarked on a journey to discover her fascinating Yoruba tribal heritage in Nigeria. The USC graduate student and identical twin learned that all twins in her culture have preordained names – the firstborn is called ‘Taiwo’ or ‘The Taster of the World,’ and the second twin is called ‘Kehinde’ or ‘The Late Arrival.’
The first generation Nigerian-American admits that she initially had a scant knowledge of her roots.“My dad didn’t talk much about it. There were snippets of things about when he grew up there, but that’s it,” Ngo says.
As she scoured for more information, she soon realized that the Yoruba tribe is still a largely unexplored subject. Ngo recalled her surprise when she found out a twin-study expert in Irvine was unaware of the Yoruba twins, despite the tribe having the highest twinning rate in the world.“I thought it is my job to write about it,” she says.
The thesis then evolved to become Ngo’s book, Second Twin, First Twin. Ngo is confident that her book will find a large audience base. She says that many people are fascinated with the twinning phenomenon, pointing out that there are many famous twins such as Mary Kate and Ashley Olsen. Ngo also believes the book will educate people about Nigerian traditions and superstitions surrounding twins.