IN 2018, Ms Mary Paruwani (36) would say her unborn baby would be born on the same day as her first born son, Nyasha Chandiwana.
Nyasha was born on October 15, 2013.
No one took it seriously, including herself, even though her Estimated Date of Delivery (EDD) was close to October 15.
However, her bluffs ended up being right after she gave birth to Rutendo on the exact date she had given birth to Nyasha five years prior.
The only difference is that the siblings, Nyasha and Rutendo Chandiwana, were born five years apart in 2013 and 2018 respectively.
Coincidently, 2013 and 2018 also saw the country conducting its harmonised elections. The woman said this does not only make the siblings ‘‘twins’’, but ‘‘election kids’’.
“I only give birth during Zimbabwe’s election years,” she laughed.
This year’s October 15 marked a special day for the Paruwani and Chandiwana families in Sakubva’s Zororo section as they celebrated Nyasha’s ninth and Rutendo’s fourth birthday.
Dubbed the miracle ‘‘twin’’ siblings by their maternal grandmother, Gogo Lilian Paruwani, Nyasha and Rutendo are not just siblings, but best friends.
According to the Guinness Book of Records, the odds of having siblings being born on the same date, but in different years, are difficult to calculate.
In an interview with The Manica Post, Ms Paruwani said there is no secret on how to give birth to children on the same dates, but in different years.
Instead, she said it was God’s design to have her children celebrate their birthdays on the same day.
“There is no trick here, it was just God’s design. In fact, I did not even know that I was pregnant during the first few months of my pregnancy. I never used juju or holy water for my children to be born on the same date as others would like to speculate. I owe everything to God. It is a blessing,” she said.
Ms Paruwani said she had normal births on all the two children.
Nyasha was born at Old Mutare Mission Hospital nine years ago after his mother, who had no idea of her due date, visited the hospital for a check-up, only to be told that she was already due for delivery.
“It was on October 11 when I went to the hospital. The nurse who attended to me told me that I should stay in the waiting mothers’ shelter as I was already due to give birth.
“When I was pregnant with Nyasha, I was stubborn so I refused to stay at the hospital and went back home in Sakubva. I eventually felt labour pains and went back to the hospital on October 14. I gave birth to Nyasha the following day,” she explained.
With Rutendo, she said she had also gone to St Joseph’s Mission Hospital in Sakubva for a check-up when she was also told that she was due to give birth.
“Surprisingly, it was also on October 11 again. This time around, I took heed to the nurses’ advise and booked in the waiting mothers’ shelter. I went into labour on October 13 and gave birth to Rutendo two days later,” she said.
The two children look alike as if they are identical twins, with the only difference being their height and distinct masculine/feminine features.
“She is over protective of her brother as he is to her. She never leaves him. Nyasha at times tries to sneak away to play with boys of his age, but she always finds and drags him back home,” said Ms Paruweni.
While the two children are alike in a lot of areas, they have some differences.
Nyasha likes the green colour, while Rutendo favours bright colours like pink and yellow. All this is evident in the colourful beads adorning her hair.
“She chose the colours herself,” said the mother.
“My favourite colour is yellow and Nyasha loves green,” smiles little Rutendo.
Nyasha is a soft-spoken boy who uttered very little or remained quiet when questions were posed to him by this reporter.
“I am happy that their birthday is on the same day. It allows me to throw a combined birthday party for them each year, funds permitting. I buy them presents at the same time and this reduces any chances of sibling rivalry. I always thank God that my children are miracle ‘twins’ and they too have become religious as they go to church,” said the jovial mother.
Ms Paruwani is a vendor in Mutare’s city centre and works hard to ensure her children gets quality education.
Nyasha is doing Grade Three, while Rutendo is an Early Childhood Development (ECD) student.
Ms Paruwani said she is looking forward to giving birth to another child on October 15.
“I am not yet pregnant for a third child, but of course I would like to have another one. If I am to achieve this feat (giving back in October 2023), I need to conceive in January 2023,” she laughed.
Gogo Paruwani said as a family, they are delighted that God blessed them with two grandchildren who share a birthday.
“It is amazing. It is all God’s work. We thank the Lord for this blessing. We hope they will continue loving each other and that the spirit of ‘twinship’ that is between them lives forever.
“These kids act as if some glue holds them together. They love each other and are always playing together. Nyasha never allows anyone to bully his sister and Rutendo will complain if her meal is more than her brother’s,” she said.
Sekuru Langton Paruwani also said the strong connection between the two children started when baby Rutendo was delivered.
“Nyasha would not leave her side, even though he was only five. Up to this day, his little sister is his whole world. He is a quiet and shy boy, but when it comes to his sister, he is a whole new person. They are twins with different ages,” said the elderly man.
Mutare gynaecologist and obstetrician, Dr Miriam Kanyenze said it is a rare occurrence for a woman to give birth to two or more children on the same date, but on different years.
She said there are too many variables that come into play to figure out the precise odds.
“The variables include when the woman is most fertile, how long a couple tries to conceive and parents’ efforts to space their children apart. It is very rare and I do not think I have ever come across such an occurrence,” she said.