Twin brothers, Taiye and Kehinde Adegoke, who both bagged a First Class in Law at the University of Ibadan, Oyo State, talk about how they achieved the feat with Sunday Punch.
Tell us more about yourself.
Taiye: I am a native of Ondo, Ondo State. My twin brother and I are first of six children. My hobbies are reading, singing, researching, watching and playing soccer. My nickname is T.cent.
Kehinde: My friends call me K.cent. I dislike people who lack focus. Our parents are Adeyinka Adegoke and Omolade Adegoke. Our father lives in the United Kingdom while our mother lives in Ondo. They are wonderful parents. But we grew up with our paternal grandmother, Mrs Felicia Akinjagunla, in Ondo. We love her dearly.
What formed your choice to both study Law?
Taiye: We always wanted to study Law since our 100 level days at the Obafemi Awolowo University, Ile-Ife, Osun State. Let me say that we attended three universities in Nigeria but graduated from two. In 2006, we gained admission to the pre-degree programme of the Adekunle Ajasin University, Akungba-Akoko, Ondo State.
We did it for a year, passed and got admitted into 100 level to study History and International Studies. After 100 level, our father insisted we leave AAUA because then, it was a relatively new school. Thus, we took the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination and went to the OAU for the same course. We eventually graduated from OAU in January, 2013. Our love for Law was still intense especially as we had roommates who studied Law while we were at OAU. We wanted to also put on white-on-black attire. In 300 level, we both sat for the UTME and applied for Law at the University of Ibadan.
I was admitted but my brother, Kehinde, was denied admission due to the O’level points UI was using at the time. (Kehinde didn’t have enough As in O’level even though he has many distinctions). I was supposed to resume 100 level at UI when I was in 400 level in OAU. I had to suspend the course in UI for a year for two reasons. One, it was not possible to combine 100 level UI and 400 OAU, and two, because my brother had yet to be admitted. My brother sat for the UTME again the following year, and to the glory of God, he was admitted.
Kehinde: Whenever we saw law students walking in groups, we got jealous and wanted to be like them. They also acted like they were the only learned people around and that those of us in other courses were ‘educated illiterates.’ Also, the way our lecturers addressed them with respect whenever they came to take elective courses in our department always made us envious of them. All these combined made us develop interest in being a part of the ‘noble profession.’
What are the things you do differently individually despite being an identical twin?
Taiye: We have never done anything differently. We drove same car as our first car. But we never had the same girlfriend (laughs).
Kehinde: To be honest, there is nothing we do differently. We do almost everything in common. We attended the same school from nursery, primary, secondary to university. We support the same football club, Manchester United. We keep same friends. We like and dislike the same type of food.
Did your classmates show surprise that you were both studying same course?
Taiye: Maybe in 100 level, some of them might have shown surprises; I’m not too sure. But later on, I don’t think they were surprised. They were used to us anyway.
Kehinde: Not really. Although some of them marvelled that we did the same course at OAU and at UI, but because they see how closely knit we are, they were not surprised.
Did you study together?
Taiye: Studying together made our work easier. That was why we didn’t attend group meetings or read in the library. After studying, we would take turns to serve as a lecturer for each other. We were bound to give same answers and usually got same grades. I laughed when I read a comment on the Internet that one of us, who is academically sound, could have possibly sat exams for the other who may be academically weak. In fact, the commentator urged the ICPC and UI authorities to look into our examination scripts.
UI is a very strict and organised school. Everything is always in order. Thus, the chances of exam malpractice or impersonation are very slim. Again, we never sat together in exam hall. We were always separated. But despite that, a lecturer, who painstakingly marked our script, would most likely give us same grade because our ideas would always be the same.
Kehinde: Yes, we did. We didn’t have reading partners. And after reading, we would discuss on how to tackle any question in the examination.
Yoruba cosmogony affirms that what appeals to Taiye may not fascinate Kehinde as each individual has a separate destiny. But this is untrue in your case as you are both in love with same career. Why is this so?
Taiye: I can’t explain this expressly. However, I believe it all boils down to the way we were brought up. We’ve never been separated nor lived apart. We’ve always been together. We do things together. I guess that informs why we love the same thing including choosing same career.
Kehinde: It is because we have always been doing things in common since we were young. Anywhere Taiye goes, I follow and vice-versa. We sleep in the same room, watch same movies and eat same food. In fact, our granny normally did one funny thing when we were much younger. Whenever she prepared our meal, she would compare the portions on the two plates to ensure that one was not bigger than the other. We would then ask her, “Grandma, are you God? It is only God that can share things equally.”
Also, when our father buys us things like clothes, shoes or phones, he ensures they are exactly the same. This has helped us to develop interest in similar things.
What grade did you graduate with?
Taiye: I graduated with a cumulative grade point average of 6.1 on a scale of 7.0. This amounts to a First Class.
Kehinde: To the glory of God, we both graduated with a First Class honours in Law from the UI.
How do you feel with the feat?
Taiye: Honestly, I’m elated and excited. Words cannot contain my feelings. Ever since we attained the feat, we are being celebrated by everybody. We look like a genius. We look special, like stars. We have been receiving congratulatory calls and messages from both old-time and new friends. Everybody wants to associate with us. To sum it up, I feel on top of the world.
Kehinde: We feel very elated. It is not easy to make a First Class at the UI, not to talk of two persons from same parents in the same course.
Did you at anytime envisage such academic feat at the end of your study?
Taiye: I have always envisaged it, especially after our 200 level. My brother and I had always worked towards it. We wanted to make history. We wanted our names to be reckoned with. We wanted the world to celebrate us. We didn’t just want to be the ordinary twins who went to the university and just graduated. We wanted something more.
We didn’t want to have to beg or give a bribe before getting a job. We wanted our efforts to open doors for us. We worked harder and prayed towards achieving the goal. Thank God, through hard work and prayers, we are eventually telling the success story.
Kehinde: We were already graduates from the OAU then, and tired of reading. We just wanted to get LL.B and become lawyers. That was why Taiye would become the public relations officer of the Students’ Union in 200 level. I contested both in 300 and 400 levels for the position of the Students’ Union President. Though I didn’t win, on both occasions, I was a major contender.
I was also a member of the Students’ Representative Council in 200 level. We devoted our time in UI to politics and didn’t initially envisage bagging a First Class. However, the reality dawned on us in 300 level when we found out that we maintained First Class for three sessions despite our active involvement in students’ politics. By this time, we felt it was a must for us to make First Class because people on campus were already seeing us as First Class students and we did not want to disappoint them.
Were you in competition to surpass each other academically?
Taiye: Never! We never competed with ourselves. We wanted the best for ourselves. In fact, I always wanted Kehinde to score more than me in any test or examination. Likewise, he wanted me always to score more than him. But we used to challenge ourselves up to read. If one was reading, the other was challenged to read too.
Kehinde: Not at all. We didn’t compete with each other. Because we believe that whatever Taiye achieves belongs to Kehinde and vice-versa. We just try to be the best anywhere we find ourselves and in striving to be the best, we both achieved excellent results.
Do you intend to marry identical female twins?
Taiye: That is not in our plan.
Kehinde: Not really. Though if God wants it that way, who are we to question Him. But we are not bent on marrying identical female twins.
Were you a popular identical twins on campus?
Taiye: In fact, we were more than popular. Every UIte and even every OAU student on campus, when we were in school, knew T.cent and K.cent.
Kehinde: I think an average UIte can answer that question. UItes used to call us “the most popular twins on campus.” There is no student on campus in UI between 2012 and 2017 that would not know us.
What pranks have you played on ladies together based on your identical looks?
Taiye: We don’t do such. We are responsible people. Besides, we have the fear of God. If I like a woman, I will tell her. And once I’m into any affairs with a lady, she’s a no-go area for Kehinde and vice-versa.
Kehinde: Nothing of such. We are God-fearing twins. We are a part of the Redeemed family. We don’t play pranks on women.
Do you intend to jointly own a chamber once you have practised for sometime after Law School?
Taiye: Definitely. We plan to practise with some top law firms in Nigeria and probably abroad for sometime after Law School to enable us to garner some firsthand experience. Thereafter, we shall jointly open our Chambers.
How do people often react when they see you together?
Taiye: They are always surprised by our striking semblance. It can be frustrating most times. We may be in a hurry to a place and somebody will stop us to say he or she knows us somewhere.
Kehinde: They are always very surprised and some people may stop us to ask questions like, “are you guys twins?”