WE MADE UP OUR MINDS TO MARRY TWIN SISTERS
They are known for their African music and energetic dance. They call themselves Mamuzee (twins in Izon, Bayelsa).
They won't be caught dead in different wears and when they appear in public, you marvel at God for creating two individuals that look so much alike. As married men, Anthonio Akpos Dixon and Andre Andos Dixon live together with their wives and you begin to wonder how their spouses are able to recognise their husbands without some confusion.
Remarkably, the two identical men got married to identical twin ladies!
“When we were quite younger, we used to date different girls. Can you imagine, you are in the room with a girl and she is looking at you askance, asking if you are sure you are Akpos or Andos? It was crazy.
“Later, we actually wanted to get married to one girl, but it didn't work out and we then opted for twins. That is the fun of it, and in our house, there is no sadness. Two sisters from the same house, there is no quarrel, no problem. We are both expectant fathers and we pray that when the children come, they will not be asking who their father is between us.”
The story behind the choice of their wives too is intriguing. They made up their minds to get married to twins while in the secondary school, they started to scout in earnest.
Andre said, “They were from Ikoyi while we lived in Ajegunle. Their parents who were well to do, wanted them to see the other part of life, so they were brought from Ikoyi Secondary School to Ajegunle. They were in Mokola High School while we were in Unity Secondary School but we were in the same complex. We didn't have the courage to approach them because they were more refined. There was an amala joint where we used to eat. We would go to the woman and tell her that when our wives came to eat, she should not collect money from them, we would pay the woman. So, when they came to eat, the woman would tell them that their husbands had paid for the food. But we still did not have the courage to come out to them until they eventually left after about a year or so.
“We didn't see them again until our final year, when we met them at Obalende where they wanted to board a taxi. Since we couldn't afford taxi, we had to board molue with the hope of catching up with them. But fortunately enough for us, they came to visit a friend of theirs in Ajegunle and that was when the whole thing started again. We courted for about nine years before we got married proper.”
Their father tried to train them as medical doctors, and when that failed, he insisted they must be lawyers. But when that too did not work, he wanted them to be soldiers by sending them to the Nigerian Defence Academy, but at the end of the day, they took to music. In school, they used to beat the desks and nothing else interested them except music. In 1999, they came out with their first effort called Bobo, followed by a gospel track, Abi you no know say Jesus na God. With the success of their first effort, they went to South Africa and spent three years at the College of Film and Broadcasting and when they came back in 2003, they came with 'Awigiri', the African Esan dance.
The twin brothers would never forget their growing years in Ajegunle and how hard it was growing up in the ghetto.
“But we thank God, we didn't die and we were never involved in crime. Our father had 10 wives and nine known concubines. But our mother used to be the favourite and because of this, she had influence over the old man. My mother had to actually go to India to learn how to cook vegetarian food for my father who was a vegetarian. And that was where his love for my mother grew. “While our father was supportive of our musical career, we could say that our mum was somehow not impressed. But we are happy that today, we don't regret going for music. Most of our mates are now lawyers and doctors but they still want to be like us.”
The twin brothers are known for their energetic performance on stage, and it is difficult to believe they could dance so energetically without drugs. But they told Spectacles that it is a wrong impression as they neither drink nor smoke.
Anthonio said, “We are naturally crazy people. I usually joke with my Personal assistant that I don't smoke and I don't drink, but I am still crazy. Suppose I drink and smoke, what will happen? We are naturally energetic people. Yesterday at the NTA charity party, their General Manager said you guys still perform the same way you started ten years ago, where do you get the energy? There is no drug that can do that, there is no drug that can sustain you for ten years.”
The twins are not impressed with so many ills in the society and they are more or less human rights activists. They say they have such a tendency as a result of their tough childhood in Ajegunle and being from Bayelsa State where there is continuous agitation for resource control. They are against the restiveness and kidnapping in the Niger Delta and have initiated a pet project called Reaching Out to Nigerian Youth (RON'DY).
“In our own little way, we also use our foundation to reach out to school children by warning them against the phenomenon called 'Aristos'. We print notebooks with our pictures and our campaign slogan, “Aristo, don't turn our universities into brothels” and distribute among students. “We believe that we are role models, we believe that some of these youths will like to take the message and change if they realise that Mamuzee fear God. We are sure that if Michael Jackson could come out and renounce some of what he represents, millions will change. So we are trying to be unique musicians who don't want to see people suffer. Very soon, you will get to hear us sing, “It is not right”. The song condemns the ills in the society. There are so many things we do in Nigeria that are not right.”
Mamuzee told Spectacles that they chose to stick to African concepts in their style and music because African values in music don't fade away easily.
“When you are asked to mention music and musicians that have stayed longest in the mind of the society, you hear Sweet Mother, you hear Fela's music, Bongos Ikwe, Sunny Ade and Osita Osadebe. African music stays for ever, it does not fade off. We used to hear Alex O, and others in his ilk but they have faded off. That is why we are stuck with African music,” Anthonio said.
The Mamuzee brothers told Spectacles how their lady fans tried to seduce them despite the fact that they were married. Although they said it was a fact that women in particular make them tick, they confessed that but for the understanding of their spouses, their marriage would have suffered.
Said Andre, “Some of the girls went to the extent of wrapping their pants and presenting it to us as gifts. How they come about our number is a mystery, they call at odd hours. They don't bother that we have wedding bands on our fingers, all what they want is fun. Some of them go to my wife's supermarket and jokingly tell her that they are ready to take her husband if she is tired. “One of them phoned my wife and said she was pregnant for me. You know what, I was not even in the country then; but thank God for the kind of wife I have; she took it cool and told the girl to wait till I came back. Even when we go abroad, some girls will want to have fun with us. But we have to turn such offers down, politely, because we don't take advantage of our fans. The very day an artiste begins to take advantage of his fans, he is finished. We are being careful about that.”