An inseparable pair of twins from Finetown, Johannesburg completed an honours degree simultaneously with their results only 1% apart.
Yoliswa and Yolanda Mlungwana graduated at the University of Johannesburg (UJ) last Tuesday and Wednesday (19 & 20th March) with an honours degree in Philosophy.
They did not find it strange that their marks were almost identical.
“We usually get very similar marks, with maybe a difference of two or three marks, although sometimes we do get the same result. This has been the case our entire lives. It got to the point where teachers in primary and high school started questioning and becoming suspicious that maybe there might be some copying going on,” said Yolanda, the younger twin by five minutes.
During the graduations, the twins reflected on the experience of sharing every class, every teacher, deadline and the crux of co-editing each other’s dissertations.
“As much as are we doing everything together, we made a conscious decision never to sit next to one another during tests. Even with assignments, we would do them separately and never really share our work,” explained Yolanda. “We were also advised by another pair of twin Professor’s within the University to use this twin-thing to our advantage by going through each other’s work and editing- especially with our honours research papers.”
The duo found a shared passion in Philosophy and ultimately began working at the Philosophy department as student assistants and then later became tutors at the department.
“Our parents always encouraged us individually, and didn’t force us into doing the same things. But we just naturally developed the same interests and hobbies,” said Yoliswa. “If one of us got into something, the other would eventually pick it up and love it, too.”
The pair started working on similar Honors Research Dissertations on ‘African Perspectives of Meaning of Life or Lack thereof.’ “We started the process of making a decision on the particular research topic we would write about by looking at our interests in the broad subject of philosophy (we did this separately), and somehow by the end of it all we found ourselves with similar topics and the same supervisor,” concluded Yolanda.
The twins studied different courses in their undergraduate academic career. Yoliswa completed a BA in Politics, Philosophy and Economics and Yolanda completed a BA in Psychology in 2018.
However, the twins don’t plan to separate any time soon. They both plan to pursue Master’s degrees in Philosophy.