Published in the Witsvuvuzela
By Charlotte Chipangura
Photos by Jay Caboz
WITS students and staff have been left seeing triple with the addition of identical triplets Alicia, Delicia and Felicia Arjunan to the campus.
“At first glance, people can’t tell us apart but after two weeks they begin to see the differences, after a while they will so see that our personalities are similar, though not identical,” explained the chirpy Alicia.
Born 19 years ago on the 17th of August in Durban, the Alicia, Delicia and Felicia are studying BComm Philosophy, Politics & Economics, BA International Relations and BComm General, respectively.
According to Wikipedia, identical triplets are extremely rare, something that occurs only once in every 500 000 births. But multiple births are becoming more common because of the increased use of fertility treatments.
Triplets or twins are born when either an egg is fertilised more than once or if the mother has more than one egg at the same time.
According to Alicia, their mother named them in alphabetic order after they were born. But somehow Delicia, who developed in her own embryo, was born second while Alicia and Felicia shared their own embryo and came out apart.
The Arjunans say they hope to be involved in modelling and advertising where their status as triplets could be put to good use.
Peter Maher, Wits alumni relations director, said his office had no record of twins or triplets studying at Wits at the same time.
“Unfortunately our database isn’t able to capture or indicate family relationships,” he said
The Arjunans always move around campus together and say it is normal for them to be seen as a collective and not as individuals.
“This is what we have always known since we were born. Maybe it will be a hard knock when we start working and have to go our separate ways,” said Felicia.
The girls celebrate their birthdays by dressing in identical outfits. They share the same interests and friends as they make a point of introducing new friends to each other.
“Because we spend so much time together, we have formed similar likes and dislikes,” said Alicia.
Being twins, and moving around in a group, also affects their love life and how boys approach them.
“They become our friends first, and then they get to know us,” said Alicia.
“They find something they are attracted to, and then they start spending time with the particular person they like,” added Delicia.
Felicia said guys who say they wouldn’t mind dating any of the sisters did not amuse her and her siblings.