Varsity-bound identical twins anxious about big split

2017-01-09 12:01

Bloemfontein – For a pair of inseparable twins from Bloemfontein, who are heading to Stellenbosch University after acing their matric exams last year, moving away from home is going to be an even bigger adjustment than for most first-years.

Identical twins Sjandé and Swalica Erasmus will be separated for the first time in their lives, when they move into different hostels to pursue different courses – Swalica a BSc and Sjandé a BAcc.

They will be in different residences and it will be the first time in their lives that the 18-year-olds will be living apart for more than a month, Netwerk24 reported.

"We’ve shared a double bed all our lives," said Sjandé. "When we went on holiday, we'd sometimes even share a single bed.

Identical twins, Sjandé (left) and Swalica Erasmus. (Conrad Bornman/Netwerk24)

"The only exception was last year, when we were both exchange students in Germany for a month and stayed in different parts of the country. Before that, the longest we had slept in different beds was probably three days," she said.

"The possibility that we’d be separated this year had us worried. At least we will be studying at the same university, but not sharing a bed is going to be something scary and new.

"Swalica and I are very, very close and do everything together. We even sat opposite each other at the same desk when we studied," said Sjandé. 

12 distinctions

Between them, the twin sisters got 12 distinctions in last year’s matric exams. Sjandé got seven, but she intends having her 8th subject - physical science, for which she got 77% - re-marked.

The twins - who attended Eunice Girls High, and made history by becoming the first sisters to be elected head girl (Swalica) and deputy head girl (Sjandé) - had a tough 2016.

Their brother, Juan-Luther, 16, committed suicide in May last year, just days before the twins started their June exams. He was a Grade 10 learner at Jim Fouché High School.

"It was very difficult," said Sjandé. "Especially as being head girl and deputy head girl was already challenging at that time."

"Our marks weren’t that good after the June exams and we had to work extra hard," said Sjandé, adding that her brother would have been very proud of them."

The twins also have two younger sisters, Ané (Grade 12, also at Eunice) and Nielsje (Grade 7 at Universitas Primary). Their parents are Dr Pieter Erasmus, and orthopaedist, and Soret Erasmus, a businesswoman.

Read more on:    bloemfontein  |  education  |  matric 2016

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