Sometimes things happen in the world that are simply unexplainable. You can come out and give logical reasoning, but it doesn’t change how amazing it is.
This was certainly the case when a black Nigerian couple somehow gave birth to a white baby. This was certainly unusual and left people with a lot of questions. How did it happen? Why did it happen? How can it be explained?
The wonder of birth
Every day, more and more babies are being welcomed into this world, and change the lives of those around them forever. In fact, there are some babies that make it into the record books and hit the headlines across the world.
That’s exactly what happened when one baby was born in London. Nmachi was not heavier than any other baby in existence, and she was definitely not born with 13 teeth. Instead, it was her appearance that threw a spanner in the works and had her parents and doctors questioning her very existence…
The family in question
However, to truly understand this story we need to know a little more about the family in question. Meet Angela and Ben Ihegboro. At 35 years old, Angela was over the moon to discover that she was pregnant again.
She and her husband had already welcomed two other children into the world, and they couldn’t wait to expand their family even further. After all, they were building a new life for themselves in London after moving from Nigeria five years previously, and this was the icing on the cake.
Their Nigerian heritage
Although the Ihegboro family now live in London with their three children, they were both born and raised in Nigeria. They were born to Nigerian parents and seemed to have native Nigerian blood running through their veins.
Because of this, they were both dark-skinned and dark-haired with brown eyes. In fact, there’s nothing out of the ordinary about this couple, which is why doctors were so bemused by the fact that their third child is so extraordinary and looks so completely different to her parents.
A new addition
It was in 2010 that Ben and Angela Ihegboro welcomed their third child into the world. The pregnancy was standard and the delivery even more so, so what was so intriguing about this particular birth?
Well, as soon as Nmachi made her way into the world, her parents and the doctors around her noticed a stark difference between her and her parents. It was hard to miss such a bold contrast, and they just couldn’t take her eyes off her thanks to her beauty and these differences.
Blonde with blue eyes
So, what was it about Nmachi that looked so different to her parents? Instead of inheriting their dark-skin and their native Nigerian looks, Nmachi was white.
Her skin was not dark in the slightest, and she did not look like she was the daughter of two black parents. As if that wasn’t bizarre enough, her differences didn’t stop there. As well as having white skin, Nmachi also had blonde hair with bright blue eyes. Was this even their child? Had the doctors played a prank on them and swapped Nmachi with another baby?
When Ben and Angela took their first look at their new daughter, they were lost for words. Nmachi looked nothing like they expected, and nothing like their two other children.
They had no idea how they could give birth to a white baby in the first place, let alone one with blonde hair and blue eyes. As Ben continued to stare at his new addition to the family, he eventually found a few words to exhale. All he could muster was a sharp, “What the flip?!” as he stared at his daughter.
A few questions
However, Ben wasn’t the only one who was shocked at the sight of Nmachi. The doctors were also scratching their heads and wondering how Nmachi could be so different if Ben and Angela were her biological parents. Because of this, they couldn’t help but ask an awkward question.
Was Angela sure that Ben was the father? Angela refuted the outrageous claims, and Ben believed every word that came out of her mouth. Nmachi was definitely his. Unfortunately, the doctors still weren’t convinced, because that meant that their questions were still unanswered…
Angela and Ben continued to push the fact that Nmachi was their biological daughter, so the doctors were forced to explore other avenues.
They needed to find out why she looked so different to her parents and how two black parents had given birth to a white baby. Their first port of call was to explore the idea of albinism – a genetic condition that means the person is devoid of melanin, which colors your hair, skin, and your eyes. With her white skin and blonde hair, they thought it could have definitely been an option.
Around 1 in 70 people across the world exhibit traits of albinism throughout their life, but research has suggests that albinism is most prominent in Africa. Most notably, in Nigeria.
Thanks to their black counterparts, albinos in these African countries stand out from the crowd and often suffer from social injustice. Although Ben and Angela had never considered the idea that their daughter could have albinism, did it answer their questions? Was their daughters appearance the result of a trait that is fairly common in their native country?
In the doctors’ professional opinion, Nmachi was a classic case of albinism with two black parents. It would explain all of her physical differences, especially as Ben and Angela had ruled out infidelity and the prospect of another father.
To be sure of their hypothesis, the doctors decided to run some tests. However, they soon discovered that Nmachi did not have albinism in the professional sense of the word – but there was no telling whether she could still have a mutated version of the genetic condition.
Searching for proof
Everyone around Nmachi was not convinced that she had a typical form of albinism, and the doctors wanted to crack their case.
They searched for solid proof as to why Nmachi was born with white skin, blonde hair and blue eyes, and they believed that the answer could lie in Ben and Angela’s ancestry. After all, genetics don’t always follow all of the rules of life, and can sometimes play tricks on those involved. Most importantly, genes can skip generations and not be physically present in the biological parents.
As the doctors tried to get their head around the anomaly in the room, they decided to play with the idea of long-dormant genes. Although genes are passed down from person to person as each generation goes by, it doesn’t mean that these genes will be actively present in the child.
Certain characteristics and traits can be passed down for numerous generations before they are visible in the child – and doctors believed that Nmachi carried dormant white genes that had skipped her parents, grandparents and great-grandparents.
In fact, the doctors later went on to explain that both Ben and Angela could have carried the white genes in their genetic makeup.
Although they were categorical black thanks to their Nigerian heritage and ancestry, they both could have had white relatives down the line. If both of the parents carried this dormant gene, their children would be more likely to exhibit the physical effects of this. Could this finally answer their questions? It wouldn’t be the first time this has happened over the course of history…
Not the first time
Just one year after Nmachi made her way into the world, another black couple were stunned to discover that they had given birth to a white baby.
Francis and Arlette Tshibangu were shocked and overwhelmed when they discovered that their baby had not inherited their dark features like their other son, but had white skin and blonde hair. Like Nmachi, albinism was ruled out as a factor for his physical appearance, and so was infidelity. They had both been completely faithful to each other throughout their relationship.
Going way back
Like Ben and Angela, Francis and Arlette tried to understand why their son looked so different to them and began to search through their family history to understand more.
They ultimately discovered that generations previously, one of Arlette’s relatives had also given birth to a white child. This was Arlette’s great-great-great-grandmother, and the gene could have been passed down. Yet, they weren’t overly convinced, nor do they care. Their son is their son, and that’s that. To them, it doesn’t matter what the color of his skin is.
No sign of the gene
Although Ben and Angela were of the same opinion, they wanted to get to the bottom of their conundrum. They loved Nmachi with all of their heart, but they couldn’t help but wonder where her physical appearance had come from.
So, they began to trace their own family history. They kept their eyes peeled for anyone who had any relations with a white person, or anyone who gave birth to a white baby – but they couldn’t happen. The plot was thickening, and they were getting further and further from the truth.
A genetic condition
When the doctors heard this news, they were even more confused. They weren’t getting any closer to understanding why Nmachi looked so different to them, and they were not getting the answers they wanted.
As time wore on, they resided to the idea that Nmachi may have been born with a genetic condition that is completely unique to her. Because of this, they can’t test it, they can’t treat it, and they can’t even really diagnose it. Yet, this may be why she was born with white skin, blonde hair, and blue eyes.
Passing it down
Although the doctors could not confirm or deny whether Nmachi did have a genetic condition, they were able to pass on information to Ben and Angela about what this would mean for Nmachi and her future.
While she would not sport any problems or complications from this condition, she did run the risk of passing it down to her children. So, she may herself give birth to a white baby, or she may give birth to a black baby. There was no predicting the next events.
Despite the fact that Ben and Angela received no real answers to their questions, they didn’t mind.
They were just happy to have brought a healthy baby into the world, and we’re looking forward to bringing their child up in a warm and loving environment. They loved Nmachi with all of their heart, and they didn’t care about what she looked like or looks like now. She was their miracle baby, and she would always be their miracle baby.
An incredible story
There’s no denying the fact that Ben, Angela and Nmachi’s story is one that has shocked a nation. As soon as their experience made its way to the newspapers, it spread like wildfire across the world.
Doctors everywhere were trying to debunk their situation, fans were sending well-wishes to the new family, and others were just marveling at their unique family. Since then, they have been spending every waking moment together and building their lives in the United Kingdom.