We all dream and wonder over what our babies will look like before they get here. Boy or girl, black or white, blonde or brunette or red haired, it makes little difference: all children are a blessing unto the world, and all deserve to be loved equally.
Yet while that’s true, it’s only natural for us to build an image in our heads regarding our son or daughter’s appearance. Will they inherit their father’s ears? Will they have the same eye color as their mother?
None of us can categorically know for sure how our babies will look, though we can usually take a pretty good guess based on genes that run consistently in the family
In any case, I highly doubt that any of our readers – at least those who are parents – ever had a surprise quite like Angela and Ben Ihegboro, a couple from Nigeria who now live in London, England.
Back in 2010, the happy couple welcomed their third child, a sweet baby girl named Nmachi. Only, when they laid eyes upon her for the first time, they were left totally and positively shocked …
Given that both Angela and Ben Ihegboro are Nigerian and had given birth to two black children, one can barely imagine their surprise when their third child, a little girl they named Nmachi, arrived with blonde hair and blue eyes.
Yes, you read that right. Not only that, but Nmachi was also light-skinned.
Angela shared: “She is beautiful, a miracle baby.”
Even so, the couple were left scratching their heads as to how they could possibly give birth to a baby with Nmachi’s appearance.
A black, Nigerian couple Ben and Angela Ihegboro living in the U.K. gave birth to a white, blonde, blue-eyed baby that they call "miracle baby." pic.twitter.com/dRQTYKE9ZT— THE G•O•A•T (@OfficialUdiBoy) May 21, 2020
The natural elephant in the room was the prospect that Angela had perhaps been unfaithful, but Ben, who reportedly works as a customer advisor, was quick to rule out any such speculation.
He told The Sun newspaper: “Of course she is mine. My wife is true to me. Even if she hadn’t been, the baby still wouldn’t look like that (sic).”
As per the New York Post, Ben said: “The first thing I said was, ‘What the flip?’ We both just sat there after the birth staring at her for ages — not saying anything.”
Yet while Angela and Ben labeled her a miracle baby, genetics experts were able to produce three possible solutions that might explain why Nmachi’s appearances differs so much to that of her parents and siblings.
Four years ago a Nigerian couple, Ben Ihegboro and Angela Ihegboro, experienced a miracle when they gave birth to a white baby. Doctors confirmed that their daughter did not have albinism but they could not explain definitively why she was born with pale skin, blue eyes and blond hair. They had a few genetic theories on how it could be possible but none were conclusive. Miracles do happen! Ladies, what would you do if you gave birth to a child who appeared to be of a different race? What do you think your husband would do? Nature is truly a mystery. #Resilience!Posted by Dr James Makamba on Monday, February 13, 2017
The first theory was based on the idea that Nmachi had a gene mutation completely unique to her. If that’s the case, she could pass said gene on to her own children, who would also be white.
Another theory was that either Angela and Ben have dormant white genes passed down from their ancestors, and that they simply hadn’t surfaced for generations until Nmachi’s birth. Doctors reportedly suggested that the parents could harbor long-dormant Caucasian DNA from an interracial coupling somewhere in their history.
And then there’s the third possibility that was presented to Angela and Ben: that Nmachi might have a mutated variant of albinism. If this is the case, her skin may darken over time, though her father wasn’t convinced about this theory.
“She doesn’t look like an albino child anyway,” Ben said.
“Not like the ones I have seen back in Nigeria or in books. She just looks like a healthy white baby.”
In any case, I think we can all agree that the most important thing is that Nmachi was born into a family who will love and treasure her as all children should be loved and treasured.
In July 2010, a Nigerian couple, Ben and Angela Ihegboro gave birth to a blue-eyed, blond-haired white baby, Nmanchi (not an albino), in a London hospital that surprised all experts, as neither Ben nor his wife, Angela, had any mixed-race family history. pic.twitter.com/xWKGaQM2o4— Africa Archives ™ (@Africa_Archives) January 19, 2022
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Here’s to wishing this family all the very best in the future.