When Angela Ihegboro first laid eyes on her miracle baby, she was speechless, but not because she was so unexpected.
You see, the Ihegboros — Angela and Ben — live in London, but are from Nigeria and are black. However, their baby, Nmachi, has blonde hair and blue eyes. Oops! To say the couple was shocked when they first saw their bundle of joy would be an understatement.
As you can well imagine, the couple probably had a lot of questions, as they insist they have never been unfaithful to each other. Most would suspect that maybe Angela had a relationship with someone else, but they have assured everyone that is not the case.
“She’s a miracle baby,” Angela said. “But still, what on Earth happened here?”
Believe it or not, there is a medical explanation for what happened to this miracle baby. According to BBC News, the most obvious possibility is that there is mixed race in either Angela or Ben’s family, but they both argue that is not the case.
“In the case of Nmachi, there are three possible explanations of why she looks so very different from her older brother and sister, who are both black: dormant white genes which entered both of her parents’ families long ago, a genetic mutation unique to her, or albinism.”
Albinism is actually quite relevant in certain parts of Africa, and according to genetics experts, the color of the skin of any human is determined by about 12 different genes that control the amount of pigment — or melanin — produced in the skin.
“We are all of us genetic mixtures to some extent and occasionally you’ll have a convergence of the pale versions of these genes in African Americans and African Caribbeans who have a mixed black and white ancestry,” Professor Bryan Sykes of the University of Oxford, England said.
So in the case of the Ihegboro miracle baby, it is completely possible that both of them carry a light skin variant from white ancestors, but they were concealed by dark skin variants. The opposite can also happen in the case of white people.
However, this doesn’t seem to be the case with this miracle baby, since Angela and Ben have no white ancestry at all. What is more likely, Skyes says, is a genetic mutation within the little girl herself, which she will then pass on to her own children when the time comes.
Other experts argue baby Nmachi is the victim of something else entirely, albinism, which affects about 20,000 people in the world to different degrees. The condition is prevalent in Nigeria, where the Ihegboros hail.
“This is perhaps one of the most common recessive disorders in Nigeria, and we have to remember that it comes in different forms,” Professor Ian Jackson of the Human Genetics Unit at the Medical Research Council explained. “In Type 2 we would see creamy skin and yellow hair or light brown, which in some cases would darken with age.”
No matter what the explanation for her unexpected looks, Angela and Ben couldn’t be more in love and grateful for their white miracle baby.
[Image via Shutterstock]