#MoreThanInkandLocs Is Giving Tattoos and Dreadlocks The Recognition They Deserve.


May 27, 2019

Done with the terrible rep tattoos and dreadlocks get in the Nigerian clime, #MorethanInkandlLocs is looking to change the narrative that usually comes with sporting either or both adornments. The project is created by Chidera Muoka and done in collaboration with Niyi Okeowo and Kayode Idowu .

And it can’t be more timely.

If you’re looking to get your hands on that long-awaited inheritance by giving your Nigerian parents a heart attack, I may have two suggestions sure to work for you —

1.Get a tattoo, the bigger the better

2. Lock your hair.

Double whammy if you do both. Okay, jokes on giving your parents the off-switch; but only a few things, short of committing murder or maybe dropping out of school to pursue music, get Nigerian parents as riled up as their offspring getting tattoos or locking their hair.

It is why my friend – *Chinonso, 34 and married with his first child, still sports long sleeve shirts and will always refuse beach weekends when his parents are involved, to hide his quarter sleeve tattoo. And why certain private universities, cough, cough *Covenant* , will go to embarrassing lengths like cutting the hair off of grown men, to maintain ‘civility’.

But why do they get such a bad rep? If you ask the Spokesman of the Lagos State Police Command, Bala Elkanah, he’ll tell you it’s because tattoos and dreadlocks aren’t a part of our culture. And this seems to be the common thread held by most elders.

And you know what, if I had only their word and no help from Genevieve’s internet, I just might have believed it, but look at this:

See the guys in front, they are the Olukun priests. The heads of an ancient traditional sect, focused on the worship of the ocean. They’ve always sported dreads.

And this:

Pray tell, what does an incision made with a sharp blade on the skin stand for in ordinary parlance? A tattoo, that’s what.

And if that isn’t enough to convince rational thought, whatever happened to ‘not judging a book by its cover?’

Luckily, the good people over at #MorethanInkandLocs ready to throwing their backs into changing this narrative. In the very first episode of the series, they sat down with the reserved Big Cabal co-founder and TechCabal Editor-in-Chief, Bankole Oluwafemi, as he narrates the story behind his locs and the reactions many have had towards his hair. Spoiler: it includes some Basketmouth comparisons.

Catch the very first episode here, and let us know what you think


*Name changed.

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Zikoko amplifies African youth culture by curating and creating smart and joyful content for young Africans and the world.