If you’ve ever considered getting tattoos as a Nigerian, one thing that might have stopped you, apart from the fear of Nigerian police, is the fear of Nigerian parents.

We asked 5 Nigerians what their parents thought about their tattoos. Here’s what they had to say:

1. Raphael

My tattoo is the name of my ex-girlfriend. I got it when I was in university. My friend was learning how to do tattoos, so he offered to give me one for free. I couldn’t think of anything to get, so I told him to write my girlfriend’s name. It’s not something I regret doing though. I’m married now and I told my wife about it when we first started dating. She still teases me about it. I have plans of drawing something else over the name or covering it up but, I don’t have time for it now. My parents never found out about it because it’s on my left arm and it’s always covered.

2. Sarah

I have three tattoos. One is a Bible verse, and the other two don’t have any meaning. When I got my first tattoo, my sister sent a picture of it to the family group chat. Luckily for me, my older sister got hers on that same day, so my parents didn’t move mad with me because that behavior was expected from me. They were more surprised that my sister got a tattoo.

My mum called me one time to tell me that getting tattoos is not biblical, but that was it. She didn’t bother me again, so I went on and got a second and a third. The third is more visible. When I get a new tattoo or a new piercing, my mum just goes ‘’Ah, you’ve done another one?’’. She might be disappointed, but she’s no longer surprised. My dad isn’t cool with tattoos. In fact, he hates them. But he can’t hate his kids. I have pink hair and tattoos. I’ve disappointed him so many times, he can’t be shocked anymore. He still loves me and I also love him.

3. Nkem

I have two tattoos. One on my chest, and one on my back. The one on my chest is my name, and the one on my back is a crown, because I’m a queen. My parents almost killed me with scolding when I got them. My dad still talks about it even though I’ve had them for six years. We even talked about it last week. I don’t regret my tattoos though. I love them. Everyday, when I see them, I love them.

4. Tosin

I wouldn’t say my tattoo means anything. It’s just art. I think the human body is a canvas, and that we are all entitled to design to our own art to our own definitions, and that’s why I have a chest tattoo. When I make more money, I’ll probably get some more done.

When my mum saw my tattoo, she was concerned about whether I got it from a hygenic place or not, and then she made me understand that it was a decision I had to live with for the rest of my life. Thanks mum.

5. Bisi

I have three tattoos. One is “Self Love”, another is a feminist symbol, and the third one is a name I call myself when I’m sad. My parents have not seen my tattoos because I haven’t been home in years, but I’m pretty sure that when my mum sees them, she’ll cry.



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