By Tosin Ajirire, Damilola Fatunmise And Rita Okoye
Gone are the days when skin piercing or tattoos were seen as an alien culture, today Nigerian celebrities especially music and movie stars adorn their bodies with different sizes, shapes and colours of tattoos.
For some, getting tattoos inked on their bodies is a serious business, for others it is fashionable and a way of moving with the trend. However, while majority of the stars have their tattoos in prominent places, a few of them have theirs hidden in private areas of their bodies.
Nigerian entertainers who spot tattoos include Charly Boy, Tuface Idibia, Wizkid, Davido, Peter Okoye, Iyanya, Oritsefemi, Burna Boy and Olamide.
Others are Tonto Dikeh, Shan George, Fathia Balogun, Rukky Sanda, Iyabo Ojo, Lizzy Anjorin, Bukky Wright, Anita Joseph, Dayo Amusa, Sheyi Shay, Tayo Odueke aka Sikiratu Sindodo, Lola Alao, Halimat Abubakar, Oge Okoye, and Cossy Orjiakor.
To most people, it will be an ‘abomination’ if someone fondly called ‘His Royal Punkness’ and ‘Area Fada’ goes without spotting a tattoo on his body.
But true to type, Charles Oputa popularly known as Charly Boy is not only one of the most controversial artists in Nigeria but also one with perhaps the weirdest tattoos ever.
At a time the society frowned on tattoos in the late ‘90s, Charly Boy had them plenty. Now, the former president of Performing Musicians Association of Nigeria (PMAN) is proud to be counted among the celebrities with tattoos. And so also is his wife, Dianne aka Lady Di.
Innocent Ujah Idibia popularly known as Tuface Idibia is a singer, songwriter and producer. Fondly called Tubaba by his fans, the musician whose song, African Queen, made waves all over the continent is one of the celebrities spotting tattoos.
Iyanya Onoyom Mbuk simply known as Iyanya in the music industry is a ladies’ man and he’s conscious of it. The 2008 Project Fame winner whose song, Kukere became a sort of national anthem loves to display his abs and tattoos whenever he performs on stage.
Before you say Jack Robinson, the artist has flung off his shirt thus showing off his tattoos well etched on his 6-packed frame.
One half of PSquare duo, Peter Okoye, is a tattoo freak. He spots tattoos in different parts of his body. One of the tattoos has a close resemblance to that of American rapper, Rick Ross.
Oritsefemi Majemite Ekele popularly known as Oritse Femi in the music industry is also a tattoo lover. The award-winning artist has tattoos inked on his chest and both arms.
Afro hip hop act, Olamide, is not left out in the tattoo craze. The controversial rapper spots tattoos in some parts of his body.
Afro hip hop sensation, David Adeleke aka Davido, is proud to display his tattoos whenever occasion demands. The act, who recently inked a multi-million dollar deal with Sony Music International, wears tattoos all over his body. However, the most prominent are those on his chest and arms.
Talented songwriter and singer, Ayodeji Balogun aka Wizkid is not left out in the world of tattoos. The award-winning act has tattoos prominently displayed on his left arm.
Damini Ogulu aka Burna Boy is popular for his singles, Abeg Abeg Abeg and Trumpet, a collabo with Davido. And just like the latter, the dark-sinned act is a lover of tattoos, which he spots all over his body. But then the most prominent is the one he has on his chest and which spreads to his arms.
Before actress Tonto Dikeh got married, she had more than 10 different tattoos adorning her petite body including the one on her leg that reads ‘Guide my steps’.
She described the body decorations as her “closed door” acts.
“I have a lot of tattoos, I have more than 10. Tattoo is something that I love and I do not like it when people criticise because you are seeing differently from what I do.
“It’s my body, it’s something that I love. I don’t know what you do behind closed doors, but this is my own closed doors.” she said.
However, marriage and motherhood seem to have tempered Dikeh, who says she is done with tattoos. In a recent interview granted an online TV platform, the actress said: “No more. I’m done with tattoos.”
Fathia Balogun Williams, who was recently honoured with a chieftaincy title of ‘Atesin’se Adinni’, boasts of many tattoos on her body.
The one on her arm, IKA, stands for the initials of her children’s names. According to the actress, she took the pains of inscribing the tattoos on her arm to honour her children. But then, Williams said she has no regrets for wearing the tattoos.
Light-skinned movie queen, Rukky Sanda has a small tattoo each on her ankle and arm. Recently, she added a new one to her collection. It’s something similar to that of Tonto Dikeh, drawn all over her back but looks more like a flower.
As one of the pacesetters in the entertainment industry, Sanda hinted that she loves tattoos and wants to stay trendy, regardless of what it takes.
Wave making Yoruba actress cum producer, Iyabo Ojo, is also a tattoo lover. She has one on her left bosom and it’s been there for quite a while. She spots another tattoo on her waist and the third one in a hidden place, which according to her, is meant for her lover only.
Like Rukky Sanda, Ojo never jokes with fashion trends, as she always wants to look sexy for her admirers.
Revealing the reasons behind her tattoos, the single mother of two said she would want her children to know that she had a fulfilling youthful days, and no regrets about it.
For Tayo Sobola, who has been romantically linked to handsome actor, Seun Akindele, tattoos are an expression of her youthfulness.
Now that she is a grown up actor, she’s done with tattoos. Hear her: “I’m done with tattoos. I have outgrown such trends. I like the way I am now.”
Light-complexioned actress, Uche Ogbodo, is among the trailblazers of tattoos in Nollywood. She got her arm tattooed many years ago when she was head over heels in love with her boyfriend. To show how crazy she was about him, the role interpreter drew a tattoo, representing a cross and flower, on her arm.
Though, the two have since parted ways, the tattoo remains indelible on her body. Now, she regrets ever wearing a tattoo.
Pretty Ghanaian actress Nadia Buari is also a lover of tattoos. The screen diva, who is hugely popular in Nollywood, has a fairly big tattoo that looks like an angel sitting pretty on her right shoulder and another one on her left arm.
The light-skinned actress came up with the tattoo after working on her physique. She now spots a slimmer figure.
Delectable actress, Eve Esin, has a sexy tattoo drawn on her lower waistline. Her tattoo can be mistaken for a waist chain but it looks so beautiful on her.
The thespian has been a lover of tattoo ever before she got into Nollywood. The pretty mother of two has three but small tattoos adorning her body; one each on her ankle, arm and boobs.
Okoye doesn’t hesitate to flaunt her tattoos as much as she can.
Just like Oge Okoye, star actress cum producer, Halima Abubakar also has three tattoos sitting smugly on her hand, back and right boob.
On Abubakar’s back is a tattoo with Indian motif, while a rose flower adorns her right boob. However, the dark-skinned movie star is not perturbed about what people say about her tattoos. According to her, she owns her body and can do whatever she pleases with it.
“I don’t care what people say about my tattoos. It’s my body, I can do whatever I like with it,” she said.
Dancer and actress, Cossy Orjiakor, is popular for her many controversies. But one thing she is not tired of flaunting in public are her huge boobs spotted with tattoos.