Big Brother Mzansi’s Themba Broly speaks on why he tattooed his whole body!
History of my ink
Since I couldn’t go to art school because of financial reasons, I decided to learn how to draw tattoos from a friend of mine. I saw it as a way to express myself.
My first tattoo was of my son’s name, which I got in 2011 when I was 21. I then got plenty more tattoos before I got one of my daughter’s face, which is my most significant tattoo.
I cannot say how many tattoos I have because some are joined, but I’ve had 75 tattoo sessions and my favourite pieces are the butterflies on my face. For a very long time I didn’t believe I was good-looking or interesting to girls, until I grew into my features in high school. I morphed into a beautiful version of myself, much like a butterfly.
Misconceptions around tattoos
When you have tattoos, particularly on your face, people think you belong to a cult or you’re a rebel or that you believe in something “evil”.
Some believe that you’re a member of a gang or you’ve served time. What people don’t understand is that tattooing your body is a form of expression — it’s just art, but on your body. If you were to have a look at my face, I have soft, feminine tattoos such as butterflies and sunflowers.
Religion often deters people from getting tattoos, because they are seen as sinful. Yes, there are certain face tattoos that identify you as a member of a gang, like the tear drop or cross, but that’s not always the case.
I use my tattoos as a statement to teach people never to judge a person by their looks. I have feminine tattoos, but they shouldn’t be used as a reference to my sexuality. I can have those tattoos and still rock my pink hair and clothes.
I don’t have that many piercings but, in the name of “body art”, I chose to get a nose ring first, then tunnel earrings. I also have piercing in my private area to enhance my sexual pleasure.
Covering yourself with face tattoos is not a common practice in South Africa, but since Big Brother Mzansi I’ve started to see more people with tattoos on their faces, which makes me happy because I’m well on my way to debunking the myths that come with face tattoos.
Tips for beginners
Google and find out which areas of your body are your red, green, and yellow spots. The less you tattoo on the red spots, the less pain you will experience.
The softer the body part, the more painful it is, so choose the area properly.
A tattoo is painful regardless of the size — going big or small doesn’t really matter. It’s very hard to remove a tattoo, so do your research properly on the one you want to get.
Tattoo and piercing aftercare
For a safe healing journey, always go to a professional and not someone on the street corner who uses a piercing gun. Get instructions from the person piercing you because every needle has its own way of being healed.
For the piercing wound, use Dettol, a saline solution or a fragrance-free antimicrobial soap. Wash it twice a day and check for any unusual abscesses.
When your tattoo is healing, apply a layer of antibacterial/Vaseline ointment twice a day, but don’t put on another bandage.
Gently wash the tattoo area twice a day with soap and water and pat dry before reapplying the antibacterial/Vaseline ointment.
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