People get tattoos or are ‘inked’ for many reasons. Some do it for spontaneity, drunkenness, rebellion, expression or even aesthetics. However, most people get inked because tattoos carry sentimental weight.
For example, famous footballer and style icon David Beckham has tattoos of his children on different parts of his body. The more popular tattoos are angel wings, Chinese symbols, dolphins, roses and believe it or not the morbid human skull and the conational spots that people have inked on their shoulders, lower back and neck. Women just do it to look sexy and some women ink the conational spots on their intimate body parts.
The tattooing business seems to be lucrative, especially in urban areas like Gaborone and Francistown, where nowadays almost every other person on the street has one.
If you are going to have a tattoo, it’s important that you choose the right one.
There are not many professional tattoos artists in Botswana, and many people opt to cross the border to get tattooed by a professional in South Africa. After all, if something goes wrong you want to be able to hold someone accountable.
Samara Lubbe is one of the few professionally trained tattoo artist in the country. She has a tattoo studio in Gaborone and she has grown herself quite a reputation as one of the best. So if you are looking to get inked, she is the person to see.
The 23 year old owns and runs a residential tattoo parlour called Skin Deep in Gaborone’s Village suburbs. She says she advertises her business mainly through word of mouth and social networks. Her parlour has been in operation since 2010 and has been growing by leaps and bounds ever since.
“Most of my customers are youth, either employed or students. Professionally, I am drawn to drawing, sculpture, mixed media, illustration, cartoons, anime and body art.
Figurative art also intrigues me, whether it is old school, contemporary or animated. I enjoy drawing, as well as sculpting with different medium the most, I love mixing it up as it holds the challenge of new discoveries,” she said.
She charges a minimum P350 for a simple tattoo. She said she once did an enormous tattoo that she charged up to P4000.
Although she has spent most of her life living in Botswana, Lubbe holds an Arts diploma from London. As part of her final assessment, she had to tattoo five people and her unique talent of fine artistry impressed her volunteers and teachers. She has even attended further studies in Toronto and is toying with the idea of going to gain more experience in Europe.