Keletso Motsumi was 16 years old when he got his first tattoo in 2007.
The first year CAT ACCA student says he was influenced by videos of American hip hop artists and his love for body art. Keletso says his Christian mom was against his tattoos, saying that it is a demonization of the body.
Today he sports 12 tattoos, among them graphic old English words, a claw and the serenity prayer. But he is planning to get more.
A tattoo is an ink filled puncture wound, made deep in your skin.
It’s made by perforating one’s skin with a needle and injecting ink into the perforation area, usually creating some sort of design. What makes tattoos so long-lasting is that they are very deep. The ink isn’t injected into the epidermis, the top layer of skin that one produces and sheds throughout one’s lifetime. Instead, the ink is injected into the dermis, which is the second, deeper layer of skin. Dermis cells are very stable, so the tattoo is practically permanent.
Tattoos have been around for hundreds of years and were mostly worn as decorations, and also as a culture for especially bikers, sailors and convicts. Though the trend is relatively new in Botswana, the past few years have seen a significant rise in tattooing, bringing a profitable market to tattooists.
Joey Dos Santos, a 26-year-old creative artist who graduated from Kents Tattoo Palour in South Africa, is one of the beneficiaries of the surge in tattoo mania. His clientele consists mainly of men and women aged 18 years and above.