It’s a wet Thursday in Lagos, Nigeria and I am glad it rained. People
have been enduring the high weather temperature in the last few days. It is the
day of relieve and we look forward to more relieve as the rainy season sets in
fully. I have come in the similitude of a Tiv from Benue State, Nigeria saying, 'My People'.
As a lad, there are names on my Grandmother’s arm, she told me it is called
“Soju” and why she had different names
written on her skin. When I got to Ilorin for my tertiary education; I came in
contact with another intricate patterns drawn on women in the market and some
corporate environment, I asked questions about it and I got to know this as one
of the traditional fashion style called “Lali”.
By the time, I got to Maiduguri, Borno State, before the Boko Haram days; I was
used to seeing it on women. Interestingly, when I returned to Lagos, I came in
touch with another set of patterns called tattoo. Let’s reflect on today’s
Versus Series as we consider Tattoo vs Lali.
Tattoo is a cosmetic technique which involves the placement of pigment
into the skin's dermis, the layer of
dermal tissue underlying the epidermis. After initial injection, pigment is dispersed
throughout a homogenized damaged layer down through the epidermis and upper
dermis, in both of which the presence of foreign material activates the immune system's phagocytes to engulf the pigment particles. As
with tattoos, permanent makeup can be difficult to remove. Common techniques
used for this are laser resurfacing, dermabrasion (physical
or chemical exfoliation), and surgical removal. Removal
is more painful and laborious than the tattooing itself. Tattooing may have complications, such as allergies to
the pigments, formation of scars, granulomas and keloids, skin cracking, peeling, blistering and local infection. The use of unsterilized tattooing
instruments may infect the patient with serious diseases such as HIV and hepatitis. Removal problems may also ensue, due to patient
dissatisfaction or regret, and they may be particularly difficult to remove.
“Lali” is drawing intricate
patterns on the hands and feet of ladies. It’s Hausa tradition used to adorn
brides - popular in Northern Nigeria and in Hausa and Fulani ethnic groups
across West Africa. 'Laali', the dark ink called Henna made from the crushed
leaves of the Henna plant, the dark ink (which turns from orange to dark red)
has been used for centuries to paint body art in various cultures around the
world. It can stay up to three months on the skin depending on the size and
intricacy of the fashion pattern desired.
These descriptions are technical and scientific. I will want to narrow
it down to other areas of our lives, most especially, our dealings with people.
Let us be careful not to leave a scar on the heart of people. There are people that
do hurt others badly and it never leaves their memories. There is a need to
evaluate our decisions, which of these decision will leave permanent scars on
us and which ones will heal over time and we can move on to other wonderful
Contrarily, you have to be tattoo the skills of your craft on your skin,
everyone must know you as a don of your competence; it must be oozing all over
It is a choice and not by force to know what we are doing and for what
reasons we are doing it. Of what benefit is it to be act in a haste and start
finding a very expensive way out.
Let’s reason deeply.
Have a smooth transition into May.
Labels: Attitudinal Change, Contrast, Fulani, Hausa, Ilorin, Inspirational, Kwara State, Lagos, Lali, Maiduguri, Motivational, Olutayo Irantiola, Peo Davies, Soju, Tattoo, Versus Series