Nigeria’s celebrity fandom & tattoo trend — for love or the cash?

 Nigeria’s celebrity fandom & tattoo trend — for love or the cash?

By Ezinwanne Onwuka

In recent times, social media has been buzzing with the tattoo trend. This trend which sees fans tattooing the name or image of their favorite celebrity has been gaining momentum on social media for the past couple of weeks.

These days, getting tattoos from fans is the recent way Nigerian celebrities have been getting a signal of a show of love, solidarity and support from their fans. This has led to what has now become a celebrity tattoo craze in 2021.

Afrobeat superstars: Wizkid, Davido and Naira Marley; controversial crossdresser, Bob Risky; ex-BBNaija lockdown housemate, Ka3na; Nollywood actress, Nkechi Blessing have been victims of this trend — a development that has continued to ignite intense controversies across social media platforms.

However, while many fans of top Nigerian celebrities are going the extra mile to show love by joining the tattoo trend, a lady has made it a point to stand out from the crowd. The Nigerian lady has made it clear that she has no interest in getting the tattoos of celebrities in the country.

Unlike many who have joined the trend, the lady aimed for a politician, Bola Tinubu. Not only did she tattoo his face, she included his name, mother’s name and date of birth.

This is not the only case of excessive obsession for an influential figure since the trend began. The month of February began with a fan who went all out and drew not only the face of Davido, but also, the faces of all his three children; Imade, Hailey and Ifeanyi on her back.

With the trend finally reaching the former Lagos State Governor, Bola Tinubu, it is obvious the trend is now getting out of hand as many have turned it out to be a way of making cool cash from their favorite stars instead of a show of love and support.

It could be said that the trend took the dimension of an opportunity to seek monetary compensation and reward from the influential figures after Bobrisky gifted a fan N1 million for inking his face on her back. The popular cross dresser also sponsored the die-hard fan an all expense paid trip to Dubai and an iPhone 12, in addition to other benefits.

However, the celebrity crossdresser has recently reduced the reward to fans who gets a tattoo of him due to the rising number of fans on the list. He announced that they will have to share the sum of N3m amongst themselves.

In the West, it is common to tattoo names or faces of loved ones and idols, or even celebrities. Many people wear celebrity tattoo art of their favorite stars such as Eminem, Tupac, Beyonce, Rihanna, Kanye West, Taylor Swift among others.

In this part of the world, however, most people just can’t fathom that level of love or obsession. This is due to the numerous cases of Nigerian fans getting celebrity tattoos and instantly regretting it following a backlash and mockery, not just from the celebrities themselves but from the public.

Ex-BBNaija housemate, Tacha’s case is a good example. Following the photo she shared on social media of her tattoo of the singer, Davido, a close friend of Davido released a video where he mocked her in a song.

Instead of standing up for Tacha, Davido joined in the mockery. She later revealed in an interview that she regretted getting the tattoo.

Another case is that of a fan of Ka3na. Ka3na made a post asking a loyal fan to honor her with a tattoo since some celebrities were getting the same. In less than 3 days, a fan did but, instead of accolades, she was greeted with scoldings from her favorite celebrity.

She was trolled by fans who mocked and insulted her for being irresponsible, driving her to attempt suicide. Luckily, she was rescued before the pills she took kicked in.

From these, we can deduce that while celebrities in the West make it look so cool and endearing, Nigerian celebrities are not ready for that kind of fan love. They are still struggling with fans who draw portraits of them, so tattoos are perhaps a little overwhelming especially with the expectation of giveaways.

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