Having a tribal mark in an era like ours has both its cons and pros. Its effect on my overall growth and development can not be overlooked. The fact that it’s a permanent feature and is the first thing that ‘pops out’ when I meet people for the first time can not be ignored either. ‘Don’t judge a book by its cover’ is the popular saying, yet judgement is what greets me when i meet most people for the first time—some people have this fixed mindset that people with tribal marks are more local and less intelligent (I wonder why, when it’s not even a natural/birth defect). But, ‘boy!’ do I derive pleasure in proving them wrong (grins).
In the olden days, tribal marks equaled wealth; great riches and influence! So, sometimes when I’m walking down the street or I’m out in town, I still see lots of middle aged and old people even a few teenagers and young adults who admire my marks and go as far as dishing out compliments to me. Of course, I always smile at them and tell them I appreciate it. If the person is someone I know very well and can be open with though, I tell them to wear it for a day and come back to give me feedback.
I’m not saying everybody stigmatises tribal marks or the people who wear them, but I think it would be really beautiful if we could learn to be more accommodating of them because about 99% of us didn’t even have a say. I was only a baby when I got them and I couldn’t have fought for myself. Also, my parents, who would have fought for me, were not there when I got them. I’m not going to be mentioning names. Let me just say, the people who scarred my face did so in the absence of my parents, who were so furious when they got back. My dad was out on some business and my mom was indisposed. When my dad came back, he threatened everybody. He said he was going to disown his own family. My mom was going to take me to the hospital to get stitches, but after much persuasion and convincing that she was going only going to make it worse, she let things be. I guess they wanted to create a mini version of my dad (chuckles. They actually succeeded, and now most people ask why I looked like my dad so much when it was not as if he was going to run away. I call my dad my “twinnie”, so I guess something good came out of it at the end since what is done is done and they cannot be erased but, now that I think about it, I wouldn’t even want to be anyway else!
I feel beautiful and perfect with my ‘tribals’ because they’ve helped in shaping me into who I was always meant to be. My main motivation comes from my dad, who is the most amazing GB Twinnie I could have asked for, and my mom, who is also ever-supportive and is one of the most hardworking ladies I know. They are always working hard to break new grounds and someday I’d love to break greater and newer grounds too. ♥