The third episode of Chidera Muoka‘s #MoreThanInkAndLocs features Funfere Koroye, an industrial designer and product developer.
Funfere shares a story behind his tattoos and their meanings, like the most famous being the mask of the Benin Empire which is still being held by the British. To Funfere, his tattoos are “sort of like a bit of education.”
Despite not having any bad reactions, Funfere has had bad experiences especially with “people not taking him seriously during job interviews or pitching work to clients. Because in the mind of Nigerians especially our elders, someone with tattoos somehow would mess up their project or not do the work well.”
About his tattoos, Funfere says “I never really understood how ink on my skin stops me from being who I am. I mean I am a hardware designer, it’s like the work is on the computer, it’s not happening on the surface of my skin.”
But he was ready to be denied opportunities, and it was their loss. Sharing his opinion on society’s bias towards tattoos, Funfere says “if you don’t want to work with me based on how I look, or if you don’t want to work with me based on how I dress, then the problem is with you, not me.”