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Nigerian celebrities having tribal marks on the face, who are they?

Have you noticed that some Nigerian celebrities have tribal marks on their faces? Do you know what it means? Read this article to find out!

tribal marks on the face

The tribal marks of different ethnic groups are very important in the culture of the country. A lot of Nigerian celebrities have the marks on their face – it means that they are a part of a certain tribe.

The tradition of putting tribal marks on the face is mostly popular among Yoruba people. They usually mark the person as a child – they can both cut or burn the skin.

It is done for the purpose of identification – so that it’s known to everyone that you belong to the particular tribe.

Yoruba people started doing it a long time ago and back then it was necessary for the local groups to get along and not kill each other without a reason. Everyone had to have those marks.

Otherwise they weren’t considered the members of the tribe. Obviously, other ethnic groups also have their own marks and sings. However, most of the Nigerian stars who have marks on the face are Yoruba.

About a century ago it was also the identification for slaves. It was a really common thing to do but not that many people do it now.

The society has been evolving and at one point it stopped being necessary to do that to people. It was made illegal to do it in Nigeria. There are several kinds of Yoruba tribal marks:  

Abaja ,Kẹkẹ or Gọmbọ, Ture, Pele, Mande, Jamgbadi. Here are the most popular Nigerians with marks on the face.

1) Skales

The real name of Skales is Raoul John Njeng-Njeng. He is a very talented rapper and singer. Moreover, he performs the songs that he writes by himself.

He started his career in  2000 when he wrote his first rap song. After that he moved to Jos in 2007 to work together with Jeremiah Gyang and Jesse Jagz.

Two years later he went to Lagos where he signed a contract with Empire Mates Entertainment. Even though Skales enjoyed it, he left the company and decided to make his own label.

tribal marks on the face

That’s exactly what he did in 2014. The first album of this Nigerian rapper is called Man of the Year. He has tribal marks on the face but they aren’t that noticeable.

2) 9ice

Abolore Akande is known as 9ice in Nigeria right now. He works as a musician and comes from Oyo State. He is 35. When he was younger his family moved to Lagos where he grew up.

He is loved by Yoruba people because his songs usually contain some of their traditional poems and sayings. He represents the entire culture with his amazing songs.

9ice has the tribal marks on his face and he is really proud to belong to the Yoruba ethnic group.

READ ALSO: How to clear tribal marks – 5 best methods for Nigerians

3)  King Sunny Ade

Some critics call “King” Sunny Adé one of the most influential musicians in Nigeria who was nominated for Grammy a lot of times.

He is very talented – he sings and writes songs himself and he can play several instruments. That’s why Yoruba people and Nigerians in general really love him and his songs.

He was born in Ondo in a royal family which made it easier for him to become who he is right now. He is called Omoba of the Yoruba people. You can distinguish the marks on his face really well.

4) Olaniyi Afonja (Sanyeri)

Most of the people refer to this amazing Nigerian actor as Sanyeri but his real name is Olaniyi Afonja. He was born to an average middle-class family. At first he went to St.Michael Primary School in Oyo State.

His second school was Durbar Grammar School. Olaniyi became an actor in the 1990s but it wasn’t that easy for him. His parents didn’t support him and never wanted him to pursue this career.

tribal marks on the face

However, he became very successful. He says that he is happy to have the traditional tribal marks.

5) Brymo

Another famous person in Nigeria who has these marks is Olawale Ashimi but everyone calls him Brymo. He is an artist and a composer.

He occupies a few positions – he is also an ambassador for The Lagos Chamber of Commerce And Industry. Brymo seems to be proud to be a member of Yoruba tribe.

6) Ebun Oloyede

The name of this famous Nollywood actor is known to many Nigerians! Olaiya Igwe is a stage name of Alhaji Lukmon Ebun Oloyede. Yoruba people are very proud that this talented actor represents their culture.

The critics also admire him and say that he is one of the best actors in the country. If you look at his picture you will also see that he has marks on his face.

tribal marks on the face

Western influence?

Some people might find it really weird but some European and American people do tattoos on their faces. It’s quite obvious that the reason for that is not to show that they belong to some tribe.

It’s like a popular trend among them but they do it just for fun. There are places in Africa where people still do that to their kids but it’s not common at all right now because it’s forbidden by the law.

However, are we going to go for the facial tattoos now? Well, it’s true that our society is evolving and we are influenced by the West but it doesn’t seem to be possible that we will also start doing it.

We want our traditions to stay with us; we don’t want to copy someone else. But marking people’s faces is in the past now – Nigerians don’t need it anymore.

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