Nigerian Olatunbosun Damilola has a complicated relationship with her facial scars. On the one hand she endures mockery and shaming by others who think her tribal marks are something that disfigures her.

Scarification, the process which entails etching, branding or marking of the face as part of cultural tradition, has become very rare, particularly after villages were pressurised into becoming more modernised, according to HuffPost. 

What was once seen as a statement of belonging and one that forms part of people’s heritage has become something that is seen as being outdated. Some places in Nigeria are even considering banning it completely.

Olantunbosun says that her parents gave her the scars when she was a little girl and that when she first received them, they were something to be cherished, as people around them back then saw it as something to be proud of.

READ MORE: 'I love my scars': women share their stories

These days Olantunbosun faces a lot of discrimination for it. 

She endures horrible name-calling and says that she sometimes struggles to deal with all of the judgemental comments, but she’s also realised that because it’s not in her power to change it, she’s learned to accept it as being part of who she is.

However, she does says she doesn’t think that people should do this to their children anymore, and at the same time adds that people shouldn’t judge those who have the scars but can’t do anything about it.


Sign up to W24’s newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.