When people first saw the whole sleeve tattoo on Nigerian singer Tiwa Savage’s arm, their eyes undoubtedly popped, rolled, and raised questions. Tiwa Savage had a tattoo on her right hand for a long time that ended at her elbow, but in 2021, she proudly displayed a brand-new full sleeve tattoo that she had had done to extend from her elbow up to her shoulder.
Many people have believed that what Tiwa Savage has on her hand is henna for a very long time, and they still do now. However, it is not; instead, it is a real sleeve tattoo.
During her interview with NTV Kenya, Tiwa Savage finally spoke at more length about her tattoo and explained what the tattoo means, why she kept on stopping and coming back to get the tattoo, and answered if she will ever get the tattoo on the other hand as well. Here is what Tiwa Savage said.
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“Let’s talk about this tribal [tattoo] real quick. Why did I think it was fake? Cuz that looks so painful, it is a lot.”
TIWA SAVAGE: Yes, it’s very real. It’s very very real.
“Did people think it was henna?”
TIWA SAVAGE: A lot of people still think it is even though I have said so many times. Funny story, you know Jidenna has a full sleeve tattoo as well. So I saw him at a festival and he was just like his thing means his mother’s river meeting his dad’s something something. All this like meaningful deep stuff. Then he turned around and said to me “was does yours mean?” and I was like Nothing.
“Oh, so you’re tribal tattoo means nothing?”
TIWA SAVAGE: Nothing.
“So you were just like it looks cool?”
TIWA SAVAGE: Yeah. It means nothing. I should come up with a story because people always ask me like “oh this tribal thing, what does it mean?” and I’m like I don’t know. It’s nothing.
“Wow, it looks so good though. How long did this take you?”
TIWA SAVAGE: About three days.
“Of about how many hours per day?”
TIWA SAVAGE: Uhmmm, about eight. Cuz I’m dark as well so I had to shade it like two, three times, so I did it over and over again.
“Was it very painful?”
TIWA SAVAGE: Extremely painful.
“Would you ever do it on the other hand?”
TIWA SAVAGE: No. [The pain] is pretty close to child birth. No, I’m good.
“Did you want to give up at some point?”
TIWA SAVAGE: I did. That was why I took three days. Cuz I kinda stopped half way and then I went back again, I tried, and then I stopped for a few days. And then I was like no, it looks stupid. Because she had already like framed it, so I just had to finish it.