A few days back, the Vice Chancellor of Akwa Ibom State University (AKSU), Prof. James Eno Ibanga sparked mixed reactions when he announced that people with tattoos will be denied admissions into the university.
Celebrity tattoo artist, Bizzyaski has written a thought-provoking open letter to the VC. Read below...
Dear professor Eno James Ibanga, they call me Bizzyaski, a notable tattooist and graduate of Philosophy from OOU.
The statement you made about not granting admissions to people with tattoos is totally wrong, you can’t impose your personal belief on a whole academic institution. That statement only portrays you as backward; it betrays your exalted position as an educationist who should be an harbinger of information and civilization by promoting creativity and open-mindedness.
Tattoos are body arts and not a mark of immorality, cultists, and bad people in general as your statement portrayed; the corrupt politicians causing the sufferings of millions of Nigerians by stealing public funds, do they have tattoos? Most of the famous kidnappers paraded half naked, do you see tattoos on them?
Being the VC of a school with department of art, I wonder how your statement comes across to art students and lecturers in that school.
Ironically, in your state, Akwa Ibom where little children are labelled witch and killed, there is a heavily tattooed Danish advocate named Anja Ringgren, who has been saving and transforming the lives of innocent kids. She recently beat the likes of Pope Francis, Barack Obama and the Dalai Lama to top the list of 100 inspiring individuals compiled by German-language Ooom Magazine just because of this act alone.
Face the real issues plaguing your institution, rather than unnecessarily condemning people's right to physical expressions; i am sure your school, lack most Nigerian schools, lack adequate infrastructures and the rest. Why not let’s take a cue from the western world, at least I studied few courses in the USA; i see professors, police officers, lawyers, bankers, doctors with tattoos and dreadlocks, why is your own different when they are thousands of miles ahead of you in development?
Are you aware that some universities abroad offer degrees in Tattoo designs and Body Arts? There are even institutions dedicated strictly to the study of tattoos; those are the same people who created the system of education in which you have found relevance today.
Have you heard about David Lane, a University of South Dakota assistant professor of anthropology and sociology who teaches a class focusing on the cultural significance of tattoos?
Have you heard about the "tattooed professor" Kevin Gannon, a professor of Civil War History at Grand View University, USA, who also run a blog about tattoos?
There are even notable and revered world leaders with large body tattoos; among them are current Canadian Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau and former Californian Governor, Arnold Schwarzenegger.
Our problem is our mentality, and until we change the mentality, we are going no where. Let’s think about it. Even the certificate after having it , does it guarantee employment? My certificate has been useless since 2009. If not for GOD and Hardwork.. and your school is not free , it’s being paid for sir." #ChangeYourMentality #ComeOnOnline