Adetutu Alabi, a Nigerian face model with prominent tribal marks who recently got a followback from Rihanna after her tweet asking to work for Rihanna went viral in this interview with Saturday Beats disclosed she has been going through ell because of er tribal marks. She speaks on her ordeal of not furthering her education and how men she had dated had told her they could only move with her at night. It’s terrible, read…
“I started modelling last year after I came out from my shell or hiding due to my tribal marks. The bullying started in my primary and secondary school days. Due to this, I learnt a skill instead of going to university.
“I was supposed to study law but I decided not to take the Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination at all because I was scared of being bullied in the university. I believed that if I attended university, I might end up killing myself.
“Later, I had to ask my parents why they gave me these tribal marks and they told me it was because of our culture and to showcase my beauty.
“I didn’t feature in any of my primary school pictures because of my tribal marks and even though I had friends, I was always like a fifth wheel in the group. An embarrassing day for me was when a client told me to always conceal my tribal marks anytime I came to work with her. She eventually told me that she couldn’t work with me.”
Further speaking on the pain her tribal marks had caused her, she said some strangers had told her that she was ugly.
“Sometimes when I walk on the road, people would drag me, only to tell me I am ugly but I always ignore them because some people defend me,” she said.
The model further revealed that her tribal marks ended her relationship with the father of her child because he was ashamed of walking with her in public.
She said, “One of the reasons the father of my child absconded was because of my tribal marks. He could not be with me in public and he only made us meet at night; we dated for some months in 2008 and I got pregnant in 2009. I bore a girl for him and she will be nine years old this year.
“I felt I was the ugliest girl in the world. I got fed up with relationships because men didn’t always want to go out with me during the day; they would prefer to be with me at night. There was a guy I dated for two years and that was the condition of the relationship, so I had to endure.
“My mum died when I was four years old, so I grew up with a single dad. When I got pregnant, I had to run away from home to a foundation that accommodated me.”
Speaking on why she reached out to Rihanna, she said, “I was motivated to start the campaign when I woke up one day and saw that Rihanna posted a picture with a similar posture I assumed in one of my pictures and I have always been her fan.
“My goal is to model for her which I hope to achieve one day. I posted the picture and my friends reposted and retweeted it and the campaign began; that was it. I was very excited when she followed me back.”