Tatted: International student draws inspiration from loss and origins


This is Tatted, a podcast telling the stories behind people’s ink.
Graphic by Kat Owens


Junior, Yuhi (U-he) Ndahiro (Da-hear-o) was born in Kenya, but grew up speaking Finnish. His mother is from Finland, while his father is from Rwanda.

Before he was born, his parents moved out of Rwanda because of the genocide in 1994. When Ndahiro was one year old, his family moved back to Rwanda to help rebuild the country.

Ndahiro’s Nordic and African roots have inspired most of his tattoos. 

“[My family] always feel so proud of me, like ‘I love that you’re proud of your culture,'” he said. “Most people that travel outside of Rwanda always forget where they come from and their heritage.”

Ndahiro said his tattoos help open conversation with his peers about culture.

In his lifetime, Ndahiro said he has been able to see Rwanda be redeemed from the violent war-torn country to housing the cleanest city in Africa: Kigali, the country’s capitol. 

“Today… 23 years on, it’s one of the top countries in the world,” he said.

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