When I was five years old, Sandton was still a pig farm and my uncle was the only one in the family with tattoos — and then only because he was in the merchant navy and had crossed the equator.

Today, Sandton is Africa’s wealthiest high-rise enclave and the suburbs around it support more than 20 tattoo parlours, with a similar density in SA’s three other big cities of Pretoria, Cape Town and Durban. An estimated 700 parlours nationwide turn over perhaps R60m a year...

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