South Africa: #ImStaying Tattoo Gives New Meaning to 'Permanent Stay'

"Permanent stay" took on a whole new meaning for a Johannesburg woman who tattooed #ImStaying on her body.

Erika McCloud, 36, had it tattooed on her right shoulder on Sunday after a Facebook post hit 1 000 likes.

"It actually started two weeks ago when [my brother] posted that if the post gets 1 000 likes he would get [the tattoo].

"I said, in response to him, that if he gets it I would do it as well," McCloud told News24.

The post received about 6 000 likes in a matter of hours, she said.

While she has 22 other tattoos, this particular one elicited mixed reactions on social media.

McCloud, however, said this did not bother her.

"The thing is, you just have to take it. With all my other tattoos, you always have the haters.

"It's my body, it's what I do and I know it's going to be there for the rest of my life.

"It's just your choice that you make to have something to look at."

McCloud said she had various tattoos on her body, some symbolising meaningful moments for her and others that were just decorative.

"I'm saying, I'm not going anywhere because I do have the option of leaving and I don't want to leave because this is my country and I love it.

"It's also for my son so that he can grow up in the country of his birth and be closer to family as well - not leaving everybody behind," McCloud said.

She added she was staying in South Africa for a number of reasons.

"It's everything, it's the people, it's the beauty of everything."

Amid weeks of bad news earlier this year, the Facebook group #ImStaying emerged with the goal to "unite all South Africans".

It provides a platform for South Africans to share their stories of why they love the country and why they choose to stay despite its problems.

"Just to see all the positive things and not being negative, that's one of the major things as well," McCloud said of joining the group.

"Everybody needs hope and the page just does that, it shows people that there is love and there is unity."

Source: News24

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