Zanzibar Bans Men From Plaiting Their Hair “To Protect The Country’s Culture and Tradition”

The government of Zanzibar has banned the braiding of hair by men, with a 1 million Tanzanian shilling fine, six-month imprisonment or both for anyone who contravenes the directive.

The law has been in existence since 2015 but has not been implemented, according to Omar Adam, Secretary, Zanzibar Council of Arts, Film, and Culture.

The Zanzibar Council of Arts, Film, and Culture says the law is aimed at protecting Zanzibar’s culture and tradition.

Omar Adam, the council’s executive secretary told local media that police will arrest any man who plaits his hair in Zanzibar without a special permit.

There is also an exemption which says any man who wants permission to plait will be required to pay 1 million Tanzanian shillings for the permit.

Police will arrest all men who plait hair; this is not acceptable by the arts council, and there is a special permit for plaiting hair, which is Sh1 million, and we have set that price in order to deter them. Now it is your choice to either pay 1 million shillings to plait or buy a razor to shave.

Adam told the Zanzibar Broadcasting Corporation.

Adam also expressed his dissatisfaction with young people in Zanzibar who have the habit of braiding their hair, which goes against the traditions of the Zanzibari people.

I don’t know if there is any father here in Zanzibar who will take his son to a hair salon. This is not the culture of Zanzibar and we as law enforcers must prevent this.

Omar Adam on BBC Swahili.

The public is yet to know whether this law will affect tourists who visit the country.

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