Zanzibar authorities have implemented a prohibition on men wearing braided hairstyles, stating that it violates both local customs and the law while posing a potential threat to societal morals.
This move aims to enforce adherence to traditional norms and uphold the cultural values of the region.
We find it dangerous to our future generations”, says Zanzibar’s Culture Executive Secretary Omar Adam. “This is one form of immorality in Zanzibar, it is a culture which is adopted from outside Zanzibar.”
Authorities have dismissed concerns that the recent enforcement of the ban on men wearing braided hairstyles in Zanzibar is specifically targeting the LGBTQ community. In Zanzibar, where same-sex relationships are illegal, the law against men braiding their hair has been in existence since 2015 but has only been actively enforced now.
Individuals, regardless of whether they are residents or visitors to Zanzibar, who are found with braided hair can face penalties such as fines exceeding $400 or up to six months of imprisonment, or both.
Despite being a popular tourist destination, the authorities emphasize that the enforcement of this ban will be applied uniformly.
It is worth noting that the Zanzibar government had recently banned 16 book titles and the use of rainbow colors in schools, citing that they promoted LGBTQ rights.