The government of Zanzibar has introduced a law that bars men from plaiting their hair unless they pay a permit fee of Ksh. 58,000. Failure to adhere to this law will lead to six-month imprisonment or 1 million fine or both.
According to the island’s council of arts, film and culture, the rule is aimed at preserving the country’s culture and traditions. In an interview with the media, Omar Adam the executive producer of the council said that the police will arrest any man who plaits his hair without a permit. He added that young men have been plaiting their hair and it is against their traditions.
“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 Sh1 million to plait or buy a razor to shave,” said Dr. Omar.
While speaking to the media, Adam added that the law has been there since 2015 but it was never implemented, until now. He didn’t clarify if the law also applies to tourists and foreigners who visit the country.