Tanzania has banned the popular book series ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ amidst claims that it promotes immorality. This was reported by The Citizen, the country’s national newspaper.
The country’s education minister, Adolf Mkenda, announced a ban on the book series on Monday 13th February 2023, saying that the government is monitoring libraries in both public and private schools, ensuring that they are removed from the shelves. He even cited that the book goes against Tanzanian traditions and customs, and thus, “schools have the obligation to follow those procedures when preparing children.”
He further stated, “I encourage parents to check students’ bags and rooms to ensure that these books are not being used at home; the inspection and monitoring are ongoing to determine if such books are in schools so that we can take action.”
According to the citizen, the country’s authorities believe that the books promote negative foreign behavior, especially on issues such as transgender, gay, lesbianism, bisexuality, intersex, and asexuality.
The banned books in the series include:
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Rodrick Rules
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Last Straw,
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Ugly Truth
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Cabin Fever.
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Third Wheel
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Hard Luck
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Long Haul
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Old School
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: Double Down
Diary of a Wimpy Kid: The Gateway.
“This is the first list, after we checked and verified that these books violate traditions and customs. The content in them are not good for the upbringing of Tanzanians. The review is ongoing,” said Mkenda.
The Diary of a Wimpy Kid, written by author Jeff Kiney, primarily focuses on the life of an American, a middle school boy who is labeled as a weakling as he journals his trials and encounters with life. The first series was published in 2007 and since then, over 275 million copies have been sold worldwide which brought the book series to the 6th best selling book series of all time, generating over $500 million in revenue.
The minister also banned other books including Sex Education: A guide of life. One of the names mentioned were pages from an ABC book of Equality which appeared to teach little children on LQBTQ.
Tanzania’s education minister stated that “The books also violate the good practices of bringing up our children,” calling on parents to inspect their children’s bags to make sure they did not have the books.
The source also reported that last week, the country’s first female President, Samia Suluhu Hassan, spoke with some university student leaders and asked them to be aware of some “imported cultures.”
“If you are a Tanzanian, live in accordance with our cultures,” she said.
Her comments came in the wake of Frank Haule, a senior member of the country’s ruling CCM party who claimed that same sex activity was prevalent in universities. “That practice is contrary to our cultures and is prohibited by religious books,” Haule said.
Tanzania boasts a thriving population of over 60 million and is gearing to become one of the fastest economies in Africa. Most of the people are predominantly Christian or Muslim, and the country adheres to the practices of the two major religions, both which prohibit the acts of same sex relations.
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