The Times of Tanzania
Eastern Africa News Network, Breaking News Tanzania

‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid’ Books banned in Tanzania

The popular Children Book Series, ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ published in the United States, have been banned in Tanzania.

This is according to the statement and related directives from the Ministry of Education and Science and Technology, claiming that the ban comes after authorities learned that the books’ were promoting queer behaviour among innocent children.

The ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ is a children’s book series and media franchise created by author and cartoonist Jeff Kinney in the United States.

The books’ main selling point is the fact that the main character is a funny child with a totally different outlook on life.

‘Diary,’ series follows the main character, a wimpy kid known as Greg Heffley, who happens to be a middle-schooler.

Heffley illustrates his daily life in a diary, although according to the stories, he constantly tells the audience that it is a journal.

The ‘Wimpy Kid,’ is some sort of a modern day Tom Sawyer or Huckleberry Finn. He could even be their British alter-ego, Richmal Crompton’s ‘William.’

But in Tanzania, authorities believe the books promote negative foreign behaviour, especially issues of transgender as well as lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer (or questioning), intersex, and asexual (or allies).

Professor Adolf Mkenda the Minister of Education instructed all teachers, parents and guardians to check their children’s school bags and rooms and ensure that such literature is removed.

Book stores and libraries have also been ordered to take the books off their shelves and display racks.

While it may be easy to ban and confiscate physical paperbacks and hardcovers, they can still be accessed on digital formats.

A number of eBooks are nowadays easily and freely downloadable in epub, pdf and mobi or kindle files. These may prove to be tricky to control.

With English still not very much penetrated in the country, definitely few Tanzanian children have been reading the diaries.

Again the children from affluent families, are the ones more likely to be reading the Diary of a Wimpy Kid, books.

Despite the ban, these rich kids own digital reading devices such as Kindles, Kobos, digital tablets and large screen smartphones that are slowly but surely replacing printed papers and which can still be used to read the wimpy kids’ literature.

There are also movies based on the ‘Diary of a Wimpy Kid,’ but for some reason the ministry dispatch is not mentioning them.

Meanwhile the list of banned wimpy books includes:

  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid, Diary of a Wimpy Kid -Rodrick Rules,
  • Diary of Wimpy Kid – The Last Straw,
  • Diary of Wimpy Kid-Dog Days,
  • 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, Diary,
  • Diary of a Wimpy Kid- Diper Overload,
  • Is for TANSGENDER (you know best who you are!),
  • Is for LGBTQIA (find the words that make you you) 
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