21 Ridiculous Laws In Africa You Never Imagined Existed

Every country on this continent has its own charm and beauty, and they like to play by their own rules. Some rules will leave you scratching your head and wondering “WTF were they thinking?!”.

Here are some laws from around Africa that are just hmm …

1. Kenya
It is against the law to walk around with no money in your pocket.


2. There’s a hot spring called ‘Cuddle Puddle’ in Swaziland
Make no mistake, it is ONLY meant for cuddling. No sex!


3. Sudan
It is against the law for men and women to sit together, without a chaperone.


4. Guinea
It is illegal to name a child “Monica”.


5. In Ghana, there are laws that govern how many movies an actor can be in, over a set period of time.


6. In Nigeria, it is illegal to import beer, mineral water, soft drinks, sparkling wine and fruits.


7. In Mauritius, sex toys are illegal.


8. In Nigeria, child marriages are legal.
Nigeria’s constitution shockingly does not establish a minimum age of marriage. The Child Rights Act, which was passed in 2003, sets the age of marriage at 18 years old, however, only 23 of Nigeria’s 36 states have adopted this act. As a result, in some areas of the country the minimum age of marriage can be as young as 12.


9. In Morocco, rape victims can be charged with crimes.
recent suicide in Morocco also made headlines — 16-year-old Amina Filali killed herself after a judge forced her to marry her alleged rapist, in keeping with a policy that invalidates statutory rape charges if the parties marry.


10. In Malawi, it is illegal to fart in public
The 2011 Malawian Air Fouling Legislation bans fouling the air. The relevant clause in the bill reads:
“Any person who vitiates the atmosphere in any place so as to make it noxious to the public to the health of persons in general dwelling or carrying on business in the neighbourhood or passing along a public way shall be guilty of a misdemeanour”.


11. Equatorial Guinea
The citizens of Equatorial Guinea are not allowed to read literature from outside the country and are seriously discouraged from reading in general. There are no bookstores and newsstands to speak of anywhere in the country. The only newspaper circulating in the country is censored.


12. Eritrea
Eritrea requires people to register their faiths before they can practice. While official religions like Catholicism and Islam are recognized, some sects like Jehovah’s Witnesses, the Bahá’í Faith, the Seventh-day Adventist Church and other non-protestant Evangelical denominations cannot worship freely and face arrest.


13. Mauritania
Apostasy (renunciation of a religious belief) is punishable under Mauritanian Criminal Code. The law states that “any Muslim guilty of the crime of apostasy is to be given the opportunity to repent within three days. If the accused does not repent within that period, he/she is to be sentenced to death, and all of his/her property shall be confiscated by the government.”


14. Morrocco
Anyone in the company of someone who possesses narcotics, even if they are unaware of their existence, can be tried for the same crime. The maximum sentence for possession of narcotics in Morocco is 10 years.


15. Chad
It is against the law to take photographs in the country unless a permit has been obtained beforehand.


16. Burundi: Jogging
During a period of ethnic strife in the country that only ended within the last decade, citizens would go jogging together in large groups as a way to get out their energy and use one another as protection from dangerous militias. However, in March 2014, the country’s president, Pierre Nkurunziza, banned these jogs, claiming that they are used as cover for people to plan subversive activities — and, in fact, many opposition members have been jailed for taking part in group jogs.


17. In Egypt, you could be detained or arrested if you use binoculars near an airport.


18. Somalia
It is illegal to carry old chewing gum, by sticking it to the tip of your nose.


19. South Africa: Photos of the President’s House
Last year, the South African government announced that it was banning the taking and publicizing of images of the home of President Jacob Zuma, even amongst established media outlets. Naturally, plenty of newspapers defied the ban and published pictures of the home anyway.


20. Mozambique
It is illegal to paint your house in Mozambique, without first obtaining permission from the municipality.


21. Swaziland
A woman that is seen wearing pants/trouser can be punished by having the pants ripped off of her, and torn into pieces by soldiers