By Melanie Nathan, Nov 06, 2020
It is with great sadness that we report the passing of renowned Kenyan human rights and LGBTQI activist, Sheila Kawira Mwirichia, who was found dead in her house in Lavington. She had been reported missing a few weeks ago. Police assert they are investigating the case.
It is reported in NATION Africa:
Police said the caretaker of the apartment block where she lived reported that a foul smell was coming from her house. Police from Muthangari broke down the door and found her half-naked in the living room.
Kawira, a dedicated defender of human rights, used her creativity to advocate for the rights of sexual and gender minorities. One of her reputable projects, ‘To Revolutionary Type Love’ saw her create kangas featuring celebrated LGBTIQ (Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender, Intersex, and Questioning) rights activists. She was a multi-disciplinary artist known internationally for her kangas along with more traditional fine arts mediums such as painting, drawing and sculpture.
She has curated and hosted several events to celebrate gender diversity and champion for the rights of gender and sexual minorities in Kenya.Kawira received her Bachelor in Civil Engineering from the University of Nairobi.
Her friends took to social media to express their shock and grieve following her death.
“We are deeply saddened by the death of Kawira Mwirichia which was confirmed earlier today. Kawira has been relentless in championing for the rights of LGBTQGNC+ persons in Kenya through art. She has curated and hosted several events to celebrate gender diversity and champion for the rights of gender and sexual minorities in Kenya,” a group calling itself Mwa Kenya shared.
“Some of you might remember the "Kanga Love" Exhibition that she hosted in 2017. For the next few days, we will be posting more about her work and achievements, and we welcome you to join us as we mourn her demise. “Death has truly robbed us a great Champion. Rest in Power Comrade,” the group added.
What seems odd about the case, is the fact that she was missing and no one searched her apartment before the report of the foul smell?
Kenya criminalizes homosexuality and despite recent attempts by Kenyan human rights defenders to assert such unconstitutional, the Kenyan Courts refused to decriminalize. Kenya remains a dangerous country for LGBTQI people or those perceived as such, and those who assert their rights, who are outed or who try to live openly, are at great risk.
Recently Melanie Nathan of African Human Rights Coalition appeared in the U.S. Immigration Courts providing expert witness testimony for Kenyan asylum seekers here in the U.S.A. Their credible fear claims were recognized by our Courts and they were granted asylum.