Edwin Chiloba Wiki, Biography
Prominent Kenyan LGBTQ+ activist Edwin Chiloba was found gruesomely dead on Wednesday, January 4, on a road in Uasin Gishu county in the west of the country. His body was found packed in a metal box. It is reported that he was dumped there by a vehicle without license plates.
A motorcycle taxi driver reported seeing the dumped box and informed police officers at a nearby roadblock. So far the motive for the murder is unknown, but human rights organizations in Kenya, where homosexuality is prohibited, link it to his sexuality.
A video of Chiloba partying and enjoying time with his friends on New Year’s Eve surfaced online and went viral as news of his death spread. In the video, he is seen wearing the same outfit in which he was found dead. When the police found the body, they described it as a man dressed in women’s clothing.
Netizens fervently shared this video and images of him wearing iconic outfits to curb the sharing of images of his dead body.
It rains tributes to Edwin Chiloba, activist and fashionista
Edwin Chiloba is a prominent gay rights activist and fashion designer. He was based in the city of Eldoret, where he ran his fashion business, Chiloba Designs, and fought for the rights of the LGBTQ+ community in his country.
Chiloba, who was in her 20s, had moved to Eldoret from the capital Nairobi in 2019 to study fashion, according to the BBC. His body was found stuffed in a metal box and dumped on the side of the road. He was last seen partying on social media on New Year’s Eve, wearing the same outfit he was found in.
According to local village elder Barnabas Cheruiyot, a Boda Boda (moto taxi) driver saw a myriad vehicles dropping a metal box along the Kipenyo-Kaptinga highway. Police manning a nearby roadblock were notified of what had happened and rushed to the spot where they found Edwin Chiloba’s body. He was taken to the Moi Teaching and Reference Hospital to await an autopsy.
LGBTQ+ people living in Kenya have often denounced discrimination and attacks in a country where relationships between men are illegal. Kenya is largely a conservative society and the president has said in the past that gay rights are not an issue in the East African country. Homosexuality in Kenya is punishable by 14 years in prison.
According to Chiloba’s friend and fellow activist, Denis Nzioka, Edwin Chiloba has previously been the target of attacks and assaults due to his activism. Nzioka is among several others who paid tribute to the fashion icon and activist on social media.
Edwin Chiloba’s family positively identified his body at the Moi Reference Hospital morgue in Eldoret, and his sister confirmed that she was with him during the New Year celebrations until they said goodbye and parted ways around 1 p.m. a. m. No further information about his death was released.
Several LGBTQ+ rights activists have been killed in Kenya in recent years. Sheila Lumumba, a non-binary lesbian, was murdered last year, while trans activist Erica Chandra and LGBTQ+ activist Joash Mosoti were murdered in 2021.