Auntie Victoria was reportedly the first openly identified transgender woman in Tanzania. Years ago, she had gender-affirming surgery in Europe (affirming surgery dates undocumented). When she returned to Tanzania, her home country, she owned a tavern and generated her own income.

She was constantly ridiculed, became depressed, and attempted suicide on 17 May, coincidently known as the International Day Against Homophobia and Transphobia ( IDAHOT), and later died in Muhimbili National Hospital as a result of the poison she took.

This information came to light when mobile phone pictures of her unconscious, naked body went viral. To date, it is unconfirmed exactly who was initially responsible for taking these photos. The ridicule did not stop at that, due to the sensation and scandal no one from her family wanted to identify her body at the hospital’s morgue where the hospital had an open house, for public viewings of her body, under the guise of identifying her.  IGLHRC and Gender DynamiX (GDX) supported activists in Tanzania who tried to intervene and advocate and eventually succeeded in convincing the hospital to stop the public viewing. 

The last and final dishonor to Auntie Victoria was that due to the customs in her religion, her family insisted on burying her in her ‘original form’ and removed her breasts and surgically affirmed genitalia. 

IGLHRC and GDX expressed their support to the local LGBT activists to take the case further, to advocate or pursue legal steps, whichever they deem the best strategy. The local activists at the moment decided not to take the matter further as the visible and out LGBT community were young, and just started coming out publicly and were of the opinion at that time, that the amount of media visibility and attention would put them at risk. There was no previous outreach, LGBT sensitization, or awareness and without any strategy, the backlash might be a bigger risk for the lives of all LGBT people in Tanzania. As a result the only intervention that seemed possible, was for IGLHRC  to make an appeal to the United Republic of Tanzania to include this incident as part of the fourth periodic report to the United Nations (UN) Human Rights Committee for Tanzania in July 2009 in Geneva, Switzerland. IGLHRC publicly congratulated the government of Tanzania on its report to the UNHRC.