Nikita Pearl Waligwa, actor in Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe,’ dies at 15


Young Ugandan movie star, Nikita Pearl Waligwa has died.

Waligwa who starred in the Disney’s movie about a Ugandan chess prodigy, Queen of Katwe died of brain tumour at the age of 15.

Until her death, Waligwa was in her senior year at Gayaza High School.

The news of her death was announced by her secondary school, Gayaza High School on their official twitter account, who referred to her as “a darling to many”,

“No words can explain the pain at the moment,” it added.

She played the role of Gloria, a younger friend of the main character in the 2016 Disney film.

Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later.

However, in 2019, another tumor was found.

‘Queen of Katwe’ director Mira Nair helped organize efforts to fund Waligwa’s treatment during filming, according to the BBC.

The film told the real-life story of Mutesi who is one of Uganda’s most successful chess players. She won three Ugandan Women’s Junior Championship and has represented the country at four international chess olympiads.

Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo also starred in the film. They played Mutesi’s mother and chess teacher.

“The small one can become the big one,” is one of Gloria’s memorable quotes from the movie


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