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6 Quick Facts About Late Queen of Katwe Star, Nikita Pearl Waligwa

Nikita Pearl Waligwa

Nikita Pearl Waligwa

Yesterday, we reported the death of 15-year-old Ugandan actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa.

The child star who starred in Disney’s Queen of Katwe died on Saturday night at TMR International Hospital, in Naalya, Kampala.


The late actress was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and seemingly recovered but another tumour was found in 2019.

Waligwa played the role of a girl named Gloria in “Queen of Katwe”. She was a close friend of the the main character Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) and taught her how to play chess.

In honour of the young star’s death, here are quick facts to know about her.

  • She was born in 2004 in Uganda.
  • Her mother’s name is Rachael Asiimwe Waligwa.
  • She attended Bayaza High School.
  • Her high school announced her death.
  • Prior to her death, a family member reportedly told local media that Nikita had been living in a lot of pain before losing her battle. “The brain was swollen and it is exerting a lot of pressure,” one of the family members told local media.
  • Nikita Pearl Waligwa is famous for starring in the Queen of Katwe.

Queen of Katwe 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.

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

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