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Disney’s Queen of Katwe Actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa Dies Aged 15

Nikita Pearl Waligwa | Image: mbu.ug

Ugandan actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa who starred in Disney’s Queen of Katwe has died aged 15, Ugandan media report.

Ugandan media reports she died on Saturday night at TMR International Hospital, in Naalya, Kampala. Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

Queen of Katwe was about a child chess prodigy from an Ugandan slum.

The 2016 film was based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who took up chess aged nine despite not being in school and went on to compete in international tournaments.

Nikita Pearl Waligwa played the role of Gloria, a friend of Phiona who explained the rules of chess to her. The film starred Lupita Nyong’o as her mother and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher.

Waligwa was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair reportedly mobilised people to help fund her treatment in India, with Ugandan doctors quoted as saying they did not have the necessary equipment.

She was given the all-clear in 2017 but last year was found to have another tumour.

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