Disney’s ‘Queen of Katwe’ Actor Nikita Pearl Waligwa Dies at 15

Gloria acted in the Movie Queen of Katwe

A Ugandan student who played a memorable role in a 2016 Disney film about a local chess prodigy has died at the age of 15. Shortly after the surgery, Nikita was diagnosed with cancer and she underwent radiotherapy in July 2016.

According to Ugandan media, "Gloria", as she was fondly referred to for her role in the film that also starred Lupita Nyong'o, succumbed to brain cancer at TMR International Hospital, Naalya, on February 16. She was a close friend of main character Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga), and taught her how to play chess.

Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. Sadly, the tumor returned in 2019.

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 worldwide tournaments.

Waligwa was in her senior year at Gayaza High School at the time of her death.

According to Ugandan paper theDaily Monitor, Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair tried to raise funds to bring Waligwa to Nair's home country of India for treatment, as Ugandan doctors were quoted as saying "they did not have the necessary equipment".



Other news