Movies Report

Welcome to the new year everyone. Our movie news for this week is one within the shores of Africa. 

Uganda: Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies aged 15

Nikita Pearl, a child actress from Uganda, who became famous for her role in the Disney movie on the extraordinary life of a local chess prodigy, has died. She was 15 of age at the time of her death.

According to the high school she attended, Gayaza High School, the cause of death for the teenage star of Queen of Katwe, is a brain tumour.

she played the part of Gloria, who is the young friend of the main character in the movie, “a darling to many.” This is according to a Tweet by the high school. The post went on to say that “No words can explain the pain at the moment.”

According to a report by the local media, Waligwa was diagnosed with tumours in the year 2016. According to reports, she recovered from the tumour a year later. Nevertheless, she was later said to have another tumour.

The tragic news has drawn an outpouring of grief on social media. Many users posted their condolences. They recalled her part in the movie filmed in Katwe located in the Ugandan capital, Kampala, and directed by Mira Nair.

According to an obituary on the online version of the Ugandan daily newspaper, New Vision, “Nikita Pearl Waligwa was not only a star, but she was also an inspiration to every young girl.”

The story of Queen of Katwe is a life story of Phiona Mutesi. She was an uneducated girl who was from the eponymous slum. She started playing chess in 2005 and faced high odds. Nevertheless, she became the first female champion of the junior chess championships of Uganda.

Subsequently, she began representing the country at international competitions.

The film got positive reviews from the public in Uganda.

Besides, it gave several young people opportunities to be in the same limelight along with some big names. Especially the Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o featured. Also, another big name in the movie is David Oyelowo.

Waligwa was part of the young Ugandans in the film. In the movie, Gloria explained the rules of the game to Phiona.

One of the most memorable quotes by Gloria from the Queen of Katwe is,

The small one can become the big one.

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