Disney Actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa, Who Appeared In ‘Queen of Katwe,’ Dies At 15 From Brain Cancer

A 15 year old actress who had a role in the 2016 biographical drama, ‘Queen Of Katwe’, which starred Madina Nalwanga, David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyong’o, has died. Nikita Pearl Waligwa played the role of Gloria, the film’s star character’s close friend.

Tributes from the movie’s other actors were shared on social media.

“In her real life she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer,” Nyong’o said. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon.”

“Her battle with a brain tumor was humbling to witness,” Oyelowo wrote. “Her light will live on.”

Queen Of Katwe depicts the life story of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl living in a slum in Katwe. She learns to play chess and becomes a Woman Candidate Master after her victories at World Chess Olympiads.

The film was not considered a commercial success, however, it received positive critical reviews and was nominated for several awards, and won several of them, including the NAACP Image Award for Outstanding Actor and Actress for Oyelowo and Nyong’o, and Best International Film Award from the National Film Awards UK.

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