Nikita Pearl Waligwa, actor in Disney's Queen of Katwe, dies at 15

Brenda Watkins
February 16, 2020

The teenager died last night - Saturday 15 Feb - at TMR International Hospital in Naalya, Kampala, according to reports in Uganda.

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

The deceased was first diagnosed with cancer in 2016.

The teenage star of Queen of Katwe died of brain tumour, according to Gayaza High School, which she had reportedly attended since 2018.

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Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair helped organise efforts to fund Waligwa's treatment during filming, according to BBC.

In February 2017, she was declared cancer free but unfortunately, early previous year 2019, Nikita was diagnosed with another brain tumour. You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumour at such a tender age.

Queen of Katwe is based on the true story of Ugandan woman Phiona Mutesi, whose life changed when she took up the game of chess and, despite not being in school, became so successful that she became a chess player on the global stage.

May her soul rest in eternal peace. Waliga starred as Gloria, a friend of Phiona who introduces her to chess and its rules.

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