Africa

Ugandan actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies at age 15

Tributes were paid on Sunday to young actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa, who died of a brain tumor.

The film she starred in, released in 2016, is based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who began playing chess at the age of nine, although she was not in school, after participating in international tournaments.

She featured Kenyan actress and director Lupita Nyong’o as her mother, and British actor David Oyelowo as her chess teacher.

Waligwa played the role of Gloria, a friend of Phiona’s, who introduced her to the rules of chess.

After being diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016, producer and director Mira Nair, who took part in the production of the film “Queen of Katwe”, conducted a fundraising operation to raise money for her medical evacuation to India.

Ugandan doctors felt they did not have the necessary equipment to treat her. In 2017, the young actress was diagnosed with a new tumor.

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