'Queen of Katwe' actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa, 15, dies

Nikita Pearl Waligwa in 'Queen of Katwe.' (Screengrab)
Nikita Pearl Waligwa in 'Queen of Katwe.' (Screengrab)

Nikita Pearl Waligwa, who starred in the Disney movie Queen of Katwe, has died of a brain tumour, reports the BBC.

The 15-year-old played Gloria in the 2016 film about a Ugandan chess prodigy.

The school she attended, Gayaza High School, shared the news on their Twitter account on Saturday.

Alongside a picture of her, they wrote: "Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. You were a darling to many, and we have lost you to a brain tumour at such a tender age. Nikita was in S.3. Rest in Perfect Peace, dear."


Academy Award-winning actress Lupita Nyong'o who also starred in the movie paid tribute to the young actress on Instagram: "It is with great sadness that I post about the passing of Nikita Waligwa, the sweet, warm, talented girl whom I worked with on the film, Queen Of Katwe.

"She played Gloria with such vibrancy. In her real life, she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer. My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon. May she truly rest in peace. May it be well with her soul."


David Oyelowo, who also starred in the film, also sent his condolences on Instagram.

"We mourn the loss of our beautiful Nikita Pearl Waligwa. She was a ball of light in @queenofkatwemovie and in life. Her battle with a brain tumour was humbling to witness. Her light will live on. ??#rip"

Compiled by Leandra Engelbrecht. (Sources: BBC, Instagram, Twitter)

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