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Uganda’s Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies of Brain Tumour

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Uganda’s Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies of Brain Tumour

An actress who starred in the Queen of Katwe, a Disney film about a chess prodigy from a Ugandan slum, has died of brain tumour at the aged 15.

She was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair reportedly mobilised people to help fund her treatment in India, when Ugandan doctors said they had no resources needed to do the operation.

Following the operation, She was given the all-clear in 2017 but last year was found to have another tumour.

In 2016, she had featured in a film based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who took up chess at age nine despite not being in school and went on to compete in international tournaments.

It starred Lupita Nyong’o as mother of the now deceased star and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher.

In the film Waligwa played the role of Gloria, a friend of Phiona who explained the rules of chess to her.

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