Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies at 15

An actress, Nikita Pearl Waligwa who starred in the Queen of Katwe, a Disney film about a chess prodigy from a Ugandan slum, has died at 15, Ugandan media report. She was diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The 2016 film was based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who took up chess aged nine despite not being in school and went on to compete in international tournaments.
It starred Lupita Nyong’o as her mother and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher.
Waligwa played the role of Gloria, a friend of Phiona who explained the rules of chess to her.
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, with Ugandan doctors quoted as saying they did not have the necessary equipment.

Nikita Pearl Waligwa succumbs to brain cancer

The doctors then said that her tumor was located in a very delicate part of the brain.
She was given the all clear in 2017 but last year was found to have another tumour.

The 15-year-old actress succumbed to brain cancer at TMR International Hospital in Naalya, Kampala and her body will be laid to rest at her dad’s home in Kabojja.

On 8th April 2019, it was reported how the actress was in need of urgent help as she could no longer sit on her own because her limbs couldn’t support her head anymore.

By that time, the tumor was reportedly big, leaving the actress in unbearable pain and out of school which forced her mother to seek urgent help to take her to India for improved healthcare.

Doctors at Platinum Hospital reported that the part of the brain that got affected by the tumor is responsible for the movement of limbs, eyesight, and speech. She was referred to India where she received surgery initially.

Shortly after, she was diagnosed with cancer and underwent two radiation procedures in July 2016 with the help of Rachel Asiimwe Waligwa.

In February 2017, she was declared cancer-free, the same year that her mother was diagnosed with cancer but was given a life span of two months.

Glad enough, her mother is still breathing but in a sorrow state having lost her daughter to cancer.

May her soul rest in peace and the Lord strengthen her family.


Woman. Journalist. Writer. Blogger. Non Conformist. Rebel. Daring. Creative. Amazing. Unstoppable.

You may also like...

1 Response

  1. Ebube says:

    May her soul rest in peace

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *