Nikita Pearl Waligwa, a child actor from Uganda, who appeared in the Disney movie “Queen of Katwe” died of brian tumor in Uganda according to a report by Ugandan newspaper Daily Monitor.
Waligwa had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and seemed to recover a year later. However, in 2019, another tumor was found. “Queen of Katwe” director Mira Nair helped organize efforts to fund Waligwa’s treatment during filming, according to BBC.
She was given the all-clear in 2017 but last year was found to have another tumour. She was only 15 years of age at the time of her death.
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.