Nikita Pearl Waligwa starred in the 2016 Disney film “Queen of Katwe.” The movie was based on a true story and starred David Oyelowo and Lupita Nyongo. The film follows Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi’s rise as she deals with poverty living in a slum in Kampala, Uganda. The film was notable for the use of teenage non-actors in major roles such as Waligwa as Gloria, a young chess player.
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Died: Saturday, February 15, 2020. (Who else died on February 15?)
Details of death: Died at the age of 15 from a brain tumor.
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What they said about her: “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 tumor was humbling to witness. Her light will live on” – “Queen of Katwe” co-star David Oyelowo
“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 piece. May it be well with her soul.” – “Queen of Katwe” co-star Lupita Nyongo
“Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumor at such a tender age. Nikita was in S.3. Rest in Perfect Peace dear.” – Gayaza High School
Full obituary: The Hollywood Reporter
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