Nikita Pearl Waligwa death: Queen of Katwe child star dies, aged 15

Jacob Stolworthy
Walt Disney Studios Motion Picture

Child star Nikita Pearl Waligwa has died. aged 15.

According to Ugandan media, the actor – who appeared in Disney film Queen of Katwe, was diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016.

She is said to have made a recovery a year later after receiving treatment in India, but the tumour returned in 2019.

Queen of Katwe is based on the story of real-life chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi, who began playing the game at the age of nine and went on to compete internationally.

In the film, which stars Lupita Nyong'o and David Oyelowo, Waligwa played Phiona's friend Gloria, who was portrayed by Madina Nalwanga.

Gloria's big moment comes when she helps her friend out with advice, telling her: "The small one can become the big one."

Gayaza High School, where Waligwa received education, wrote on Twitter: "No words can explain the pain at the moment."

They called her "a darling to many".

Queen of Katwe, directed by Mira Nair, was shot in the slum in Kampala, which is the capital of Uganda.