Young star Nikita Waligwa has passed away from brain cancer.
The beautiful Ugandan actress passed away at the age of 15 after a prolonged battle with brain cancer. The teen played ‘Phiona Mutesi’ a friend to the main character ‘Gloria’ who was champion chess player; in ‘Queen of Katwe’. She suffered from a brain tumor that required treatment. According to the BBC, “she was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and Queen of Katwe director reportedly mobilized people to help fund her treatment in India, with Ugandan doctors quoted as saying they did not have the necessary equipment. She was given the all-clear in 2017 but last year was found to have another tumor.”
The news became public on Sunday, as Nikita’s school Gayaza High School tweeted about the unfortunate event.
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 pic.twitter.com/ny8I9YAjsQ
— Gayaza High School (@gayazahigh) February 16, 2020
Co-star Lupita Nyong’o who acted alongside the young actress took to Instagram where she shared her condolences writing, ” 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. ”
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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 peace. May it be well with her soul.
David Oyelowo also from the Queen of Katwe cast also described Nikita as “a ball of light.” Describing Nikita’s spirit he went on to add, “her battle with a brain tumor was humbling to witness.”
Disney production ‘Queen of Katwe’ was first released in September 2016. The Mira Nair-directed film has earned several awards including the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Young Actor as well as the Africa Movie Academy Award for Best Costume Design in 2017.