“Queen of Katwe” Actress, Nikita Pearl Waligwai, Dies From Brain Tumor at Age 15

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Nikita Pearl Waligwai Queen of Katwe dies at age 15 brain tumor
Photo Disney/YouTube

Our condolences go out to the family and friends of Nikita Pearl Waligwai, who, according to reports, has died at the age of 15.

Nikita, who starred in the 2016 Disney film, Queen of Katwe was diagnosed with a brain tumor. According to Deadline, Nikita was diagnosed in 2016 and recovered in 2017, after receiving treatment. Her tumor then returned in 2019.

The 15-year-old actress starred as Gloria (Phiona’s friend), alongside Lupita Nyong’o (Phiona’s mother) and David Oyelowo (chess teacher). The story follows a chess prodigy, Phiona, from Uganda who learns the game to compete in international tournaments and help her struggling gamily. Gloria helped Phiona learn the rules of chess.

Both Lupita and David took to Instagram to share their loss and condolences.

“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,” Lupita wrote.  “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.”

David added, “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. 💔#rip.”

Out thoughts go out to Nikita’s family and friends during this difficult time.