Nairobi News


Lupita’s daughter’s friend in the movie ‘Queen of Katwe’ dies aged 15

By Amina Wako February 16th, 2020 1 min read

Ugandan actress, Nikita Pearl Waligwa, actress who played the role of Lupita Nyong’o’s daughter’s friend in the Hollywood movie Queen of Katwe has died.

Nikita, who acted as Gloria in the movie, died on Saturday night at TMR International Hospital, in Naalya, Kampala following a long battle with brain cancer.


The 15-year-old had a short but full of life career as a stage, film and television performer.

Nikita was first diagnosed with the tumour in 2016, but a year later, she was declared cancer-free after undergoing a review.

However, in early 2019, Nikita was diagnosed with another brain tumor.

Her mother, Rachel Asiimwe Waligwa, gave an update that she was already taken to Platinum Hospital where she was receiving treatment with doctors trying to stabilize her condition.

Doctors then said that the tumor had centered at the sensitive part of her brain responsible for the movement of limbs, eyesight, and speech.


Her mother, who also a cancer survivor, has been optimistic that God would one day come through for her daughter.

At the time of her death, she was a senior three student at Gayaza High School.

According to Ugandan media, Nikita will be laid to rest on Monday, February 17, in Kabojja, Wakiso District, in the Central Region of Uganda,

Queen of Katwe, which was produced in 2016, is based on a true story of Phiona Mutesi (Gloria’s friend) who took up chess aged nine despite not being in school and she went on to compete in international tournaments.