Queen of Katwe ‘Gloria’ actress dead at age 15

Nikita Pearl Waligwa who starred as Gloria in Disney’s 2016 film “Queen of Katwe” has died after a three year battle against a brain tumor. She was diagnosed in 2016 and was aided by “Queen of Katwe” director Mira Nair to find treatment.

Co-star Daved Oyelowo paid tribute to the young actress, “We mourn the loss of our beautiful Nikita Peark Waligwa. She was a ball of live in Queen of Katwe and in life. Her battle with a brain tumor was humbling to witness. Her light will live on.”

Lupita Nyong’o, who starred as the mother of chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi in the film, had this to say about the loss of Waligwa. “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.”

The 2016 movie “Queen of Katwe” told the story of Phiona Mutesi, a young Ugandan chess prodigy who took up Chess at the age of nine and went on to win International Tournaments. Waligwa’s character Gloria was a young friend of Mutesi.