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Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa has died

Nikita Pearl Waligwa, the actress who starred alongside Lupita Nyong’o in the Queen of Katwe, has passed away from cancer at the age of 15.

The young actress had been diagnosed with a brain tumour.

The 2016 film was based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who took up chess aged nine despite not being in school and went on to compete in international tournaments.

It starred Lupita Nyong’o as her mother and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher.

Waligwa played the role of Gloria, a friend of Phiona who explained the rules of chess to her.

She was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016 and Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair reportedly mobilised 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 tumour.