It’s with a heavy heart that I report Nikita Pearl Waligwa, star of Disney’s 2016 film, Queen of Katwe, passed away from a brain tumor on Saturday.
She was only 15-years-old.
Nikita’s school, Gayaza High School, announced her passing via Twitter:
Waligwa was first diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair reportedly mobilized people to help fund her treatment in India, with Ugandan doctors quoted as saying they did not have the necessary equipment.
In Uganda, only a fraction of patients with such serious conditions get the medical help they need due to costs.
She was given the all-clear in 2017 and went back to secondary school. However, last year, she was found to have another tumor.
Nikita passed on Saturday, her funeral service was held on Sunday, and she will be laid to rest on Monday.
Lupita Nyong’o took to Instagram over the weekend to mourn Nikita Pearl Waligwa’s passing.
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.
See the original post below:
David Oyelowo also mourned Nikita’s passing.
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
See his original post below:
My sincerest condolences to Nikita’s family, friends, fans, and all who loved her.
Rest in paradise.