A rain of tributes has followed the shocking and sudden death of Disney’s Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa.
She died at the age of 15, after succumbing to brain tumour.
Nikita Pearl played Gloria in the film about a chess prodigy from a Ugandan slum. The highly successful movie starred Oscar-winning actress Lupita Nyong’o as well.
Doctors first discovered a tumour Nikita in 2016 and after radiotherapy, she was told she was cancer-free a year later.
Shortly after the youngster’s initial diagnosis, her mother Rachel Asiimwe Waligwa was diagnosed with cancer and given just two months to live.
But she survived against the odds and dubbed her recovery a ‘miracle’. Her family told of their heartbreak when Nikita Pearl later developed another tumour.
She died at hospital in Naalya, Kampala, Saturday night, Ugandan media reports.
After her initial diagnosis, the film’s director Mira Nair asked the public to help cover the cost of her treatment in India.
Gayaza High School, where Nikita Pearl was a student prior to her death, shared a tribute to Twitter.
‘Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumour at such a tender age. Nikita was in S.3. Rest in Perfect Peace dear.’
The announcement of the death has triggered a rain of tributes. Here are some of the tributes.
Our entire team sends their love and thoughts to her friends and family. pic.twitter.com/FTvP7tBsOr
— Off Colour (@OffColourInc) February 16, 2020
— History of Errors 🖤 🔙🔜 (@HistoryOfErrors) February 16, 2020
Fare thee well Nikita Pearl Waligwa. You were a darling to many and we have lost you to brain tumor at such a tender age. Nikita was in S.3. Rest in Perfect Peace dear pic.twitter.com/ny8I9YAjsQ
— Gayaza High School (@gayazahigh) February 16, 2020
It is deeply distressing to learn of the demise of Nikita Pearl Waligwa, at 15 years. Condolences. This Ugandan born girl stunned the Disney Film World when she starred in the sensational movie, Queen of Katwe, as a chess prodigy in 2016. Nikita died from a brain tumor. MHSRIEP. pic.twitter.com/00XGpG5p3x
— Anthony Kerali (@AGKerali) February 16, 2020
We have lost a big talent. It's not easy being 15 and making an impact. I'll always miss you!
Uganda's Queen of Katwe star Nikita Pearl Waligwa dies aged 15 https://t.co/uQ0xKQ4SIk
— Leah Namugerwa (@NamugerwaLeah) February 16, 2020