Lupita's Emotional Tribute to 15-year-old Actress

Kenyan-born award-winning actress Lupita Nyongo has penned her heartfelt condolences to Ugandan actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa, who played 'Gloria' in the Hollywood film Queen of Katwe.

Nikita passed away on Saturday, February 15, at the age of 15 at TMR International Hospital in Naalya, Kampala following a lengthy battle with brain cancer.

In her post on Instagram, Lupita described Nikita as a sweet, warm, talented girl whom she worked with on the film.

"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," she began.

Ugandan actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa passed away on Saturday, February 15

"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 peace. May it be well with her soul," she concluded.

According to Ugandan media, Nikita Waligwa was first diagnosed with a brain tumour in 2016. She recovered a year later, only to be diagnosed with another brain tumour in early 2019.

Doctors then outlined that the tumour began at the sensitive part of her brain responsible for movement of limbs, speech and eyesight.

Nikita Waligwa at the premiere of Queen of Katwe

Queen of Katwe is a 2016 Walt Disney biographical drama film and has been nominated for several awards.

The movie is a true story based on the life of Phiona Mutesi, a Ugandan girl residing in the slum of Katwe who began playing chess in the year 2005 and against all odds emerged as the first female winner in the Uganda junior chess championships.

By the age of 17, she was representing the country in international chess championships.

The news of her passing sparked a wave of condolences posted on social media by users who recalled the role she played in the movie filmed in Katwe, a slum in Uganda's capital, Kampala.

Nikita had a short but lively career as a stage, film and television performer. She will be laid to rest on Monday, February 17, in Kabojja, Wakiso District, in the Central Region of Uganda, according to Ugandan media reports.