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Disney Child Star Nikita Pearl Waligwa Dies At Age 15

Disney Child Star Nikita Pearl Waligwa Dies At 15
Source: Disney

Feb. 16 2020, Updated 2:34 p.m. ET

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Disney child star Nikita Pearl Waligwa has reportedly died at age 15 after being diagnosed with a brain tumor.

Waligwa, who starred in the studio's 2016 movie Queen of Katwe, tragically passed away a hospital in Naalya, Kampala on Saturday, February 15, according to media in Uganda.

A family member said the girl had been in pain before she died: "The brain was swollen and it is exerting a lot of pressure."

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In the Disney film, the teen played Gloria, a chess prodigy who came from the slums of Uganda.

It was based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, who became a star of the chess world , competing in international tournaments.

Queen of Katwe director Mira Nair said it was “a radical film for Disney in many ways. … It has beauty and barbarity side-by-side.”

It starred Lupita Nyong'o as Waligwa's mother character and David Oyelowo as her chess teacher.

Fans were devastated by the death of the actress, who attended Gayaza High School.

“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," teachers wrote on social media.

"You've been a great inspiration to many Adolescents and Young People and your work shall prevail!" a fan said.

Sadly, Waligwa has joined the list of Disney stars who have died young.

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Waligwa was diagnosed with her first brain tumor in 2016.

Her director Nair asked people to donate to help pay for her treatment in India because Ugandan doctors didn’t have the necessary equipment to treat the girl.

The star underwent radiotherapy, and was declared cancer-free by doctors in 2017, but another tumor was found in 2019.

According to reports, Waligwa's mother, Rachel Asiimwe Waligwa, also has battled cancer.

Rachel was given just two months to live but survived and has said it was a "miracle."

However, now her promising actresss daughter has died young.



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