She starred with child actress Nikita Waligwa in the 2016 film Queen Of Katwe.
And on Sunday, Lupita Nyong’o took to Instagram to share her feelings at the news that Nikita, 15, passed away Saturday night in the Ugandan capital Kampala.
Saying she was filled with ‘great sadness,’ the 12 Years A Slave Oscar winner described Nikita as a ‘sweet, warm, talented girl.
She wrote: ‘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 (sic). May it be well with her soul.’
‘Great sadness’: She starred with child actress Nikita Waligwa in the 2016 film Queen Of Katwe. And on Sunday, Lupita Nyong’o share her feelings at the news that Nikita, 15, passed away from brain cancer on Saturday night fin the Ugandan capital Kampala
Condolences: ‘My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon,’ the Kenyan-Mexican actress, 36, wrote
Lupita, 36, played the mother of Ugandan chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi in the drama based on a true story.
Phiona was born in a slum in Kampala, was taught chess by a Christian outreach worker and her gift for chess helped elevate her and her family out of poverty.
Nikita played Gloria, one of Phiona’s friends.
Child star: Nikita, pictured in 2016, played Gloria, a friend of child chess prodigy Phiona Mutesi who was able to escape the crushing poverty of a Ugandan slum in the biopic
Nikita had been diagnosed with a brain tumor in 2016 and after undergoing radiotherapy, was declared to be cancer-free in 2017.
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’.
Nikita subsequently was diagnosed with another tumor and succumbed in a hospital in Kamapala, according to reports in Ugandan media.
‘Her light will live on’: David Oyelowo, who also starred in Queen Of Katwe, also posted a tribute to ‘our beautiful Nikita Pearl Waligwa on Instagram
Sad: Oyelowo said it had been ‘humbling’ to witness the teen’s battle with brain cancer
David Oyelowo, who also starred in Queen Of Katwe, also posted a tribute to Nikita, sharing on Instagram.
‘We mourn the loss of our beautiful Nikita Pearl Waligwa,’ he wrote. ‘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.’
Gayaza High School, where Nikita Pearl was a student prior to her death, shared a tribute to Twitter.
They wrote: ‘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 BBC reported that Queen Of Katwe director Mira Nair had raised funds to help the young actress pay for her medical treatments in India where she had surgery for the recurring brain tumor.