Disney actress Nikita Pearl Waligwa has passed away on Saturday after a long battle with brain tumor, according to the Ugandan school where Waligwa was a student.
The 15-year-old actress appeared in the 2016 hit Disney film “Queen of Katwe.”
It is based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi who went from living in Uganda’s slums to becoming an international chess star. Nikita played the main character’s friend Gloria in the film.
Nikita’s school, Gayaza High School, tweeted the shocking news about her death on Sunday.
“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,” the school’s tweet read. “Rest in Perfect Peace dear.”
Nikita starred alongside Lupita Nyong’o who paid a heartfelt tribute to her on Instagram. Lupita said that Nikita played Gloria with “such vibrancy.”
“In her real life she had the enormous challenge of battling brain cancer,” Nyong’o said. “My thoughts and prayers are with her family and community as they come to terms with having to say goodbye so soon.”
David Oyelowo, who also starred in the film alongside Nikita and Lupita said that Nikita was “a ball of light” in the film and in real life as well.
“Her battle with a brain tumor was humbling to witness. Her light will live on,” Oyelowo wrote in a heartbreaking post.