Madina Nalwanga, a Ugandan girl aged 16, has been trending in both local and international media. This is because of the lead role she took on in the famous film Queen of Katwe where she acted alongside Kenyan Oscar Award winner Lupita Nyong’o. Madina Nalwanga acts as Phiona Mutesi, a chess player down in the slums of Katwe whose prowess is discovered by a sports journalist. The journalist writes a story about her and her rise to stardom begins.
In the movie, Lupita acts as Madina’s mother. What no one knew was that for Madina, calling Lupita mum was her favourite scene. “When I called Lupita mum and she replied, I felt like I had won back my mother’s love that I last had 12 years ago,” Nalwanga said during a live Facebook interview she and Lupita had had in Los Angeles.
Nalwanga left her mother when she was only four years when she went for dance lessons and since then, the two have never met. During the live Facebook interview, Nalwanga also said that Queen of Katwe was the first movie she acted in and it was her very first time to stand in front of a camera.
On the other hand, Lupita who acted as Harriet Nakku also said that having spent most of the time in Uganda shooting the movie, she learnt some Luganda to the extent that she can sustain a conversation. Even though the movie storyline paints Nalwanga as a chess prodigy, she said she had never heard about the game until she had to star in the movie. It forced her to learn about the kings and pawns.
Queen of Katwe premiered on Tuesday at El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood. The movie is set to premiere in Uganda later this year but the date, month and venue are not yet confirmed.