Queen of Katwe star Madina Nalwanga nominated for critics’ choice awards

2016 is Madina Nalwanga’s year! From the not so popular member of the Sosolya Undugu Dance Academy, to the now rising global icon for her protagonist role in Queen of Katwe, she is close to winning her first international accolade as an actress.

Madina has been nominated for the Critic’s Choice Awards in the category of the Best Young Actor/Actress where she will face off with Lewis MacDougall (A Monster Calls), Hailee Steinfeld (The Edge of Seventeen), Lucas Hedges (Manchester by the Sea), Sunny Pawar (Lion) and Alex R. Hibbert (Moonlight).

This is the first time a Ugandan is being nominated for the Critic’s Choice Awards. This of course, is a major boost in our acting industry. Ugandans are getting a breakthrough in Hollywood.  Very soon, we will see other Ugandan movie stars in Hollywood like Daniel Kaluuya, Florence Kasumba (both of whom are on the 2017 cast of Marvel’s Black Panther. We covered that story here) as well as Ugandan rapper GNL Zamba whose debut in Hollywood is around the corner, being nominated.

The 21st Annual Critics’ Choice Awards will be held on December 11th, 2016 starting at 8 p.m ET. Good luck Madina. Continue queening!





-This is Uganda


Lupita dazzles at the Queen of Katwe premier in $600,000 Worth of Jewels

The Queen has arrived!

Lupita Nyong’o hit the red carpet Saturday for the Toronto International Film Festival premiere of her latest film, Disney’s The Queen of Katwe.

Nyong’o, 33, wore a vibrant canary-and-cobalt strapless dress with intricate flora detailing on the bodice, and accessorized the formfitting look with a matching blue headdress.

But her biggest, most jaw-dropping fashion statement was her bling: The actress wore $624,000 worth of jewelry from Tiffany & Co., including an 8.21-carat yellow-diamond ring, a 15.75-carat sapphire-and-diamond ring, and tanzanite-and-diamond earrings.

The busy actress, who will also reprise her role as Maz Kanata in the next Star Wars movie, plays Harriet Mutesi, mother of a 12-year-old chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, from the slums of Uganda.





Ugandan star inspired movie, Queen of Katwe will be out in September

Biographical drama about Ugandan chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, ‘The Queen of Katwe’ will be released late September this year, Disney has confirmed.

This follows release of the film’s first image in early January starring Academy Award winner Lupita Nyong’o (12 Years a Slave), David Oyelowo (Selma), and Madina Nalwanga.

Disney slotted director Mira Nair’s next picture Queen Of Katwe onto its release schedule, with a limited debut on September 23 and a theatrical expansion a week later.

The Queen of Katwe is based on Tim Crothers’ 2011 ESPN The Magazine article and the book The Queen Of Katwe: A Story Of Life, Chess, And One Extraordinary Girl’s Dream Of Becoming A Grandmaster.

Nyong’o plays Phiona’s mother, and Oyelowo plays a missionary who teaches chess to local kids.

Nalwanga plays as Mutesi, a young girl from the slums of Kampala who chases her dream of becoming an international chess champion.

Phiona Mutesi at a glance

Mutesi grew up in the Ugandan slum of Katwe, where as of 2011 fifty percent of teen girls were mothers; when Mutesi was about three her father died of AIDS and shortly afterwards her older sister Juliet died of an unknown cause.

When Mutesi was about nine, and had already dropped out of school as her family could not afford to send her, she found a chess program run by the Sports Outreach Institute, which taught her how to play chess.

In 2010 she played six rounds on Board 2 and one round on Board 1 for Uganda at the 39th World Chess Olympiad scoring 1.5 points from the seven, and as of 2011 she was a three-time Women’s Junior Champion of Uganda.