We know we are a little late, but if you hadn’t heard, Lupito Nyong’o has a new movie entitled “The Queen of Katwe” being released this fall.
The film tells the story of Phiona Mutesi, a young girl from the slums of Kampala (capital of Uganda) who dreams of becoming an international chess champion. Nyong’o costars as her mom, while David Oyelowo plays a missionary who teaches the village children chess. Newcomer Madina Nalwanga stars as Mutesi.
The colorful trailer for the movie first opens with a quote from Liberian president and Nobel Peace Prize winner Ellen Johnson Sirleaf on a black background: “The size of your dreams must always exceed your current capacity to achieve them.”
When asked if it felt like returning home, Nyong’o, who is from Kenya, agreed that it did. She also added, “This is a story about the commitment to a dream even in the most discouraging of situations. The slum of Katwe is a very difficult place to live, but you see these people living there with dignity and making it day by day. And so to go there and to have that environment to work from really did sober us and enliven us.”
In the 2013 ESPN Magazine article by Tim Crothers that inspired the film and introduced Mutesi to the world wrote, “PHIONA MUTESI IS the ultimate underdog. To be African is to be an underdog in the world. To be Ugandan is to be an underdog in Africa. To be from Katwe is to be an underdog in Uganda. And finally, to be female is to be an underdog in Katwe.” If Lupito doesn’t impel you to watch that line alone should.