Photo Credit – Dennis Katungi
I was one of the many Ugandans privileged to get an invite to view the premiere of the movie, Queen of Katwe at Acacia Mall. The movie, Queen of Katwe which is based on a true story is about a 9 year old girl, (Madina Nalwanga) who is in a constant struggle and spends her life selling maize and vegetables on the streets of Katwe one of the most poverty stricken slums in Kampala. To Madina, the promise of a better life does not even lie in her dreams as she keeps hustling with her brother with the help of a fierce mother until a one David Oyelowo offers that promise of a better life through a sports game, Chess.
Anyone who has watched this movie I am sure is still passionate about it because it’s beyond the many Ugandan movies we have watched; it has creativity, brilliance, innovation and art in it, a story that is local and yet comes from Hollywood. All the characters in the movie are so great at what they do and bring out their roles incredibly well whereby the female protagonist, Madina, grows into a mature sophisticated teenager as she focuses to learn the game and while at it, her journey from the streets of the slums of Katwe to a world class chess player embodies the strength of human spirit. She is so calm to her surrounding as she prevents the fight between her mother and her sister and yet at same time she is full of zeal and determination to learn something new by not accepting to be bullied by the boys and even goes ahead to become clean so as to fit into the environment.
The movie does not only capture your whole attention as it backs you up to focus on every detail but also makes you to appreciate life, respect anyone regardless of his or her status in life, motivates one to have hope and value everything you learn and give it pure dedication. I totally agree with the director that this movie casts a positive light to a part of the world that s not viewed with optimism considering that I am a Ugandan, I am aware of the so many slums in our country whereby most people expect negatives from such environments for instance, gambling, theft, rape to mention but a few.
I am also pleased that most of the characters are Ugandans who did a great job by acting in a Hollywood movie and this is a clear implication that we Ugandans have so much talent that most of us have not realized. As Ugandans, we should know our worth and not just take things for granted as the female protagonist who was not educated but was intelligent in a different capacity. Therefore I have affirm conviction that this movie, is not just going to remain in our cinemas but will seize so much for both the characters in the movie and Uganda at large and Ugandans should give this movie great audience and learn so much from it we see Katwe a slum, producing a great chess player who gets to travel across the world.
By Hope Abonit