Lupita Nyong’o co-starred in Mira Nair’s Queen of Katwe (2016), a biographical sports drama film based on the true story of Phiona Mutesi, a young Ugandan chess prodigy who became a Woman Candidate Master after her performances at World Chess Olympiads.
Nyong’o played Phiona’s protective mother, Nakku Harriet, a single mother struggling to raise her children in the slums of Kampala, Uganda’s capital and largest city.
Lupita Nyong’o’s performance as Nakku Harriet in the 2016 film Queen of Katwe was critically acclaimed (Credit: Walt Disney Studios Motion Pictures)
Her performance was critically acclaimed, with film critic Brian Tallerico calling it “phenomenal” and Geoff Berkshire of Variety writing that she “imbues what could have been a stock mother figure with such inner fire that Harriet feels worthy of a movie all her own.”
Ugandan fashion mogul Sylvia Owori became an extra in Queen of Katwe by bidding for the role at an auction that raised money for Maisha Film Labs. Other prizes included a “12 Years a Slave” DVD signed by Lupita Nyong’o.
Robert Katende, founder of the Som Chess Academy, with Phiona Mutesi, a chess prodigy he discovered and whose life is the basis for the 2016 film Queen of Katwe (Credit: Gioia Forster / Picture-Alliance / Cover Images)
The film’s director, Mira Nair, intentionally cast newcomer actors in leading and supporting roles to introduce fresh talent, particularly among young actors. A mixture of South African and Ugandan youth were cast in various roles.
The only big name actors in the film are Lupita Nyong’o and David Oyelowo, who played Ugandan chess coach Robert Katende.
Lupita Nyong’o Embraces African Culture With Headwraps
Lupita Nyong’o has taken character acting to heart. In September 2016, the award-winning actress attended the Hollywood premiere of her new Disney flick, “Queen of Katwe,” where she plays the Ugandan mother of a young chess champion.
Lupita Nyong’o looked stunning in a creation from the Elie Saab Resort 2017 collection at the Film premiere of “Queen of Katwe” at the El Capitan Theatre in Hollywood on September 20, 2016 (Credit: Apega / WENN)
Throughout the movie, Lupita’s character wears a headwrap — a significant accessory in African culture. Months after the film had stopped shooting, Lupita was still wearing headwraps in different fabrics and colors.
Lupita Nyong’o adorned a color-coordinated headdress, maintaining her impressive streak of showcasing beautifully wrapped headpieces (Credit: Apega / WENN)
At the premiere of her new flick, Lupita looked regal, wearing a lavender Elie Saab gown that was detailed with multicolored straps.
The gorgeous dress was further punctuated with a lavender headwrap that featured intricate ties and knots.
Lupita Nyong’o radiates fashion royalty vibes in a stunning lavender gown (Credit: Apega / WENN)
We love Lupita’s style and hope that she keeps this look indefinitely!
Lupita Nyong’o effortlessly donned a flowing lavender gown by Elie Saab, complemented by a perfectly matched head wrap (Credit: Apega / WENN)