Forbes lists ‘Queen of Katwe’ star Madina in 30-under-30 teen icons

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Madina acting Phiona Mutesi, the chess grandmaster

Forbes, an American business magazine, has listed Uganda’s youngest favourite actress, Madina Nalwanga, among its top 30 under 30 youngest raising the bar on teenage achievement.

Forbes, published bi-weekly, features original articles on finance, industry, investing, and marketing topics.

Born in Kampala, Uganda, Nalwanga was discovered by a casting director in a community dance class before landing her lead role in Disney’s “Queen of Katwe.”

Nalwaga received numerous accolades for her acting debut, including an NAACP Image Award, a Women Film Critics Circle Award and Critics Choice Award nominations.

The new movie Queen of Katwe has a familiar theme: It’s the real-life story of a girl from the slums who discovers an unlikely talent (chess) and becomes an unlikely champion.

But in other ways, the film is revolutionary: It may be the first time a major studio (Disney) has set a movie in Africa with all black actors and no animals.

The cast includes Lupita Nyong’o, an Oscar-winning actress who is on the October cover of Vogue who plays Phiona’s mother in the film, and Madina Nalwanga as Phiona, a teenager from a poor neighbourhood in Kampala who became a chess master. (A casting director found Nalwanga in a community dance class.)

Other 30 under 30 Forbes teen achievers

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