Queen of Katwe

When you think of pathways out of the most extreme poverty situations, chess is probably not one of them. However, the ability to rise from a slum community next to Kampala, Uganda by mastering chess is what made it possible for a girl there by the name of Phiona Mutesi, age 10, to attain a higher educational and living standard. Her father was dead, her mother tried to make a subsistence living by selling small amounts of produce, and no one in the family was literate or had enough money to go to school. However, a Christian mission program called Sports Outreach had program that included chess as well as soccer and other activities. (See www.sportsoutreach.net).

Almost no one believed that any girl could beat the boys and men in chess, but Phiona did. After considerable effort and disappointment, she went on to become her country’s leading chess champion. Then her story became a book in 2012 This year it was made into a movie by Walt Disney and other production companies. It was filmed in Uganda and South Africa.

I saw it last week and was very impressed. Hopefully you can see it too. Use Google for more information.

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