The Queen of Katwe: A Story of Life, Chess, and One Extraordinary Girls Dream of Becoming a Grandmaster by Tim CrothersBased on a popular ESPN magazine article selected by Dave Eggers for The Best American Nonrequired Reading and a finalist for a National Magazine Award, the inspiring true story of Phiona Mutesi, a teenage chess prodigy from the slums of Kampala, Uganda.
PHIONA MUTESI sleeps in a decrepit shack with her mother and three siblings and struggles to find a single meal each day. Phiona has been out of school most of her life because her mother cannot afford it, so she is only now learning to read and write. Phiona Mutesi is also one of the best chess players in the world.
One day in 2005, while searching for food, nine-year-old Phiona followed her brother to a dusty veranda where she met Robert Katende, who had also grown up in the Kampala slums. Katende, a war refugee turned missionary, had an improbable dream: to empower kids through chess—a game so foreign there is no word for it in their native language. Laying a chessboard in the dirt of the Katwe slum, Robert painstakingly taught the game each day. When he left at night, slum kids played on with bottlecaps on scraps of cardboard. At first they came for a free bowl of porridge, but many grew to love chess, a game that—like their daily lives—means persevering against great obstacles. Of these kids, one stood out as an immense talent: Phiona.
By the age of eleven Phiona was her country’s junior champion and at fifteen, the national champion. In September 2010, she traveled to Siberia, a rare journey out of Katwe, to compete in the Chess Olympiad, the world’s most prestigious team-chess event. Phiona’s dream is to one day become a Grandmaster, the most elite title in chess. But to reach that goal, she must grapple with everyday life in one of the world’s most unstable countries, a place where girls are taught to be mothers, not dreamers, and the threats of AIDS, kidnapping, and starvation loom over the people.
Like Katherine Boo’s Behind the Beautiful Forevers and Gayle Tzemach Lemmon’s The Dressmaker of Khair Khana, The Queen of Katwe is an intimate and heartrending portrait of human life on the poor fringes of the twenty-first century.
Queen of Katwe
Learn about us. Matthew Macke Thursday, November 3, Typically, these allusions are used as a subtle shout-out to the parents in the audience — something to reward their responsible parenting. They can, however, go beyond simple innuendo to something more substantial. The story follows the main character Phiona Mutesi, portrayed by cinematic newcomer Madina Nalwanga, as she deals with the struggles of growing up in poverty in Uganda. She stumbles upon a chess club run by Robert Katende David Oyelowo , and, before long, establishes herself as its best player, much to the chagrin of her male teammates. Her older sister Night leaves their home early in the narrative to stay with a man who rides around the slums on his motorcycle hoping to impress women.
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A talent for the game of chess gives an impoverished girl Madina Nalwanga from Uganda a chance to change her world. This movie is based on a true story of Phiona Mutesi. Why is Queen of Katwe rated PG? Earning a meager income selling maize corn on the gridlocked streets of Kampala, the family members return home to the slums of Katwe where they eat a meager meal and settle in for another dark night. Illiterate and too poor to attend school, Phiona follows her brother Brian to a ramshackle church where they discover a group of other kids their age learning to play a strange game called chess.