#Okay100Women

PHIONA MUTESI

OkayAfrica's 100 Women celebrates African women who are making waves, shattering ceilings, and uplifting their communities.

Uganda’s chess prodigy, Phiona Mutesi, had her life story captured in a book by American author (Tim Crothers) that Disney adapted into the 2016 screenplay (Queen of Katwe) featuring the Hollywood heavyweight, Lupita Nyong’o. Despite growing up in poverty in Uganda’s largest slum (Katwe), and having her elder sister and father die while she was still young, Phiona pushed herself to actualize her greatness in chess at the Sports Outreach Institute.


It was here that she met her mentor, coach Robert Katende, after secretly following her brother one day while searching for food.

Mutesi earned the Woman Candidate Master in 2012, alongside her Ugandan chessmate, Ivy Amoko, and is credited for being the first female player to win the Open Category of the National Chess Championship in Uganda.

At nine years old, Mutesi could not read or write but at 20 years old, she is looking to attend university and has managed to secure her family’s future through her book and film contracts.

Her determination and perseverance is inspiring and a testament to what we can do when we aim high and put in the work.

—JO

Audio
(Youtube)

The 9 Songs You Need to Hear This Week

Featuring Olamide, Nasty C, Davido, Mr Eazi x Nicki Minaj and more.

Every week, we highlight the cream of the crop in music through our best music of the week column.

Here's our round up of the best tracks and music videos that came across our desks, which you can also check out in our Songs You Need to Hear This Week playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Follow our SONGS YOU NEED TO HEAR THIS WEEK playlist on Spotify here, Apple Music here and YouTube Music here

Check out all of OkayAfrica's playlists on Spotify and Apple Music.

Keep reading... Show less

get okayafrica in your inbox

popular.

Listen to Alicia Keys & Diamond Platnumz’ New Song ‘Wasted Energy’

The Tanzanian music icon and American star team up on the track from her new album, ALICIA.