Disney's “Queen of Katwe” is the colorful true story of a young girl selling corn on the streets of rural Uganda whose world rapidly changes when she is introduced to the game of chess. With the support she receives from her family and community, she gains the confidence and determination she needs to pursue her dream of becoming an international chess champion.
Phiona Mutesi (Madina Nalwanga) is a 10-year old living in the impoverished slum of Katwe in Kampala, Uganda with her mother, Harriet (Lupita Nyong'o) and her family. It is a constant struggle, but Harriet works tirelessly selling vegetables in the market to make sure her children are fed and taken care of. Phiona meets Robert Katende (David Oyelowo), a soccer player turned missionary who teaches local children how to play chess. She soon becomes captivated by the game.
Phiona is impressed by the game of chess because it requires concentration, strategic thinking, and risk taking– skills she can apply to her everyday life. She has a natural intelligence and aptitude for the game of chess and with the fighting spirit of her mother, she is determined to become something big.
Harriet does not want her daughter to be disappointed so she is reluctant to provide any encouragement. But when Phiona quickly advances through the ranks in the chess tournaments, her mother realizes that Phiona has a chance to excel and fulfill her potential, escape a life of poverty, and save her family. With the help of Katende who teachers her to read and write, she is able to pursue schooling as well.