Lessons from the Queen of Katwe

It is a refreshing thing to see that this movie is not based on characters who are dead or long gone but those who are living inspirations. The actors, Madina Malwanga, David Oyelowo, Lupita Nyong’o, really brought to life the experiences of the 16-year-old Phiona Muthesi upon whom the story is based. It is a narrative of how a slum girl, with the help of a dedicated and inspirational coach, defied the odds of being from one of Uganda’s slums to become an internationally acclaimed chess champion. Though, I fear that I gleaned too much inspiration that I can summarise in this post, I however will be sharing some of the lessons I learnt from the movie  and you can leave yours as a comment.

You Have No Excuse

Phiona Mutesi and her friends in Katwe did not have the privileged education of many of the kids they competed against, yet they always beat them to every game.  It is very easy to slide into self-pity and complain of the things you do not have that others have but this movie helps you realize that no excuse is valid enough for you to allow yourself slip into redundancy.


The Queen and her Coach

Don’t Be Afraid to Dream Big

The Katwe slum was the most unlikely place for young Phiona to become a world acclaimed chess player, little wonder Nakku, Phiona’s mother tried to restrain her from her big dreams of the big cities and the big awards. You can start in the slums but always aim for the interntional stages Do not restrain yourself from dreaming big for the fear of disappointment. Allow your imaginations and dreams take you where your feet haven’t and in no distant time, your feet will get there. Do not ever stop yourself from chasing your dreams. In the words of Coach Katende, “where you are used to, is not always where you belong”. So, step out of your routine and dream!


Impossibilities only exist in the Mind

The movie was replete with examples of how determination always changed the game. The one that stood out for me was the determination displayed by Coach Katende to ensure that his children, like he always referred to Phiona and her friends played against the very educated students in Budo. He indeed turned all the many NOs he received to YES-es. Impossibilities exist only when we permit them to.

“The triumph of the human spirit is not to weep for what we don’t have but focus on what we do havem and allow that to take us to places we never imagined possible” Mira Nair, Movie Director.

Your Little Difference Can Make a Big Impact

The sports outreach ministry and Coach Robert Katende were doing something that even the residents of Katwe might not have noticed but they did it anyway and because they did something to impact to impact their little corner, Katwe has a world acclaimed chess queen. So, don’t be tired of creating change in your own little corner the way you know. Keep at it!

This movie is one that I have recommended to many and I now recommend to you. Thank me later!

Watch movie trailer here



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