What do chess, conviction and religion have in common? The thread among these three aspects will be explained in a new Walt Disney movie about missionaries in Uganda. Entitled "Queen of Katwe," the new movie was inspired by a true story about the bond between missionary Robert Katende and Phiona Mutesi, a girl growing up in the slum area of Kampala. The film is slated to debut in theaters Sept. 23, 2016.
The story, from the experiences of Katende and Mutesi, highlights the importance and joy of Christian missionary work and outreach. Above all, the story accentuates heroism is in all people, in that everyone has the ability to touch, inspire and impact their community's children.
Mutesi was a young girl living on Katwe, Uganda, streets. Her father died from AIDS when she was 3 years old. She stumbled across an outreach ministry whose representatives motivated children by using the game of chess to encourage them with the life concept of "What matters is when you reset the pieces and play again."
Muteski originally visited the missionary group just to receive free porridge, then she found a supportive community as well as a mentor in Katende.
Every day she walked 4 miles to attend chess training. In a recent interview, she said it took about five years to teach her chess. Eventually, she won many local chess matches. She went on to become National Champion of Uganda and compete in the World Chess Olympiad.
Muteski is the first titled female Ugandan chess player, reports ImpactMania.
In real life, she now competes in chess matches internationally. Via the Sports Outreach Institute Missionary Program, she also is in school to become a pediatrician with the goal of opening a free clinic in Katwe. She said she specifically wanted to treat children because she saw how they suffered and no one "would be bothered about it."
She also said she would like to be a youth counselor because most of the time when they are a situation like what she went through, they "lose hope and see no future."
Katende, a missionary and refugee of Uganda's civil war, continues to mentor children in Katwe and to teach chess. His unrelenting faith and mission to help make other lives better due to his love and devotion to God can be felt in the movie's new trailer.
The movie was directed by Mira Nair.