Nyong'o is portraying Phiona's mother, Harriet Mutesi, in the highest profile film project to come to Uganda since the 2006 movie The Last King of Scotland. Image by: Bang Showbiz.
After seeing a film about a king of Scotland, Ugandans are getting excited over a new movie about a "queen", starring Oscar winner Lupita Nyong'o.
Queen of Katwe, directed by Mira Nair, is a biopic looking at chess coach Robert Katende and his star pupil, Phiona Mutesi, who grew up in Kampala's Katwe slum.
Nyong'o is portraying Phiona's mother, Harriet Mutesi, in the highest profile film project to come to Uganda since the 2006 movie The Last King of Scotland.
The Hollywood star, born in Mexico to Kenyan parents, jetted into neighbouring Uganda a few days ago for her first job in East Africa since taking the 2014 Academy Award for best supporting actress in 12 Years a Slave.
"I'm loving the food, I'm loving the people, I'm loving the style," she said ahead of the start of production for the Disney film.
"I don't feel like leaving. People just have an innate style, so I'm taking notes."
After chancing upon chess as a famished nine-year-old, Phiona, now 18, quickly developed a talent for the game and became the national champion, going on to participate in international Olympiads and becoming a woman candidate master.
Nyong'o said the movie was an "empowering story about what's possible if you allow yourself to dream".
"I didn't know that chess could make such a difference in people's lives, a fundamental difference in how they look at themselves and deal with the life ahead of them," the 32-year-old said.
"It's not very often that you see a positive image of Africa on screen."