Phiona Mutesi was once 9 years previous when she was once first presented to the sport of chess.
But it surely wasn’t the affection of the sport that attracted her to it to start with — it was once the probability to revel in a meal.
“When my brother advised me in regards to the chess program and there’s a meal on a regular basis, after taking part in chess they serve you a meal,” she advised International Information.
“And I saved going again as a result of I sought after one thing to devour.”
Rising up in Katwe, Uganda, Phiona lived within the slums together with her mom and brothers. She misplaced her father on the age of 3.
The circle of relatives struggled for years, dwelling at the streets of Katwe, determined for meals and being profitable by means of promoting maize at the aspect of the street.
For years, Phiona’s mom may now not have the funds for to ship her to university and in the end they misplaced their house, leaving them to sleep at the streets.
“At the moment we had not anything to devour, not anything to drink … We’re simply there, napping within the streets … We had develop into simply hopeless,” she mentioned.
However her lifestyles modified the day she walked right into a chess membership.
There she met Robert Katende, founding father of the Som Chess Academy.
Robert mentioned he noticed a spark and backbone in Phiona that was once not like the rest he had encountered prior to.
“Her spirit and her choice was once so top,” Robert mentioned.