KAMPALA, UGANDA – The government has named famed chess queen, Fiona Mutesi as Uganda’s tourism ambassador, following the success of the Queen of Katwe, a movie that chronicles her life.
Mutesi was named ambassador on Friday, together with her mentor, Robert Katende, by the tourism state minister, Godfrey Suubi Kiwanda, at the ministry’s head offices in Kampala.
“As government, we want to use the achievements of our people to promote the country in tourism, and following the success of the Queen of Katwe, we are naming Fiona Mutesi and Robert Katende ambassadors of tourism,” Kiwanda said, during a press conference.
He said the dual will enjoy diplomatic privileges, including a red passport, VIP protection while on official duty, but will not be entitle to a salary.
The Queen of Katwe is a 2016 biographical sports drama depicting the life of Mutesi, a girl living in the slums of Katwe, who shot to fame by playing chess to the level of woman candidate master at the world chess Olympiads.
The film was written by William Wheeler, directed by Mira Nair and was produced by Walt Disney Pictures and ESPN Films.
Kiwanda said:” it is a privilege for us to work with Ugandans who have made it in the world and ride on their fame to promote our mother land. The government is very grateful.”
Katende said he will use the opportunity to talk about the country in Seattle, USA, later this month in a convention where he is slated to address more than 2,000 people, and later in April in lynchbag Virginia where they will address more than 12,000 people.
Katende is an engineer by profession, and is currently working with Sports Outreach Uganda, an Organisation that uses sports, especially Chess, as a tool to nature, mentor and disciple people, especially vulnerable children living on streets and in slums.
These programs have nurtured and given opportunities to unprivileged children, such as Phiona Mutesi who became the first Woman Candidate Master in the history of Uganda.
Source: Edward Kayiwa, New Vision