“Queen Of Katwe”, A Film That Opens Your Eyes On Some Of Our World’s Poverty

Have you ever watched a movie where you found yourself being more interested in a certain aspect of the movie versus the plot itself? Queen of Katwe ended up being one of those for me.

Based upon the real life story of Uganda native Phiona Mutesi (played by Madina Nalwanga), Queen of Katwe revolves around Phiona’s discovery of an incredible ability to play the game of chess at a very young age. While the film itself was quite inspirational, I found myself more drawn to the fact that Phiona grew up in extremely impoverished conditions. Much of the film drew upon that and showed scenes from the conditions of the slums she once lived in.

Why her impoverished upbringing was far more interesting to me than the story of her becoming a master chess player is simply this. I have never experienced what it feels like to be poor like she did and to totally honest, much of the previous years of my life I was pretty ungrateful for the abundance that God had blessed me with since the day I was born.

Things like having running water, being able to take showers or baths, having ample food in the cupboards, sleeping on cushiony beds, and having windows and doors to my home that can actually be opened and closed were all things Phiona never knew during her childhood. Her home was initially a metal shack with one room and an area where she and her siblings slept next to each other on a hard slab. Water came from a rusty spigot in the center of town that she had to carry in buckets home each day. Food was consistently scarce for her and usually came from daily bartering on the streets. And due to how poor her family ultimately was, she spent most of her younger years not being able to get a proper education because they couldn’t afford to send her to school. Thus she was never taught how to even read or write. Each of these aspects of Phiona’s life were things that automatically came to me in the family I was born into. I grew up in one that was middle to upper class and I’m sure from Phiona’s childhood perspective, I probably lived a life of luxury.

I feel sad when I think about how ungrateful I used to be when billions of others were and still are living in severe poverty-based conditions just like Phiona once did. Yet it’s easy to forget about that in today’s society and instead dwell on nothing more than what we don’t have in life. Take when I was a young teenager for example. Back then every one of my neighbors had cable and I was angry that we didn’t. And when a childhood friend got a full-size arcade game for his garage, I became irritated at my parents when they didn’t get one as well. Those were just two of the many ungrateful moments I had in life that I never realized how good I really had it.

Thankfully I’m far more aware of it these days and am quite grateful now for things such as my humble abode, the food I eat each day, the clothes I have to wear, the water that comes into my home, and for so many other things that are a regular part of my life. As now I’m aware of people out there who don’t have any of these things and instead are living in dire straits like Phiona did during her adolescent years.

So while the Queen of Katwe movie was mainly about the emergence of a poor female chess player from Uganda, my interest remained fixated throughout the entire film on the conditions a little girl was born into and had to endure. Given the stark contrast to the rich bubble life I grew up in, I’m thankful to God for helping me to see just how much of an abundance I truly had growing up and still do.

It’s my hope each of you will think about this the next time you find yourself becoming ungrateful for anything you perceive is lacking in your life…

For New Blog

Peace, love, light, and joy,

Andrew Arthur Dawson

Author: Andrew Arthur Dawson

A teacher of meditation, a motivational speaker, a reader of numerology, and a writer by trade, Andrew Arthur Dawson is a spiritual man devoted to serving his Higher Power and bringing a lot more light and love into this world. This blog, www.thetwelfthstep.com is just one of those ways...

Your comments would be great! (NOTE: Please reload this page before entering any to prevent a session timeout.)