Meet Makena from Crime and Justice
She’s compassionate, determined and a lead detective with the Nairobi Metropol Police. Makena is played by Sarah Hassan.
Lead Detective, Nairobi Metropol Police
Makena has just made detective after years as a beat cop. She’s very goal-oriented, with a desire to prove that she’s more than able to hold her own in a very male-dominated space. Makena’s laser-like focus and disregard for tradition put her at odds with her fellow detectives — most notably Silas, her partner.
A single mom, Makena wrestles with the need to protect and nurture her teenage son Yaro with the desire to make him strong and self-sufficient enough to become a man.
Makena relentlessly pursues her idea of justice, causing friction in the department and leading to showdowns with both her partner Silas and the Chief of Police Kebo. Too busy to really have a love life, Makena nonetheless starts seeing a graphic designer who wants more from her. Yaro, meanwhile, finds himself involved in some of his mother’s cases, while at times also becoming more estranged from her.
About Sarah Hassan
Makena is played by the multi-award-winning Kenyan actress and filmmaker Sarah Hassan. One of Kenya’s most sought-after actors, Hassan became a household name when she played popular girl Tanya in Citizen TV’s long-running high school drama Tahidi High, a debut role that earned her an award for Best Actress at the CHAT Awards (Chaguo La Teeniez Awards) 2010 and 2011.
Since then, Hassan has starred in numerous local TV shows and films and earned multiple awards including Best Actress (Plan B) and Best TV Hosts with co-host Charles Ouda (Discovery +254) at the Kalasha Awards 2019 and 2015 respectively, and Best East African Journalist of the Year at the Swahili Fashion Week 2015 (Mashariki Mix and Maisha Max).
In 2016, she moved to Los Angeles to learn more about acting and filmmaking at the New York Film Academy. While there, she wrote, produced, co-directed and acted in a short film, The Company You Keep that saw her bag eight awards including Best Short Film at LA Shorts (2018) and Best Actress at Top Shorts Film Festival (2018).
Through her production company Alfajiri Productions, Hassan has in the recent years stepped more actively behind the camera, producing the romantic comedy Plan B that won Best Movie East Africa at the AMVCA 2020. Most recently, she co-produced 40 Sticks, the Kenyan thriller that scooped nine awards at the Kalasha Awards 2020 and the soon-to-be released comedy drama Just In Time which is her second collaboration with Nigerian filmmaker Lowladee (Plan B, This Is It).
Hassan’s other works: Saints (2011), House of Lungula (2013), Now That You’re Here (2014), Jane and Abel (2014), How to Find a Husband (2015).