That incident in July of 2019 was widely discussed on social media and looking back, Makena says it left her on the brink of sliding into depression.
“I remember that cold morning of July in 2019 when I woke up and looked at my phone. I’d over 1,000 messages, and 500 missed calls. My blood went cold. I knew something was wrong,” she recalls.
She made these sentiments while appearing as a guest speaker on the TEDx Talks channel, adding she’s had to battle bouts of depression because of her orientation.
“For three months, I was down and had bouts of depression. But once again, I reminded myself that I had to choose to be bold. This whole experience made some of my family members and friends become strangers,” Makena said.
Makena has also confirmed she is a member of the Lesbian, Gay, and Transgender (LGBTIQ) community.
“I remember for the first time in my life after very many years, I looked in a mirror and said to myself, ‘I am gay, I am unique, and this is my truth,” she said.
The former actress says she felt the weight lifted off her chest as she was finally free, whole, and for the first time in her life, she was in sync with her life.
“This was a victory for me, but what I didn’t know was just this was the beginning of my journey to boldness.”
Makena also says she’s had to turn down acting roles that did not work for her gender identity.
“Being a producer in the film and TV industry, I was constantly ridiculed for picking up jobs that were supposed to be men producing jobs but yet as a woman, I wanted to do them,” she added.
Growing up in a Christian setting, Makena joined a church when she moved to Nairobi at the age of 19 even though the experience turned into a painful one, so much that she had to retreat and worship in solitude.
After leaving BBC, Makena now is running the Bold Network Africa, an organization based in Nairobi, Kenya, that aims to educate the society in Africa about the LGBTQ community through Films, Documentaries, and training in a bid to end the constant discrimination of the queer community.
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