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Mma Grace Makutsi
Portrayed by Anika Noni Rose
Age 30s
Occupation Assistant Detective
Family Richard (brother)
Relatives Unknowm taxi driver (uncle)

Grace Makutsi is a fictional main character in the No. 1 Ladies' Detective Agency series of novels by Alexander McCall Smith.


Born in Bobonong, Botswana, she moved to the capital, Gaborone, to attend the Botswana Secretarial College. Mma Ramotswe originally employed her as her secretary, but later promoted her to assistant private detective. During Mr. J.L.B. Matekoni’s illness, Mma Makutsi served as assistant manager of his garage, and learned to carry out mechanical repairs. A hardworking and intelligent woman who achieved the exceptionally high mark of 97% in her secretarial college examinations, Mma Makutsi later opened her own business, the Kalahari Typing School for Men. She is trilingual in Kalanga, Setswana and English. She suffers, however, from a lack of confidence in her appearance, due to her large spectacles and 'difficult' complexion. At times she displays prejudice against men and attractive women which may be interpreted as the result of an inferiority complex.

The character is portrayed by Anika Noni Rose in the HBO/BBC miniseries.

Special relationships

Family: Mma Makutsi stays in close contact with her family in Bobonong and regularly sends money home to them. For a while her sick brother, Richard, lived with her in Gaborone and she nursed him until his death from an AIDS-related illness. In the first book, she also has an uncle living in the capital.

Work: Mma Makutsi has a great deal of respect and affection for, and loyalty towards, her employer, Mma Ramotswe, although she does not share the latter's enthusiasm for red bush tea, which she once claimed smelled of rats. She also gets on very well with Mr. J L B Matekoni, but has been very much less friendly with Charlie, the elder of the two apprentices at the garage.

Romance: Men usually seem to find Mma Makutsi less attractive than her pretty but shallow college contemporaries. She did, in The Kalahari Typing School for Men, start a short-lived but ultimately doomed relationship with one of her typing students. She subsequently (following the end of the sixth book In the Company of Cheerful Ladies) became engaged to furniture-store manager Phuti Radiphuti, whom she met at a dancing class.

Indulgences: Mma Makutsi, a woman of modest means until she opens her own business, has a great weakness for fashionable shoes.



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