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Why Yaz McKay From The Chair Looks So Familiar

The Netflix original dramedy "The Chair," which subscribers are currently watching in droves, stars Sandra Oh as Dr. Ji-Yoon Kim, the first woman chair of the prestigious English department at fictional Pembroke University. But while Ji-Yoon is the central focus of the series, her friends, family, and colleagues all have important roles to play.

One of the most crucial of these supporting characters is Dr. Yaz McKay. Considering she's an exciting up-and-coming player in the academic world, Ji-Yoon sees nurturing Yaz's career as a way to turn around Pembroke's reputation as an institution with a mostly older and mostly white faculty that is stuck in the past. However, in trying to find opportunities to promote Yaz as the new face of Pembroke's English department, Ji-Yoon finds herself forced to contend with the tricky political dynamics of the academic world. It not only causes frustration for Ji-Yoon but it also puts her friendship with Yaz in jeopardy.

If you're one of the many people who has been binging "The Chair" since it dropped on Netflix, you've likely been asking yourself where else you've seen Nana Mensah, the actor who plays Yaz. There are a few choice places you've likely encountered her work before.

Here's why Nana Mensah looks so familiar.

Nana Mensah took Accra by storm in An African City

One of Mensah's earliest substantial roles came courtesy of a web series with a very unique perspective. Created by Ghanaian filmmaker Nicole Amarteifio, "An African City" is a comedy inspired by the vibe and ethos of "Sex and the City." Except, instead of the stories of single women living in New York, "An African City" features a group of five women who grew up in the US or UK and who have all recently relocated to Accra, Ghana.

The protagonist is NanaYaa (MaameYaa Boafo), a Ghanaian woman who spent most of her life in New York, but has recently repatriated to her home country to work as a journalist and radio host. Like "Sex and the City," each of NanaYaa's friends brings a unique attitude to the group, and Sadé, played by Mensah (who, according to True Africa, went to school with Amarteifio), is the Samantha figure.

Ṣadé is professionally successful and confident in what she wants out of life. While most of the other women are looking for love in their new city, Sadé makes no apologies for sticking with lust. Her storylines see her coupling up with some of Accra's most eligible single men, occasionally with comically disastrous results.

It wasn't long after "An African City" that Mensah also began landing parts on a variety of American TV shows.

New Amsterdam saw Nana Mensah playing a doctor with military precision

Following her turn in "An African City," Mensah began popping up in small roles all over TV. She appeared in "Orange Is the New Black," "Madam Secretary," "The Good Fight," and "Elementary," where she played an FBI agent who helps Holmes (Jonny Lee Miller) and Watson (Lucy Liu) find out who murdered a prolific contract killer in the Season 6 episode "Breathe."

Her biggest role during this period was in NBC medical drama "New Amsterdam" (Season 4 of which is on the way). In the first two seasons, she recurred regularly as the determined Dr. Camila Candelario, who works in the Emergency Department of New Amsterdam Medical Center. One of Dr. Candelario's main storylines comes when she takes over as head of the Emergency Department after Dr. Lauren Bloom (Janet Montgomery) takes leave to go to rehab. With the department in her care, Dr. Candelario institutes a series of new procedures and regulations that demonstrates the direct and efficient manner of service that she acquired during her years in the military.

Not long after her stint on "New Amsterdam," Mensa got a few other recurring roles, albeit ones of a very different nature.

Nana Mensah has also co-starred on the Netflix series 13 Reasons Why and Bonding

Season 3 of Netflix's controversial teen drama "13 Reasons Why" introduced a major new character to Liberty High School. Ani Achola (Grace Saif) is a new student who quickly becomes embroiled in all the high-stakes drama thanks to her mother's job as a caretaker for the grandfather of one of the show's central characters, Bryce Walker (Justin Prentice).

While Ani is the one who is most deeply engaged in the dark and disturbing goings-on at Liberty High, her mother Amara, played by Mensah, gets her chance to wade into things thanks to her propensity for uncovering her daughter's secrets.

Around the same time, Mensah appeared on another Netflix original. "Bonding" was a comedy about an up-and-coming dominatrix Tiff (Zoe Levin) who is trying to juggle her graduate school studies with her unique line of work. In Season 2, Tiff and her best friend and assistant Pete (Brendan Scannell) get some help recovering from a series of professional snafus courtesy of Tiff's old mentor Mistress Mira, played by Mensah.

You can currently check out Nana Mensah on "The Chair," which is streaming on Netflix.