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"It's always been my goal to spread the truth to the people, and I'm going to do just that."
― Kesira
This name uses Russian naming customs: the patronymic name is Mairbekovna while the surname (family name) is Vakhaeva.

Kesira Vakhaeva (Chechen, Russian: Кесира Вахаева), known by her pen name Zalpa Varaeva (Russian: Залпа Вараева), is a supporting character in Disney's Big Hero 6 franchise. She is a Chechen-American journalist and writer from Russia who focuses on political science, government, and society. A technophobe against the advanced lifestyle of San Fransokyo, she is a former lover of CEO Alistair Krei and the mother of a son, Dzhabrail Krei-Vakhaev, through an affair with Alistair.

She is portrayed by Chechen writer Milana Terloeva (infobox image © Les Origines de la Beauté).


Official Description

"Sharp, quick, and witty, Kesira "Kira" Vakhaeva is an ambitious journalist who's quick on her toes and even faster with her trusty pen. Raised in war-torn Chechnya, Russia, she's known for her rousing articles and immense dislike for robotic technology – despite residing in the highly advanced San Fransokyo. Against all odds, she finds herself inexplicably caught in a dilemma during her latest dive into the life of tech guru Alistair Krei."



Physical Appearance

Milana Terloeva

Kesira portrayed by Milana Terloeva.

Kesira is a 34-year-old Caucasian woman standing at 167 cm. (5'6") with a slim, petite figure. She has fair skin, dark-brown hair, and brown eyes. Her eyebrows are thick and defined, and she possesses a "celestial nose" that slopes downward. Kesira's hair – which is mostly worn down and either styled straight or wavy – is parted from the centre of her scalp, and reaches her shoulder. She has plump lips and an oval-shaped face.

Her usual attire consists of comfortable and practical clothing over more stylish and fashionable ones, so Kesira can usually be spotted in a pair of faded blue jeans, a plain black shirt, a faux leather jacket, and ankle-length boots with straps. Like Honey Lemon and most other characters in Big Hero 6[3], Kesira changes her outfit on a daily basis, so her attire can vary from day to day.

Abilities and Skills



Early Life


Kesira as a child (portrayed by Laura Marano).

Kesira Mairbekovna Vakhaeva (Russian: Кесира Майрбековна Вахаева) was born in the small town of Gordala, Russia, to parents Mairbek and Kheda Vakhaev. Her parents – both ethnic Chechens of the Gordaloy (Chechen: ГӀордалой[4]; Russian: Гордалой[5]) teip (clan) of the Nokhchmakhkakhoy (Chechen: Нохчмахкахой[6]) tukkhum – were born in Kazakhstan due to the 1944 deportations of the Chechen and Ingush people (Aardakh). The two were married in Kyzylorda before returning to their ancestral village of Gordala to reconnect with their Chechen roots. Kesira is the first of the couple's children before younger brothers Zelimkhan and Mokhmad. Her family follows Shafi'i Sunni Islam.

Born in the countryside, Kesira lived with her parents, siblings, and paternal grandfather, Ramzan. She was raised truly Chechen in Gordala without the influence of urban life or modern technology, as both her parents and her grandfather wanted Kesira to be deeply connected to Chechen culture. Kesira was thus taught the Chechen language before Russian, and she memorised traditional songs, proverbs, and melodies as a child.


A young Kesira with her father, Mairbek.

Her father even went as far as to hire a local craftsman to create a dechig pondar (a traditional Chechen instrument) just for her so she could learn to play, despite manufacturers of the instrument being scarce[7]. Both Mairbek and Ramzan firmly believed that Kesira and her siblings would be the generation to revive and renew the Chechen culture that had been oppressed for so long by the Soviet Union. Kesira was also taught several survival skills and basic medical procedures, as the First Chechen War of Grozny had just concluded several years before (her parents wanted to make sure she'd be able to defend herself if needed).

Shortly after her birth, the Second Chechen War had erupted. The family, fearing of this war, had moved in part to the countryside in order to avoid the growing conflict. When Kesira was seven years old, the family was forced to relocate to Grozny, the Chechen capital, for Mairbek's (Kesira's father) job as a political strategist. Though Kesira initially had a difficult time adjusting to the urban lifestyle, she managed to appreciate the city after some time. Initially, Mairbek would educate Kesira and her siblings at home (as most of the schools were shut down due to the war) in language, history, mathematics, religion, and politics, but he soon became too busy with his career to do so. While Mairbek worked with the military, Kesira, her brothers, and her mother stayed in their small apartment, fearing for their lives during the battles. Out of boredom, Kesira began reading books from her father's study, which was filled with old Chechen folktales, traditions, and journal entries from past writers ― the works she read would later inspire her to enter journalism. She educated herself in politics and history, and Kesira became deeply involved in Chechen nationalism and pride as a teenager. Her father hoped that she would follow in his footsteps to become a politician or political leader of sorts.

Though she lived through war, Kesira never fully adjusted to the constant fighting and loud noises of weapons in Grozny. Along with her interest in politics, she began developing a strong dislike for weaponry and other technological equipment, as her first real exposure to modern gadgets was through the war. Kesira's hatred for technology was heightened when her younger brother, Mokhmad, was killed in a grenade blast while sneaking to a local abandoned market (he was always courageous enough to take the risk in order to help support the family).

Severely traumatised by the event, Kesira's parents were able to salvage just enough money to send her to Moscow, where she would have a more peaceful and secure life. At the age of seventeen, Kesira traveled from Grozny to the Russian capital, where she finished her education in a secondary school. She later graduated from the school, enrolled in Moscow State University, and graduated with a Dual Major in journalism and political science.

In Moscow, she worked as a journalist for the Novaya Gazeta (a Russian newspaper) for some time as a columnist and political commentator. Even as a young adult, Kesira made her loathe for technology public, which received lots of criticism. After the conclusion of the Chechen war, Kesira planned to return to Chechnya to help her parents and brother move to Moscow to be with her, as it was apparently "safe" enough to travel to. As she was approaching Grozny, Kesira was attacked by armed rebels who shot her multiple times in her left leg and severely injured her arms and face (the incident left the scar on her cheek). She survived the assault, fortunately, and was found and rushed to a local hospital.

Big Hero 6



Alistair Krei

"Oh, I know quite well how you businessmen think. And I can tell you're the type of person who's willing to cheat and cut through corners to get what you want. Don't worry, though, I've met many others who do the same. You're not all that unique."
― Kesira to Alistair


"You claim he [Baymax] is benevolent, caring, and compassionate, but he is nothing but code and programming. His alleged 'personality' is just what he was designed to do by humans. He is a machine; he – or should I say it – cannot feel for himself. If I were to, say, remove its wonderful green chip, your robot would be an entirely different being – am I not correct?"
― Kesira about Baymax (to Hiro)

Hiro Hamada

"I lost a loved one too, you know. My older brother, Tadashi, was killed in a fire, and I can tell you that I was completely devastated at first, too. The thing is: you don't need to hate all of technology just because of the loss of your brother. Accidents happen. Your life can be either positive or negative, but it all depends on how you decide to cope with the situation and your circumstances. I had to learn that the hard way, heh."
― Hiro to Kesira

Dzhabrail Krei-Vakhaev

"She [Kesira] isn't going to be home, anyway, don't worry. She's never home in time, and Dad [Alistair] is gone."
― Dzhabrail on Kesira and Alistair

Shapi Gadzhimuradov

"Oh yes, he was one fine human specimen, I'll give you that. I mean, you should've seen his eyes and jawline ― goddamn. If there really is a god out there, he sure did bless that man..."
― Kesira on Shapi
Shapi was news reporter and co-worker of Kesira during her time with the Novaya Gazeta. An Avar man originally from Dagestan, he was in a relationship with her until Kesira arrived in San Fransokyo.


Name Etymology


Kesira (Кесира) is a Chechen feminine name meaning "abundant, plentiful"; it is originally derived from the Arabic language from the word كَثِير meaning "many, much".[8][9][10]


The patronymic name, Mairbekovna (Майрбековна), is from the name of Kesira's father, Mairbek, with the Russian suffix -ovna (-овна) denoting a daughter (-ovich or -ович is used for males).[11] The name Mairbek, in turn, is from the Chechen word майра (mayra) meaning "husband"[12] or "brave"[13] combined with an Ottoman Turkish title بك meaning "chief, ruler, lord"[14].


Her familia ("surname" or "last name"[15]), Vakhaeva (Вахаева), is the feminine form of Vakhaev (Вахаев), in accordance to Russian family name customs in which surnames of females end in -ova or -eva.[16] The family name comes from the Chechen personal name Vakha (Ваха) meaning "to live".[17]

Fun Facts

  • She is fluent in Chechen, Russian, and English.
  • Kesira is demisexual (gray-asexual).
  • Her most prized possessions are a bronze necklace of the borz, an insignia of Chechnya bearing a wolf[18], and her father's papakha hat.
  • Kesira stopped wearing a hijab after she was taken to San Fransokyo.
  • Though raised a Muslim, she considers herself as an agnostic.
  • As mentioned before, she has technophobia. She doesn't necessarily fear technology, but she severely dislikes robots, machinery, and modern weaponry.
    • She has multiple reasons for her dislike of technology, but the problem originated from her firsthand witnessing of death of her brother, Mokhmad, who was killed in a grenade explosion during the Second Chechen War.
    • This dislike is mostly limited only to robotics, weapons, and artificial intelligence; Kesira still uses modern appliances like computers, phones, etc...
  • Kesira's top role model is her deceased paternal uncle, Elmurza, who was a writer.
    • His occupation inspired Kesira to enter journalism.
  • She is currently a part-time patient of Baymax for checkups on her legs, though Kesira is always tentative to go.
  • Kesira began drinking alcohol after arriving in the US, and she consumes is frequently.
  • She has been called a terrorist numerous times due to the effects of the Boston Marathon Bombing of 2013 (the perpetrators were Chechens).
  • Kesira also suffers from mild PTSD.
  • She sometimes likes to wear her Chechen traditional dress to weddings and formal parties to show pride in her heritage.
  • Initially, when people mistakenly called her Russian, Kesira would correct them by stating that she was Chechen (and, in some cases, going on to explain what a "Chechen" was). After she began facing terrorist threats, she stopped.
  • When out on the field collecting information, she mostly jots her thoughts and notes down in Chechen.
  • During the Second Chechen War, she read the Caucasian 'Nart' sagas through a collection of stories she found in her father's study.
  • She owns a Welsh Pembroke Corgi named Lom that she adopted from an animal shelter.
    • Her dog's name (Лом) means "lion" in Chechen.[19]

Scrapped Concepts

  • Kesira is based off of one of her creator's former OCs, Amrita Sarkar, who was a psychologist and former lover of Krei.
    • Kesira went through several transitioning stages: she was originally a Bengali-American psychologist named Amrita, who was later switched to a Malaysian-American journalist named Junaidah Razif. Kesira is the most recent revamp of Amrita/Junaidah.
    • Though Kesira shares much in common with her former concepts, her creator considers her an entirely different character with a different personality.
  • Her child face claim was originally going to be Russian child model Kamilla Mandishi (Камилла Мандиши).
  • Kesira was initially going to be in her early 20s with Chechen singer Kheda Khamzatova as her portrayer.
  • Former names of Kesira concepts:
    • Amrita Sarkar (Bengali: অমৃতা সরকার)
    • Junaidah Razif (Malay Jawi: جنيده رازيف)
    • Madina Ramazanova (Bashkir: Мәҙинә Рамаҙанова)




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