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Phil-It Productions: Blunder That Cost Abel Mutua, Phillip Karanja’s Media Company Ksh 5 Million

Phil-It Productions is a media company in Nairobi co-owned by content creators Philipp Karanja, Abel Mutua and Bob Muriithi.

Karanja is known for his acting role on Citizen TV drama series, Tahidi High and his role as a director of Mother-In-Law TV series.

On the other hand, Mutua is famous for her role, Freddy, on Tahidi High where he was also a script writer.

“In 2005. I was a student at the Kenya Institute of Mass Communication, and then I got an internship at Citizen TV in 2007. At the time, Tahidi High was airing. In 2009, I joined their writing team

“We were paid Sh20,000 per episode and wrote four episodes a month, which came to Sh80,000. I wrote on both Tahidi High and Mother-In-Law,” Mutua said.

He was also a script writer for Protel Studios which produced Real Househelps of Kawangware and Hapa Kule News which aired on KTN.

Mutua joined with Protel Studios after leaving Citizen TV.

“A new show called Hapa Kule News was being produced by Protel Studios. They approached me to join the cast and crew

“This was the first project my business partner, Philip, and I worked on together. I wrote and acted on the show and he directed it,” he recalled.

Phil-It Productions

Mutua and Philip started their production house after stepping down from their jobs as Protel Studios.

In an episode on his YouTube channel, Mutua stated that they stepped down from the company after the management refused to incorporate Phil-It in their productions.

“We wanted to branch out and make our own brand, start our own company. We launched Phil-lit Productions in 2015, but the transition was not easy,” he he recalled.

Their breakthrough as a company came later when Maisha Magic contracted them to create a TV program with ex-Vioja Mahakamani cast.

As such, they created Hulaballo Estate which airs on Maisha Magic East.

“We received a call from Maisha Magic, which was in the process of creating a new series with the former Vioja Mahakamani cast

“They wanted something slightly more scripted that the traditional show. We got commissioned to do 39 episodes. The show was later recommissioned for 52 episodes,” Mutua said.

Ksh 5 million loss

In September 2020, Mutua disclosed how the company lost Ksh 5 million.

He noted that while producing Hulabaloo Estate, they paid the cast huge salaries not considering the expensive quality cost that would come with the production.

“We were over the moon. We knew that we had officially made it, we were millionaires…I had never come into contact with such an amount of money

“We made a decision to ensure that our employees were given generous salaries. At the time, we did not have an accountant and we thought the money was in excess,” Mutua stated.

As a result, the company ended up with a deficit of Ksh 5 million and unfinished projects to a point that they had to ask friends and family for help.

“Initially, we had wanted to pay everyone and use the remainder to pay ourselves but this was not to be, we suffered a major loss,” Mutua stated.

However, they were lucky to get another contract and part of the money they received was used pay up deficits that were needed for the other two shows.


Phil-It has produced a number of TV series including Maempress, Hulabaloo, Sue Na Johnnie and Undercover.

Movies produced by the company are Grand Little Lie (GLL) and ClickClick Bang.