Abel Mutua Explains Leaving Citizen TV

  • Daniel Churchill Ndambuki (Left) and Abel Mutua pictured on set. August 2020.
    Daniel Churchill Ndambuki (Left) and Abel Mutua pictured on set. August 2020.
  • Celebrated Kenyan actor Abel Mutua, now known simply as mkurugenzi, established himself as a household name when he was still in high school.

    His portrayal of 'Freddy' in the critically acclaimed Citizen TV Series Tahidi High endeared him to hundreds of thousands, if not millions, of fans, across the country.

    Speaking to Daniel 'Churchill' Ndambuki on Sunday, August 16, Abel opened up on the real reason behind his decision to leave the Citizen TV show.

    Unknown to most, Abel was actually first cast as an extra. Given just 2 lines for his role, the gifted actor went on to perform the best version of his limited script that he was granted a lead role.

    File image of Abel Mutua (2nd from left) with other members of the old cast of Tahidi High
    File image of Abel Mutua (2nd from left) with other Tahidi High cast members, Shish (centre), Tanya (second right) and OJ

    Still living in Kibra at the time, the artiste kept on growing in stature and was soon earning Ksh5,000 per episode.

    Soon enough he moved to a one-bedroomed apartment with his close friend and future business partner Philip Karanja.

    As his dreams slowly but steadily started looking up for him, he decided to enlist for the Churchill Top Comic talent search contest following a dare by one of his friends.

    His unrivalled storytelling ability and witty jokes saw him make it to the final list of 6.

    However, tragedy struck at the same time as his mother suffered a cardiac arrest and passed on just two days before he was set to take the stage for the top comic finals.

    He still managed to stage his performance and despite not winning, he left an impression on Churchill and several other media industry players.

    Actor Abel Mutua with his wife on his wedding daya
    Actor Abel Mutua with his wife on his wedding daya

    Soon after, he realised that it would be wiser to use his script-writing gift to pen jokes for other comedians, as opposed to immersing himself in an industry that was overflowing with talented comedians cropping up everyday.

    This proved to be the move that changed his entire life as he soon turned from penning lines for artists to actually scripting Tahidi High and Mother in Law.

    "I realised that there was a gap in how our TV shows were scripted and decided to fuse my own twist to it using punchlines that ended up creating stars out of background actors," he explained.

    Collectively, Abel scripted over 10 seasons of TV series which gave him the confidence he needed to finally branch out and start his own firm -  Phil-lit Productions with his close friend.

    He went on to reveal that writing for two shows that never went on breaks took the toll on him and inevitably fatigue caught up with him.

    It was at this point that he set up a meeting with representatives from Citizen TV and informed them of his decision to leave after 4 years as an actor and 5 years as part of the production team.

    He has since embarked on mega projects including Hapa Kule News, the Real Housewives of Kawangware, Andakava and Hullabaloo.

    Following the Covid-19 pandemic, Abel has turned to YouTube, after prompting by his wife - Judy Nyawira. His show has been garnering rave reviews with his page one of the fastest growing in the country.

    Watch Abel's Story below: