|Born||11 September 1964|
London, United Kingdom
West Kent College
University of Westminster
Mosunmola Abudu, popularly called Mo Abudu, (born 11 September 1964) is a Nigerian media mogul (with interests spanning electronic broadcasting, film making and content production), philanthropist and former human resources management consultant. She has been described by Forbes as "Africa's Most Successful Woman", and rated as one of the "25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television" by 'The Hollywood Reporter'.
Mo Abudu was born in Hammersmith, West London to an engineer father and caterer mother. Her early years were spent in the UK. She attended the Ridgeway School, MidKent College and West Kent College. She has a master's degree in Human Resource Management from the University of Westminster in London. She is a member of the British Psychological Society, and is qualified in occupational and personality testing.
Mo Abudu started her professional career as a recruitment consultant in 1987 with the Atlas Recruitment Consultancy firm in the UK, from where she moved to Starform Group in 1990. She returned to Nigeria in 1993 and was head-hunted by Arthur Andersen to head the Human Resources and Training for oil giant,ExxonMobil.She is the founder of Vic Lawrence & Associates Limited  She went to create, produce and present Moments with Mo, later founded a television station (EbonyLife Television) and has been producing entertainment contents till date.
EbonyLife TV & Films
In 2006, Abudu started EbonyLife TV (ELTV), a network airing in more than 49 countries across Africa, as well as in the UK and the Caribbean. to a pan-African audience. EbonyLife TV transmitted its first broadcast on 1 July 2014 on Multichoice's DSTV Channel 168. Less than a year into operations, EbonyLife TV, ranking among the top 25% of most watched channels on the DStv platform, launched a premium, multi-screen video-on-demand (VOD) platform targeting Africans in the diaspora. It expanded its Sub Sahara African reach, following a carriage deal with another pay-TV operator StarTimes. Notable among TV drama series executive-produced and/or produced by Abudu, and aired on ELTV, include: Desperate Housewives Africa in partnership with Disney, Sons Of The Caliphate, Castle & Castle, On the Real and The Governor.
Abudu established EbonyLife Films in 2014. Her first film as executive producer was Fifty (film). Teaming up with The ELFIKE Collective in 2016, she produced The Wedding Party,. The film became the highest-grossing title of all time in the Nigerian film industry (Nollywood). Other films she has also executive-produced or co-produced are: The Wedding Party 2, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, Chief Daddy, Your Excellency (film) and Òlòtūré, "the story of a young, naïve Nigerian journalist who goes undercover to expose the shady underworld of human trafficking." Òlòtūré's private screening was co-hosted with the Creative Artists Agency (CAA) at CAA's Los Angeles headquarters in June 2019.
In March 2018, Sony Pictures Television (SPT) announced that they had concluded a three-year deal with EbonyLife TV that would include co-production of The Dahomey Warriors, a series about the Amazons who took on French colonialists in a 19th-century west African kingdom.
In February 2020, a new partnership between EbonyLife TV and Netflix was announced. The streaming giant acquired EbonyLife's drama series: Castle & Castle, Fifty, Sons of the Caliphate, On the Real, and The Governor, along with a reality show, The Dating Game and feature film, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel.
In June 2020, Netflix signed a deal with EbonyLife. According to the deal, Mo Abudu is to work with the teams at Netflix to create two original series as well as multiple Netflix-branded films. Among the highlights will be a film adaptation of Death and the King’s Horseman, a play by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, and a series based on Lola Shoneyin’s best-selling debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
Moments with Mo
By October 2009, over 200 episodes had been recorded and aired with topics ranging from lifestyle, through health, culture, politics, entertainment, tradition, to music and inter-racial marriages. Guests have included celebrities, Presidents, Nobel Laureates, and the 67th US Secretary-of-State Hillary Clinton, Abudu says the show "highlights the life and accomplishments of a usually well known, but sometimes an undiscovered African individual who by his or her own tenacity and determination has accomplished something, overcome something or been a catalyst for something that makes her or him a role model to others."
Aired on M-Net with TV coverage in 48 African countries, the show now also airs on terrestrial and cable TV in other parts of the world.
The show's success and intention to change the world's perception of the African continent has led to comparisons to Oprah Winfrey, with The Independent and Slate Afrique calling her "Africa's Oprah" or "Nigerian Winfrey", respectively.
Abudu is the creator and executive producer of The Debaters, a reality television show. Funded by Guaranty Trust Bank, it launched on 3 October 2009. The show focuses on "giving Africa a voice" by promoting oratory.
Honours & Recognitions
Forbes Africa recognised Abudu as the first African woman to own a Pan-Africa TV channel (2013). She was listed as one of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV by The Hollywood Reporter in (2013) and received the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Women Werk in New York (2014). In 2014, she was honoured with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (Honouris Causa) from Babcock University. For her contributions to the broadcasting industry in Nigeria, her alma mater, the University of Westminster conferred an honorary doctorate degree on her in 2018 during the university's graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London. Abudu was nominated to serve as a member of the Advisory Group on Technology and Creatively for Nigeria. Abudu was appointed a Director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the organization responsible for staging the world-famous International Emmy Award. The Academy later appointed her as Chair of the 47th International Emmy Awards Gala, held in New York on Monday November 25, 2019. She was the first African to land the role. In 2019, she was awarded the MIPTV's 2019 Médailles d'Honneur, in Cannes, France, making her the first African to be a recipient of the reputable award. Later that year, Abudu was announced as being listed in the 2020 Powerlist, listing the Top 100 of the most influential people in the UK of African/African-Caribbean descent. She is featured in the 493-page book, Greatest Blacks Ever: Top 100 Blacks Who Changed the World for Peace. Progress. Prosperity. Pleasure., authored by Ambassador Elliston Rahming and published by Dog Ear Publishing
Ebony Life Place was launched by Mo Abudu in the month of December 2019. It is Nigeria's first lifestyle and entertainment resort. It boosts unique features like: EbonyLife Place, EbonyLife Cinemas,The White Orchid Hotel,Popina,Túraká rooftop restaurant & bar,The Wrap Pool Bar & Restaurant,The Victoria Hall,The VVIP Lounges. It is situated at 1637 Adetokunbo Ademola Street, Victoria Island, Lagos.
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