Mosunmola Abudu, usually known as Mo Abudu, is a Nigerian media mogul, media personality, philanthropist, and former human resources management, consultant. She has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”.
Early Life and Education: Abudu was born 1 September 1964, in Hammersmith, west London. Her early years were spent in the UK. She attended the Ridgeway School, MidKent College, and West Kent College.
Achievements: In 2006, Abudu started EbonyLife TV, a network airing in more than 49 countries across Africa, as well as in the UK and the Caribbean. It is a subsidiary of Media and Entertainment City Africa (MEC Africa). EbonyLife TV is located at Tinapa Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. 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 the 19th century West African kingdom. Abudu established EbonyLife Films. Her first film as executive producer was Fifty. Teaming up with The ELFIKE Collective in 2016, she produced The Wedding Party, which became the highest-grossing title of all time in the Nigerian film industry. Abudu is the Executive Producer and host of a TV talk show, Moments with Mo, which is the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional television.
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. 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.
Legacy: Forbes Africa recognized 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 honored with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) from Babcock University. 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 SlateAfrique calling her “Africa’s Oprah” or “Nigerian Winfrey”, respectively.