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Nigeria Africa's Oprah

 

If you call her the lady of the moment,  you won’t be wrong, as that is what Mosunmola Abudu, better known as Mo Abudu, is at the moment. An ambitious lady who has been likened to the American international TV personality, Oprah Winfrey, Abudu has for long had a dream that is just coming to reality. Like Winfrey, Abudu stamped her face in people’s memories through hosting a TV program, Moments with Mo, which was fashioned after Winfrey’s, a talk show with interesting guests and audience participation.

Could we delve into your growing up days?

I grew up with my grandmother in Ondo and I learnt a lot from her that I can say has really shaped my person and character.  Growing up with older people exposes you to great wisdom. Believe me, my grandmother was very wise.

 

How were you able to cope with the death of your dad when you were still so young?

It was really painful. I was only 11 years when my father died. It has made me stronger and very independent. Of course, I miss my dad terribly. He was kind and gentle and I have the fondest memories of him.

 

Where do you get the strength from in terms of family support?

From my Mother, she is my pillar of support.  My mother tells me that I can do absolutely anything.  She is always praying for me and encouraging me. She is my number one supporter and fan. I also draw support from my children, currently both in England and all grown up and independent,  I am no soccer mum, but I am there for my kids at all times and I thank God that I have children who understand me. I miss them a lot as they are both in England studying. Back to my mum, I don’t know what I would do without her, she holds me up 24/7. She is always there for me. Thank you, mum. And not forgetting a few of my friends, who have become family members. Thank you for being there for me. Last but not least, my large EbonyLife TV family. I spend most of my days and nights with them. Without them, the EbonyLife journey would never have been realized.

 

What’s the greatest mistake you have ever made in life?

Not having more children!

 

What do you consider your best achievement yet?

My children. In my own small way, I have done a number of things I am proud of, to include setting up Vic Lawrence, still a leading force in the H.R consulting space today. The conceptualization of Protea Hotel Oakwood Park, now running into its 10th year; Inspire Africa; Moments with Mo, now in its 7th year; Naija Diamonds … and of course, The Debaters Reality Show; but my kids top it all. I thank God for giving them to me as a special gift.

At 49 and with so many achievements, will you agree that God has really blessed you?

Oh Yes, He has and I am very grateful. Thank you Lord!

What lessons will you say life has taught you?

Life has taught me never to give up. No matter what happens, you must never, ever give up. The secret to success as I have learnt is that sometimes, the toughest of times are usually the precursors of the greatest breakthroughs, so I never give up. I am often being spurred on by those who say ‘No’. If nothing else, the law of averages and statistics says somebody will eventually say yes, so keep going! Not everyone will agree with you. Sometimes, you meet people who agree with you or share your views and at other times you meet people who don’t. All you have to do is work with those who agree with you; and with those who don’t agree with you, simply move on.

 

How was the idea of Ebony Life TV conceived?

From day one when I approached MNET I was already requesting for a channel opportunity. I equally explored getting a channel on Sky in the UK. This was in 2006! I still have all the e-mails to prove it, but as with all things, God’s appointed time is the best time. Perhaps, if I had attempted the journey of EbonyLife TV before now, it would have been a disaster, because now all the pieces fit together so well! We have produced the most amazing content that some said wouldn’t be possible. We have the most amazing team, passionate Nigerians with a few experts making history in media and production. And this whole success story just wouldn’t have been possible without the support of the Cross River State Government and Studio Tinapa, the only purpose-built studio facility in Sub Saharan Africa. And of course, our financiers, First Bank plc, who understood our passion, drive and business model! And to DSTV! What can I say? Thank you, for giving us a Pan African platform to fulfill this dream. It took us four whopping years to get the final sign off, but looking back I have to say the wait was worth it.

 

ebonylife-tv-banner

 

What is the channel’s set target and how do you intend to achieve that?

EbonyLife TV’s set target or vision is to be the preferred Global Network for Premium African Entertainment. And to answer the second question, we intend to achieve this by creating original, premium and inspiring content with an African Soul that showcases the best of Africa for a Global Black audience. My vision for EbonyLife TV is to create content that speaks to the continent’s most important demographic – the youth – the custodians of the present and of the future, aged 18 to 34.  No one is speaking to this key demographic of the continent. They crave a platform for self-expression, they want a voice, they want to be heard and we at EbonyLife TV think it is time for them to be heard. This is our key focus. We equally believe that this important demographic sees a different Africa, an Africa that tells its own story through the showcasing of the continent’s best; also very vital is the need to give African brands, big and small, the opportunity to be seen on a global scale, showing the world that African brands are more than capable to compete with the world’s best. For too long, the world just doesn’t appreciate, understand or see who we truly are because our stories just aren’t being told by us, but now it is time. At EbonyLife TV we know it is time.

 

Many TV programmes are begging for my attention, why would you want me to watch Ebony Life TV?

The programming on EbonyLife TV is original, fresh and inspiring. Most importantly, we are speaking to the youth. Our target demographic is 18 to 34 and we call them the custodians of the present and the future. The truth is that no one is really speaking to the youth in Africa and even though they make up to 60% of the population on the African continent, still no one is really speaking to them in an effective way. We have done our research and studied the key passions driving this dynamic target demographic. We know what it takes and have what it takes to engage them. Our unique array of programming, to include Talk, Lifestyle, Reality, Entertainment, Drama, Comedy and loads more, will definitely hold the target spell-bound and keep viewers glued to their TV sets.

 

What’s the idea of Forbes attending the launch later this month and how were you able to get his commitment?

The idea behind Forbes attending our launch is rather simple. As a Network that believes in Africa, it was only natural that we would always celebrate the Best of Africa; I mean Africans who have continued to have significant influence on the media, entertainment, business, political and economic landscapes of the African continent. Forbes, as you know, is a world renowned establishment which has become a symbol of distinction across the world for recognizing worthy business decision-makers, investors and progressive individuals for making real impact around the world by stimulating business growth, spearheading innovation, creating employment and influencing great change in the economy of the world, or of their nation. We are therefore grateful to the establishment for buying into our vision and idea to do this. It was not an easy process though. The procedure was one that saw us go back and forth for quite a while. It entailed months of intense research and a thorough verification exercise by Forbes. After all of this, Forbes decided to be a part of our noble plan to celebrate the Best of Africa. I believe that when we celebrate Africa’s best, the world will find more beautiful things to celebrate about us and our continent’s image will be better for it.

 

How are you going to manage “Moments with Mo” and the running of your new channel?

Moments with Mo is in its 7th year now and to God’s glory, the programme is practically on auto pilot. From humble beginning, it has now grown to become an internationally acclaimed Show, established as Africa’s first and only daily talk show, inspiring millions of people in many parts of the continent. Even better yet, there’s a new, refreshing and exciting twist to Moments with Mo as it is now set to be a Daily Show, running on EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment Channel. Also, viewers will be treated to a truly amazing experience as I would be joined by two engaging and formidable new co-Hosts who, together with me, will continue to make Moments with Mo the platform for inspirational and successful Africans and their wonderful stories which transcend all spheres of interest.


What has sustained your TV programme till date?

It has absolutely been the grace of God. It has been an amazing journey and we remain eternally grateful to have tremendous support from friends who have continuously believed in us through the years. This incredible journey that I am on in the Media would never have seen the light of day without certain people believing in me. I have to thank Mr. Sola Akinfemiwa, then the MD of Skye Bank who invested in Inspire Africa; Joe Hundah, then MD of MNET who gave Moments with Mo a window on MNET in 2006; MTN, for being my most consistent sponsor of Moments with Mo over the years, SA tourism and many others who believed in our vision and sponsored the show.

 

What do you cherish about life?

What I cherish the most about life is the ability to make the impossible possible; making something out of nothing. I believe that if you can think it, you can do it and I thank God because He has always been there for me. My faith in God propels me to continue to achieve because this has been the story of my life. The fact that EbonyLife TV was only sometime ago just a dream and the fact that it has now become such an amazing reality fills me with great joy and happiness. I know that with focus, hard work and determination, the impossible can be made possible. This is what I most cherish about life.

What’s the secret behind your ever radiant look?

Well that depends on if I am having a bad or good hair day! Jokes apart, I don’t know what it is. I turn 50 next year and I do wonder where the grey hair is? Where are the wrinkles? And I still seem to have perfect sight; no glasses yet. But I think it runs in the family. If you meet my mum, she is in her 70′s and she doesn’t look it. So I think that is a family trait. But I am obsessed with beauty treatments, facials, diet and exercise, I think that helps. Of course, I indulge in cakes and ice cream, but never for long before I correct my ways! Good or bad, I am always on a diet!

 

Where did you spend your last holiday?

Monaco.

Which of your dreams are yet to be realised?

The day you stop dreaming is the day you die. I believe there are quite a few of my dreams that are yet to be realized and I trust God for life, grace and the wisdom to see those dreams through.

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