Forbes has branded Mosunmola Abudu, better known by her stage name Mo Abudu (born 11 September 1964), “Africa’s most successful woman.” In addition to hosting talk shows, Abudu is a TV producer, human resources management consultant, public personality, businesswoman, venture investor, and philanthropist. Mo Abudu established and is the CEO of Ebony Life, the first global black entertainment network in Africa. On July 1st, 2013, it made its premiere on Multichoice DSTV Channel 165. The Independent and Slate Afrique have referred to her as “Africa’s Oprah” and “Nigerian Winfrey,” respectively.
Early Life and Education
Despite having family ties to Ondo Town, Ondo State, in southwest Nigeria, Mo Abudu was born on September 11th, 1964 in Hammersmith, West London. Of the three sisters in the family, she is the oldest. Mosunmola Abudu moved to Nigeria when she was seven years old to live with her grandmother. At the age of eleven, she came back to England. When she was just 11 years old and still a youngster in 1975, her father, an engineer, passed away.
She studied at West Kent College, MidKent College, and Ridgeway School. She graduated from the University of Westminster in London with a master’s degree in human resource management. Mo presently holds a certificate in personality and occupational testing and is a member of the British Psychological Society. She received an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (Honoris Causa) degree from Babcock University in 2014. In appreciation of her services to the Nigerian broadcasting sector, Mo Abudu received an honorary doctorate of arts from the University of Westminster in 2018.
Mo Abudu was selected to represent AVON Cosmetics in the African market at the age of 19. As a recruitment consultant for the UK-based Atlas Recruitment Consultancy company, Mo Abudu started her professional career in 1987. She moved on to the Starform Group in 1990. She returned to Nigeria in 1993, where she was hired by Arthur Andersen to head the ExxonMobil Human Resources and Training division. She established Vic Lawrence & Associates Limited. Moments with Mo was afterwards established, produced, and presented by her, and she later founded a television station (Ebony Life Television). She has since continued to manufacture entertainment products.
Ebony Life TV
Nothing compares to having a goal in mind and a plan in place to achieve it. Mo Abudu, a brilliant businesswoman, had a plan for her future engagement in the media industry. Ebony Life TV, which served as its trademark, was the apex of it all. EbonyLife TV, the first international network devoted to black entertainment and leisure, was created by her in 2013. EbonyLife TV is a part of Media and Entertainment City Africa (MEC Africa). It debuted on MultiChoice DSTV channel 165 at the beginning of this year before moving to Star Times Network. More than 5,000 hours of original drama, talk shows, entertainment, and factual content have been created and broadcast by the channel.
Among the new efforts launched by EbonyLife TV in 2018 were the Video-On-Demand (VoD) service, EbonyLife ON in Africa, and three ventures with Sony Pictures Television.
Temidayo and Adekoyejo Abudu, the couple’s two children, were born into the union of Mo and Tokunbo Abudu (son). She and her spouse formerly divorced over irreconcilable reasons, but following their daughter’s wedding in 2019, they reconciled.
Mo Abudu established the charity “Inspire Africa Foundation” with the goal of obtaining funds to carry out social reform initiatives. The foundation worked with other NGOs to plan a charity concert with the theme “Rock with a Conscience” in 2009 to raise money for essentials for street children.
Together with Monero Construction, the Inspire Africa Foundation built “The Habour,” a 100-bed shelter for street children in Lagos. The organization also manages the charity shop, dubbed “The Designer Outlet for Charity.”
Mo Abudu is the creator and executive producer of the reality television program The Debaters. On October 3, 2009, it made its debut with money provided by Guaranty Trust Bank. In order to “give Africa a voice,” the program places a strong emphasis on oratory.
Moments with Mo
Mo Abudu is the host and executive producer of Moments with Mo, the first syndicated daily conversation show on regional African television. As of October 2009, more than 200 episodes had been created and broadcast, ranging from interracial relationships and music to politics, entertainment, and culture. Celebrities, presidents, Nobel laureates, and Hillary Clinton, the 67th US Secretary of State, have all participated. The program “highlights the life and accomplishments of a typical well-known but sporadically undiscovered African individual who, through their own tenacity and determination, has accomplished something, overcome something, or been a catalyst for something that makes them a role model to others,” according to Abudu.
The program, which debuted on M-Net and had TV coverage in 48 African countries, is currently shown on terrestrial and cable TV all over the world. She was compared to Oprah Winfrey by The Independent and Slate Afrique, calling her “Africa’s Oprah” or “Nigerian Winfrey,” in response to the success of the program and its intention to change how the world views the African continent.
- The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (TV Series)
- Untitled Billionaire Gucci Master Project
- Blood Sisters (TV Mini-Series 2022)
- Chief Daddy 2: Going for Broke (2022)
- Òlòtūré (2019).
- Chief Daddy (2018)
- Castle & Castle(TV Series 2018)
- The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai (2017)
- The Royal Hibiscus Hotel (2017)
- Fifty (TV Series 2017)
- Sons of the Caliphate (TV Series)
- The Wedding Party(2016/II)
- On the Real (TV Series 2016)
- The Governor (TV Series)
- Fifty (2015)
- Desperate Housewives Africa (TV Series 2015)
- Dowry (TV Series 2014)
- Married To The Game-MTTG (TV Series 2014)
- Deadline (TV Series 2014)
- Love and War (TV Movie, 2013)
Abudu was the first African woman to run a Pan-African TV channel, according to Forbes Africa (2013). She received the Entrepreneur of the Year award from Women Werk in New York and was listed among the 25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV by The Hollywood Reporter in 2013. (2014).
The Nigerian Advisory Group on Technology and Creativity welcomed Abudu as a member. The International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, which is in charge of overseeing the International Emmy Award ceremony, appointed Abudu as a Director. She was later selected to serve as the host of the 47th International Emmy Awards Gala, which took place on Monday, November 25, 2019, in New York City. She was the first African to be hired for the position. She was included in the 2018 edition of the Power List, a listing of the top 100 Britons of African and Caribbean origin.
When she accepted the coveted MIPTV Médailles d’Honneur award in 2019 in Cannes, France, she made history by becoming the first African to do so. Abudu was listed among the top 100 British nationals of African or African-Caribbean origin on the 2020 Powerlist later that year. Greatest Blacks Ever: Top 100 Blacks Who Changed the World for Peace, a 493-page book Progress. Prosperity. Ambassador Elliston Rahming’s book Pleasure was released by Dog Ear Publishing.
The 2019 Médailles d’Honneur were given to Mo Abudu at the Marche International des Programmes de Television in Cannes (MIPTV). She won the honor in April 2019 and is one of the four honorees. The Creative Artists Agency served as Mo Abudu’s agent (CAA).
Awards and Nominations
- She was recognised by Forbes Africa as the First Woman to Own a Pan-African TV Channel in 2013.
- 25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV by Hollywood Reporter 2013.
- She was named Entrepreneur of the Year at the International Women’s Day Forum in New York in 2014.
- Babcock University 2014 Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honoris Causa)
- Listed as one of ‘Forbes Africa’s Most Successful Women’ in 2015
- Movie Producer of the Year (English) at the City People Movie Awards 2015
- Special Recognition at the City People Movie Awards 2017
- IoD Entrepreneurial Award by the Institute of Directors Nigeria (IoDN) 2017
- FAME Award of Excellence 2017
- Variety Magazine 2018: 50 Women Making an Impact in the Showbiz by Variety Magazine 2018
- Glazia Persons of the Year Awards 2018
- African Achievers Awards at the UK House of Commons in 2018
She has an estimated net worth of $10.5 million.