Aptly described as “Africa’s Oprah Winfrey”, Monsumola Abudu is a Nigerian female media mogul, media personality, philanthropist and former human resources management consultant and head of Africa’s most successful media venture.
Monsumola Abudu usually known as Mo Abudu was born on the 11th of September, 1964. She was born in Hammersmith, West London. She spent her early years in the UK and obtained a Masters degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Westminster in London.
She was formerly married to Tokunbo Abudu and has two children, a son and a daughter.
Mo Abudu established EbonyLife Tv, a television network airing in the UK, Caribbean and more than 50 countries across Africa. It was formerly located at Tinapa Resort in Calabar, Cross River state, Nigeria. EbonyLife is a subsidiary of Media and Entertainment City Africa (MEC Africa).
She launched a TV talk show, Moments with Mo in which she was the executive producer and host. Moments with Mo was the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional television. By October 2009, over 200 episodes had been aired and recorded. The show featured an array of topics ranging from culture, politics, entertainment, lifestyle, health, marriages and various numerous topics. Notable celebrities, Nobel laureates, Presidents and even the 67th US Secretary of State, former first lady and democratic Presidential candidate, Hillary Rodham Clinton have been guests on the show. The show aired on MNET with satellite TV coverage in over 40 African countries and now also airs in other parts of the world on terrestrial and cable TV.
Multichoice Africa launched EbonyLife TV on July 1st, 2013 and it started broadcasting to a pan-African audience through the DSTV cable network. In 2018, EbonyLife TV ended its exclusive arrangement with DSTV and expanded broadcasting to other satellite TV networks. In addition to that, a global, digital video-on-demand (VOD) service, EbonyLife ON was launched.
In 2013, Mo Abudu launched EbonyLife Films and its debut movie was “Fifty”, one she executively produced and is also available globally on Netflix. Subsequently, EbonyLife Films has released some of the highest grossing Nigerian movies. Some of the movies include the globally renowned “The Wedding Party 1&2”, “The Royal Hibiscus Hotel’, “Chief Daddy”, “Oloture” and the recently released “Your Excellency”. EbonyLife films has also produced notable series like “Fifty”, a serial spinoff of the hit movie with the original cast, “Sons of the Caliphate”, “Castle&Castle” and other series.
She is the creator and executive producer of “The Debaters”, a reality television show funded by Guaranty Trust Bank. The show launched on 3rd October, 2009 and focused on giving Africa a voice by promoting oratory skills.
Recently, Mo Abudu opened her newly completed multibillion Naira structure, the EbonyLife place studios. The studio which comprises of cinemas and film making facilities is the first of its kind in Nigeria.
She has sealed her place and status as one of Nigeria’s top filmmakers with her production of top grossing movies and with the recent opening of her EbonyLife place studios. Mo Abudu is the first Nigerian to chair the International Emmy Awards. She is also a recipient of various awards. In 2013, The Hollywood Reporter named her one of “25 Most Powerful Women in Global Tv”. The following year, in 2014, she received the “Entrepreneur of the Year” award by Women Werk in New York. She was listed as one of “Forbes Africa Most Successful Women” in 2015. Three years after, she was named one of the “50 Women Making Impact In Showbiz” by Variety Magazine. She was also featured in 2018 UK “100 Black Powerlist” alongside Meghan Markle, Lewis Hamilton and Anthony Joshua. In 2019, she became the first African to ever receive the MIPTV (Marché International des Programmes de Telévision), a renowned award given to senior executives that have immense, notable contributions to the global television industry. The University of Westminster has also awarded an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts for her outstanding work in broadcasting and enterprise in Nigeria.
With notable global strides in the media and film production industry, Mo Abudu has clinched her place as a female pacesetter in a male dominated profession. She is a worthy role model for upcoming female entrepreneurs, not just those in the media world.