Success Story: Meet Mo Abudu, The First Woman To Own A Global TV Network In Africa
Mosunmola Abudu, usually known as Mo Abudu, is a talk show host, TV producer, media personality, human resources management consultant, entrepreneur and philanthropist.
Mosunmola Abudu is an indigene of Ondo state of Nigeria, born in the United Kingdom. When she was only 7 years old, Mo Abudu’s family which were resident in the United Kingdom relocated to Lagos, Nigeria, Mo was made to stay with her grandparents who were cocoa farmers at Ondo State. With her grannies, Mo learnt African culture.
Mo attended attended Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School. When she was 12, her father died and shortly after that, she returned to the UK where she attended Hammersmith County Secondary School and Ridgeway School in Kent. Then, Mo was living with her guardian in Tunbridge Wells. Afterwards, she attended West Kent College and MidKent College. She has obtained a Masters Degree in HR Management from the University of Westminster, London.
Mo Abudu is a member of the British Psychological Society, and is consequently qualified in occupational and personality testing.
After acquiring a formal education, Mo picked-up a career in the UK as a recruitment consultant in the year 1987. She became a branch manager of the establishment she worked for. She later got a job with the Starform Group, where she became the manager of the Corporate Credit Management Exhibition between the years 1990 and 1992.
In the year1993, Abudu picked-up another job with Arthur Andersen for Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited (now ExxonMobil). There, she was the head of Human Resources and Training unit. She later left the company in the year 2000 to establish her own a privately owned specialist human resources development company which she called Vic Lawrence & Associates Limited (popularly known as VLA). As she ran her VLA, Abudu started an executive training center which operates at the Protea Hotel, Oakwood Park, Lagos.
Abudu is the Executive Producer & 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 numerous 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 Rodham 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 TV show. Funded by Guaranty Trust Bank, it launched on 3 October 2009. The show focuses on “giving Africa a voice” by promoting oratory.
Abudu is the founder of The Inspire Africa Foundation, a human investment arm of Inspire Africa Ltd. It is registered as a non-profit organisation focused on raising funds to implement society-transforming initiatives.
In January 2009, the Inspire Africa Foundation alongside Moments with Mo, the Lagos State Government and UNICEF held a telethon and a charity benefit concert with the theme “Rock with a Conscience”. Donations from the concert have gone towards the protection of street children
The Foundation has opened a charity store branded “The Designers Outlet for Charity”, which opened on 5 December 2009 in Lagos, Nigeria. The foundation is also developing a children’s shelter called “The Harbour”.
In recognition of her outstanding work in diverse fields especially the media,and her service to humanity, she has been honoured with many laurels.
Mo Abudu launched Ebony Life Television, “Africa’s first Global Black Multi-Broadcast Entertainment Network” on 1 July 2013. As obtained on the television website, Ebony Life TV is “a multi-platform broadcaster set to reach Africa’s most important target demographic, the custodians of the present and the future. Ebony Life TV is located at Tinapa Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, Nigeria. Ebony Life TV has been founded with a mission to create “Original, Premium and Inspiring content with an African Soul that showcases the best of Africa for a Global Black audience.”
Through Ebony Life Films, she’s constantly redefining African cinema, and pushing bold and audacious narratives. Mo is the producer of 2016 box-office record breaking movie ‘The Wedding Party’ – a movie that endeared itself to critics and fans alike.
Abudu lives in Lagos, Nigeria, and enjoys international travel to London, Paris, New York City, Cape Town, and Johannesburg. She has a son and a daughter which are products of Abudu’s first shot at marriage before she split with her husband Tokunbo Abudu a few years after.
Awards & Recognition
In 2013, Mo was named by Forbes Media as the ‘First African woman to launch a Pan-Africa TV channel’.
In 2013, She made the list of ‘One of the 25 Most Powerful Women in Global TV’ by the Hollywood Reporter.
In 2014, Mo Abudu won the Entrepreneur of the Year at the International Women’s Day forum, in Manhattan, New York, United States.
In 2014, she received an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honouris Causa) from Babcock University; Nigeria’s premier private university.
In 2016, She was also honoured as ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’ by Women Week in New York
In 2017, Mo Abudu was named in FAME Women Awards of Excellence.