“For women, never ever see your gender as a handicap. Never think yourself inferior. Be ready to do twice the work for half the usual reward. Work with your passion, let it consume and drive you. Also surround yourself with like minds. You should exhaustively curate those who will go along with you on your journey.”
Mo Abudu, a 50 year-old Nigerian media entrepreneur and talk show host, is the founder of Ebony Life TV, a fast-growing black African multi-broadcast entertainment network, which showcases informative and entertaining programmes that portray Africa at its best. Abudu, who has been described by international news outlets as ‘Africa’s Africa’, is keen in her resolve to rewrite Africa’s story.
Abudu’s passion to help change the narrative about Africa began to grow as far back as when she was a teenager schooling in Tunbridge Wells in the UK, a town that had just a few blacks at the time. The afro-pessimism surrounding her simply fuelled a burning, deep-seated desire in her subconscious to one day help to rewrite the African story; to get people to talk about the issues that affect the African society and to tell the African narrative in a contemporary and interesting way; to change the perception the world had of Africans; to let the world know that in spite of our challenges as a developing continent, Africans are not a bunch of savages but mostly a breed of gifted and remarkable people. So, after Abudu returned to Nigeria in her late twenties, she started a successful career as Head of HR & Admin for ExxonMobil, and later became a shareholder and director of the Protea Hotel Oakwood Park, and founder of Vic Lawrence & Associates, now one of Nigeria’s leading outsourcing firms.
Despite her success from all these business ventures, nothing had given Abudu the most fulfillment as the prospect of exploiting the media as a tool to affect global perceptions about Africa. So, with no TV experience whatsoever, she approached DStv and in 2006, Moments with Mo talk show was born out of the vision to build and project a new, stronger, more independent and more confident Africa; an Africa that speaks for itself; that celebrates its people and achievements and solves its own problems.
Almost at the same time, Abudu started thinking of establishing EbonyLifeTV, a bigger platform to achieve her vision to project Africa in a different, more positive light. EbonyLife TV creates content that speaks to the youth aged 18 to 34, a demographic that is extremely passionate and confident; tremendously creative and global-minded. It is one that craves a platform for self-definition and self-expression; one that sees a different Africa, an Africa that tells its own story through the showcasing of the continent’s best talents, from lifestyle and entertainment to fashion and music, education, information, love and relationships. So, with the mantra “Live the EbonyLife”, the channel broadcasts premium, original and exclusively African programming which is both inspirational and aspirational, celebrating style and success while motivating the audience to dream and dream big. Thanks to her previous business training from the corporate world, Abudu took EbonyLife TV off the ground quickly and keeps running till today.
Abudu has learned that information is power. One needs to be armed with information in order to successfully navigate any venture. As she said, “Information is your compass. If you know better, you will do better. Before deciding to enter into any venture, one must, to the best of his ability have explored possibilities for growth, foreseen challenges, made projections, thought exhaustively through every inch and breadth of the venture and researched what other people have done to succeed and where they failed.”
(Courtesy of Mfonobong Nsehe: http://www.forbes.com/sites/mfonobongnsehe/2015/01/01/africas-most-successful-women-mo-abudu/)