Mosunmola Abudu : The woman of many ways

Okonjo Iweala and Mo Abudu at a Babcock Univeristy function

Mosunmola Abudu, popularly known as Mo Abudu is a woman of many parts. She is a talk show, a TV Producer, a media personality and an entrepreneur. Perhaps, the part of her that very few people know about is that she is a Human Resources Consultant.

Mo was born in the UK. When she was 7 years old, her family relocated to Lagos, Nigeria and in order for her to learn about African culture, she was sent to stay with her grandparents at their cocoa farm in Ondo State.

She started her secondary school education when she was 11 years old at Fiwasaye Girls Grammar School.

Unfortunately for her, she lost her dad, while she was still 11 years old. Sometime after the death of her father, Mo returned to the UK, where she continued her secondary school education at Hammersmith County Secondary School before she moved to the Ridgeway School in Kent where she lived with her guardian in Tunbridge Wells. It was from here that she proceeded to college. She attended West Kent College and later MidKent College. She also proceeded to obtain a Masters Degree in Human Resources Management from the University of Westminster, London.

Mo started her career in the UK in 1987 as a recruitment consultant with the Atlas Recruitment Consultancy firm. Within a few years, Mo grew to become a branch manager. Leaving where she first cut her teeth, she went on to work for the Starform Group, managing the Corporate Credit Management Exhibition between 1990 and 1992.

Mo returned to Nigeria in 1993 and was headhunted by Arthur Andersen. She worked as the Head of Human Resources and Training for Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited which is today known as Exxon Mobil. She resigned her duties with the firm in 2000.

Seeing a growing need for a trained and highly motivated talent pool that would take Nigerian businesses into the 21st century, Mo went on to set up her recruitment consulting firm, Vic Lawrence & Associates Limited popularly known as VLA.

A few years after that, Mo started the TV Talk show, Moments with Mo.. Her Moments with Mo talk show has not only been successful, but as a result she has been tagged “Africa’s Queen of Talk”. In some quarters, she is actually referred to as the “Oprah Winfrey of Africa”. 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. According to Mo, 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.

Apart from Moments with Mo, she has also developed other TV programmes which include “The Debaters,” a GT Bank sponsored reality TV show that is highly intellectual, vastly motivating, innovative and entertaining, which gives the youth of Africa a voice; Naija Diamonds, an award winning documentary series, Celebrating the Unsung Heroes of Nigeria.

In 2013, Mo showed the world she wasn’t done yet when she launched her own cable TV station, Ebonylife TV. With this, Mo Abudu is arguably the first woman on the African continent to own a pan-African TV channel. EbonyLife TV is a channel on DSTV which has over 15million viewers in 44 countries including United Kingdom and United States of America and it is said to be worth around N2 billion.

Ebonylife TV has also gone ahead to make acquisition of the services of 13 independent producers to produce film content for TV, a project which a film expert estimates will cost about N2.5 million per production. A subsidiary of Media and Entertainment City Africa (MEC Africa), Ebony Life TV is located in 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.

Mo Abudu is also the founder of The Inspire Africa Foundation, a non-profit organization 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. Also, Inspire Africa Foundation in partnership with Moreno Construction, has built “The Harbour”, a one hundred-bed home for street children in Lagos.

Mo is also co-owner of the Protea Hotel, Oakwood Park, Lekki Expressway, Lagos, which is worth over N2 billion. The 5-Star hotel which is set on over a hectare of land, comprises of state-of-the-art conferencing and leisure facilities and is among the best Proteas in Nigeria.

In 2013, in consideration of her hardwork, Forbes gave her an award as the first African woman to launch a Pan-African TV Channel. She was called “Africa’s Queen of Talk.” The award reiterates the fact that Mo has indeed treaded grounds that many may have considered an uphill task even for some of the highest flying African women.

Mo has a son and a daughter, who in her words “I love them so very much; I can‘t get over the fact that I am a mother.

Even at 50, Mo is still waxing strong.



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