Nigerian entrepreneur Mo Abudu has been called “Africa’s Oprah Winfrey” because of her vast media empire and popular talk show, but it’s a label she doesn’t want.
“Oprah Winfrey is someone I have a huge amount of respect for, but what I often find is that the West always needs to find a reference point in the West for something that goes back to Africa,” she said in a recent interview with the BBC. “I admire her, I think she’s done a lot of great things, we have some things in common, but I would like to be called Mo.”
Abudu’s stance is indicative of her mission to change the narrative about Africa. Since founding EbonyLifeTV, Africa’s first global Black multi-broadcast entertainment network,” in 2013, Abudu’s channel has launched in 49 countries across the continent, she was named the most successful woman in Africa by Forbes, and she’s just produced her first film, Fifty.
While many across the diaspora look to the West for examples, Abudu’s goal is to tell African stories–for Africans, by Africans.
“We are going to give the stories an African flavor. We will localize it, because there’s nothing that the West has that Africa doesn’t have: we love, we fight, we kiss, we make up,” she told the BBC. “We like all the good things in life. There’s good and there’s evil globally. So all those human interests, those things that appeal to you, believe me, appeal to us also.”
Take a look at Mo Abudu’s interview with the BBC below.
(h/t Shadow & Act)