After asking people at London’s Marble Arch what they thought about Africa, Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu was horrified when all of the responses dealt with poverty, corruption, and starving babies. Their ignorance of Africa lit a fire in the former human resources exec and led her to abandon her two-decade long career at Exon-Mobil to become a self-taught talk show host.
“Not every African woman has a pile of wood on her head and a baby strapped to her back!” the 48-year-old told The Associated Press.
“We watch Hollywood as if all of America is Hollywood. In that same vein we need to start selling the good bits of Africa.”
Abudu, who has been compared to media maven Oprah Winfrey, found success with “Moments with Mo,” a talk show which was broadcast in Africa and the UK.
Since setting out to offer another perspective on Africa, Abudu has interviewed both celebrities and politicians like Hilary Clinton, R. Kelly, Diane Von Furstenberg, and Ghana’s former president John Kufuor.
Now, Abudu is taking her media empire to a new level. She recently launched EbonyLife TV, which is set to air in nearly every country on the continent and highlight Africa’s growing middle class.
Their mission? “To be Africa’s first global black multi-broadcast network, produced by Africans for a global black audience.”
The burgeoning network will include the sitcom “Sistaz,” which is about “two Greek-Nigerian sisters and a British-born Nigerian friend who check into the Eko Hotel for a holiday reunion and rediscover the passion of sisterhood and the vibrant city of Lagos,” and the award-winning film “New Horizons,” which explores “the plight of women across the continent subjected to domestic abuse,” a crime that is rarely discussed.
Through a mix of original programming and films, Abudu is hopeful EbonyLife TV will captivate audiences. And as she notes, “Everything you think you know about Africa is about to change.’”