Mo Abudu, an entrepreneur with a predilection for television, launched EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first global black entertainment and lifestyle network, in 2013. Her primary goal for the channel was to create a more positive narrative around Africa. What followed was a string of aspirational series like The Governor, about Nigeria’s first female state governor; Desperate Housewives Africa, based on Disney’s original series; and Sons of the Caliphate, a drama about the rivalry between rich and powerful families in northern Nigeria’ and Castle & Castle, Africa’s first premium legal series amongst others.
In her quest to change global perceptions about Africa, Abudu took the plunge into filmmaking with the creation of EbonyLife Films in 2014. She executive produced Fifty, directed by Biyi Bandele, produced by Tope Oshin Ogun, and starring Nse Ikpe-Etim, Ireti Doyle, Omoni Oboli, and Dakore Akande. Fifty was Nigeria’s highest-grossing drama and number 1 film in 2015. Fifty was also the only Nigerian film selected to screen at the 59th BFI London Film Festival. Fifty was acquired by Netflix in 2015.
As CEO of EbonyLife Media, Abudu has made her mark through various endeavors in the corporate world, and Forbes described her as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman” while CNN said she was “Africa’s Queen of Media who conquered the continent.” Abudu oversees all five divisions of EbonyLife Media, which includes EbonyLife TV, EbonyLife Films, EbonyLife ON, EbonyLife Studios, and EbonyLife Productions Limited (UK).