National Honours For Emeka Rollas Ejezie, Mo Abudu
Two notable Nollywood practitioners, Emeka Rollas Ejezie and Mosunmola Abudu popularly known as Mo Abudu, are among the 437 Nigerians and friends of Nigeria selected to receive national honours from the federal government. They were the only two from the motion picture industry that made the cut.
While Ejezie, actor, producer and President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN) will be conferred with national honours in the rank of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON), one of Nigeria’s internationally best known Media Personality, Human Resource Management Consultant, Entrepreneur and venture Capitalist Mo Abudu will be conferred with the honour in a higher class of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON). Their investiture ceremony has been fixed for October 11, and they would by that ceremony, join the unofficial club of Nollywood practitioners that have been honoured by the federal government for their invaluable contributions to the growth and development of that non-oil sector of the nation’s economy.
Those that have been previously honoured include Omotola Jalade Ekeinde (MFR), Patience Ozokwo (MFR), Peace Anyiam-Osigwe (MFR), Zeb Ejiro (OON), Teco Benson (MFR), Kanayo O. Kanayo (MFR) and Stephanie Linus-Idahosa (MFR). Moviedom salutes Ejezie and Abudu for giving the industry something to cheer about on this diet of the national honours award.
HAILED as the Amazon of the Nigerian motion picture space, Mosunmola Abudu, popularly known as Mo Abudu rightly deserves the national honour for her efforts in leading her media outfit-Ebonylife TV and Ebonylife Films to create positive narrative around Nigeria and Africa. Show Hostess, Media Personality, Human Resource Management Consultant, Entrepreneur and venture Capitalist, Mo launched EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first global black entertainment and lifestyle network in 2013, with the primary goal of creating a more positive narrative around Africa.
What followed was a string of inspirational series like The Governor, about Nigeria’s first female state governor; Desperate Housewives Africa, based on Disney’s original series; 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 among others.
Listed by New African magazine as one of the 100 most influential Africans of 2013, Abudu is the production force behind highly successful and critically acclaimed movie productions such as The Wedding Party, Fifty, which was the only Nigerian film selected to screen at the 59th BFI London Film Festival in 2015, Royal Hibiscus Hotel, which screened at Toronto International Film Festival, Oloture and the epic movie Elesin Oba (King Horseman) an adaptation of Wole Soyinka most performed play Death and The King Horseman as directed by Biyi Bandele, and which screened at the 2022 edition of the prestigious Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF).
Indeed, all the movies that Mo Abudu has signed as executive producer have raised the stakes cinematically and box office wise. In fact, it is widely believed that any movie that Abudu signs as executive producer turns gold. For instance, Fifty, which she executive produced, was Nigeria’s highest-grossing drama and number one film in 2015. Similarly, the sequel to the highly successful Wedding Party titled The Wedding Party 2: Destination Dubai, which she executive produced, is regarded as the highest-grossing Nollywood film of all time.
A recipient of different local and international recognition, Abudu has undoubtedly made her mark through various endeavors in the corporate world. Described at a time by CNN as “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) and EbonyLife Place, a luxury entertainment resort will feature a boutique hotel, gourmet restaurant and luxury 5-screen multiplex in the heart of Victoria Island in Lagos.
An alumnus of the Ridgeway School, Mid Kent College, and West Kent College and the University of Westminster in London where she earned her MA in Human Resources Development, Abudu was listed in Hollywood Reporter’s 25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television in 2013 and 2017. The mother of two, a daughter Temidayo and a son Adekoyejo received an Honorary Doctorate Degree (Honouris Causa) from Babcock University, Nigeria’s premier private university. In 2018, the University of Westminster awarded Mo an honorary degree of Doctor of Arts, in recognition of her outstanding services to broadcasting and enterprise in Nigeria amongst other awards, appointments and recognitions.
Emeka Rollas Ejezie
POPULARLY called Emeka Rollas, the actor, movie producer, director and managing director of Rolling Pictures Ltd, a movie production and artiste management company, will be conferred with the national honour of Member of the Order of the Niger (MON) by President Muhammadu Buhari.
Currently, President of the Actors Guild of Nigeria (AGN), Ejezie’s nomination may have been informed by the significant achievements he recorded within the last four years that he has been in the saddle as AGN President. Some of the achievements of the Mass Communication graduate of Federal Polytechnic Oko, Anambra State, include reconciliation of warring factions amidst the leadership crisis that engulfed the Guild for many years, introduction of various welfare packages for members such as retail HMO, trainings and capacity building workshops and creation of job opportunities for members. Ejezie also led the AGN to establish a foundation called AGN Foundation seeks to take care of the needs of veterans and celebrities in the movie industry. The foundation also reaches out to the downtrodden in Nigeria as part of the guild’s Corporate Social responsibility.
Ejezie started acting in 1997 while he was still at the Polytechnic in Oko. His first appearance on screen was in a movie titled Hilda. He rode on the back of the success of Hilda to feature in over 65 movies including The Mighty Woman, Last Warning 1 &2 and Buried Emotions.