Monday, 4th December 2023

Mosunmola Abudu: Loud rhythms for media mogul, creative amazon at 59

By Shaibu Husseini
16 September 2023   |   3:06 am
Call the loud rhythms that sounded four days ago across the globe for Monsumola Abudu, aka Mo Abudu, a dress rehearsal ahead of the big 60 celebration and you will just be right.

Mo Abudu

Call the loud rhythms that sounded four days ago across the globe for Monsumola Abudu, aka Mo Abudu, a dress rehearsal ahead of the big 60 celebration and you will just be right.

Before the muezzin call and the church bell rang early on Monday morning, over two million people had engaged the comment section of several social media handles to celebrate the producer and the Amazon of the Nigerian motion picture after she shared a post of gratitude to mark her attaining 59.

‘Gratitude fills my heart as I mark my 59th birthday today,’ the amazon wrote, adding, “Every step of my journey, every accomplishment and every blessing are a testament to the boundless Grace of God. Today, I stand in awe of His unwavering guidance and love that have shaped my life.’ Continuing, the wife, mother and grandmother wrote, “All that I am, All that I have, and ALL that I will become are beautifully orchestrated by His divine hand. With humility and joy, I acknowledge that my journey is a reflection of His mercy and favor. I give Him all the glory.”

Kind words from her colleagues, family, fans and followers of EbonyLife Group brand, a brand the creative amazon established with a vision to accelerate filmmaking skills in Nigeria, through experiential learning, and to get Nigerian stories to a global audience, filled social media space.

In celebrating her, Moses Babatope of the Filmone group described the recipient of the national honour award of Officer of the Order of the Niger (OON) as an extraordinary achiever. ‘Happy birthday to an extraordinary achiever and one who makes close to 3 scores or 5 dozen years, look so cool. We celebrate your life of inspiration and impact today and always.’

Star actress Funke Akindele who is currently holidaying in England, sent a terse message to celebrate Mo Abudu at 59. “Wow. You look so hot at 59 ma. I pray that you live longer in good health and wealth ma. Enjoy your day.’

The icing on the birthday cake for the media mogul, and philanthropist, who has been described by Forbes as ‘Africa’s Most Successful Woman’ and rated as one of the ‘25 Most Powerful Woman in Global Television’ by the authoritative Hollywood Reporters, was another declaration this Thursday by Forbes that the founder of EbonyLife group has been ranked on the Forbes World’s 100 Most Powerful Women list of 2022.

“Its an honour to be on the list,” an elated Mo Abudu said. “But it does not mean I or EbonyLife are challenge-free. I am no stranger to challenges. But a major obsession for me is finding ways to turn my challenges into amazing opportunities.”

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. 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 who also founded the EbonyLife Creative Academy in 2021 as a way of accelerating filmmaking skills, 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’s 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).

A voting member of the Academy of Motion Arts and Sciences, popularly known as ‘THE OSCARS’, 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 many 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 which features 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.

Mo Abudu recently signed two short films – ‘Her Perfect Life’ and ‘Iyawo Mi’ as director. The two films, her directorial debut screened at the short film corner of Cannes Film Festival and at Martha’s Vineyard African American Film Festival. A Nigerian premiere of the two films is being planned for later this month to mark her attaining 59.

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