By Jennifer Okundia
Nigerian media entrepreneur, philanthropist and former human resources management consultant Mosunmola Abudu, popularly known as Mo Abudu is 56 today.
Mo was born on September 11th 1964 in Hammersmith, West London to an engineer father and caterer mother. Her early years were spent in the UK where she attended the Ridge-way School, Mid-Kent College and West Kent College. She also has a master’s in Human Resource Management from the University of Westminster in London.
She kick started her professional career as a recruitment consultant in 1987 with the Atlas Recruitment Consultancy firm in the UK, and later moved to Star-form Group in 1990. In 1993, Abudu returned to Nigeria and was asked by Arthur Andersen to head the Human Resources and Training for Exxon Mobil.
Abudu is also the founder of Vic Lawrence & Associates Limited. She went on to create, produce and present a TV show- Moments with Mo, and later founded a television station (EbonyLife TV) which has been producing entertainment contents.
Captioning pictures she posted on Instagram, she wrote : Giving God all the glory as I turn 56 years old today. 🙏🏽🙏🏽 ❤❤❤
Hey guys, I am 56 today! Yippee! 💃🏾💃🏾💃🏾 🎈🎊🎉🎂
A mother of two children; a son and a daughter, she was formerly married to Tokunbo Abudu.
In 2006, Mo started EbonyLife TV (ELTV), a network airing in over 49 countries across Africa, also in the UK and the Caribbean, to a pan-African audience. ELTV transmitted its first broadcast on 1 July 2014 on Multichoice’s DSTV Channel 168. Less than a year into operations, ELTV, ranked among the top 25% of most watched channels on the DStv platform, and launched a premium, multi-screen video-on-demand (VOD) platform targeting Africans in the diaspora.
Read well wishes from family and friends below:
Happy birthday to youuuuu amazing, inspiring, resilient beautiful auntie Mo!!! Sending you loads of luv and light! Enjoy your special day 💖💖💖🥳🥳🥳🙏🏾🙏🏾🙏🏾
I celebrate you and all you’ve accomplished. More blessings💐
Happy birthday ma’am .. 🙏 Long life and prosperity.
A very happy Birthday 👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾👏🏾
Whoooop!!! Happy Birthday M.A.!💖💖💖💖💖
Mo established EbonyLife Films in 2014. Her first film as executive producer was Fifty (film). Joining forces with The ELFIKE Collective in 2016, she produced The Nollywood blockbuster Wedding Party. A film which became the highest-grossing title of all time.
Other movies executive-produced or co-produced by Mo include: The Wedding Party 2, The Royal Hibiscus Hotel, Chief Daddy, Your Excellency (film) and Òlòtūré.
In December 2019, she launched Ebonylife Place, a lifestyle and entertainment resort located in Victoria Island, Lagos.
Netflix signed a deal with EbonyLife In June 2020, where Mo has to work with the teams at Netflix to create two original series as well as multiple Netflix-branded films, including a film adaptation of Death and the King’s Horseman, a play by Nobel Prize winner Wole Soyinka, and a series based on Lola Shoneyin’s best-selling debut novel, The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives.
She has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”, and rated as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television” by ‘The Hollywood Reporter’ in 2013. She received the Entrepreneur of the Year award by Women Werk in New York (2014). According to Wikipedia.
Forbes Africa recognized Abudu as the first African woman to own a Pan-Africa TV channel (2013). In 2014, she was honored with an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters (Honouris Causa) from Babcock University for her contributions to the broadcasting industry in Nigeria. Her alma mater, the University of Westminster also conferred an honorary doctorate degree on her in 2018 during the university’s graduation ceremony at the Royal Festival Hall in London.
Mo Abudu was nominated to serve as a member of the Advisory Group on Technology and Creatively for Nigeria and was appointed a Director of the International Academy of Television Arts and Sciences, the organization responsible for staging the world-famous International Emmy Award.
The Academy later appointed her as Chair of the 47th International Emmy Awards Gala, held in New York on Monday November 25, 2019.
In the same year she was awarded the MIPTV’s 2019 Médailles d’Honneur, in Cannes, France, making her the first African to be a recipient of the reputable award.