Mo Abudu is the only African among Business Insiders’ top 100 visionaries


By Oreoluwa Peters

Chairman/CEO of Ebony Life TV, Mosunmola Mo Abudu has made the list of The Business Insider’s Top 100 creators and business visionaries creating value for the world.
The media personality is 56th on the list  – rubbing shoulders with likes of Mark Zuckerberg CEO of Facebook, Bill and Melinda Gates, Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, and many others.
Being the only African on the list is another remarkable feat in itself – even as she came ahead of founders of world-renowned corporations such as Snapchat, Linkedin, Spotify, Zara, Uber, amongst many.
Here’s what the US magazine wrote about Mo Abudu.
“Mosunmola “Mo” Abudu is chairman and CEO of one of Africa’s most successful new media ventures — the Nigeria-based television network EbonyLife TV, which endeavors to tell real African stories and change the conversation around the continent.
Growing up in the UK raised by Nigerian parents, Abudu was subjected to slews of ignorant, “mind-boggling” comments and questions about African life and culture (“Do you guys live in trees?”), which triggered a desire to dispel the world’s inaccurate perceptions.
“Somewhere deeply buried in my subconscious was a need to tell Africa’s story. My burning desire is just to tell everybody: Listen, we’re not a bunch of savages. We really are gifted,” she told the Independent.
Abudu took an unorthodox route to entertainment. She returned to Nigeria in the early 1990s, working as the head of HR for ExxonMobil until 2000, when she left to launch her own HR consulting firm and, several years later, a hotel in Lagos as well. In 2006, she decided to ditch the corporate world and break into TV. She started “Moments with Mo,” which became the first daily talk show syndicated across the continent, landing high-profile guests like Christine Lagarde, head of the International Monetary Fund, and Hillary Clinton, then the US Secretary of State.
In 2013, Abudu launched EbonyLife, where she produces a wide array of TV shows, from her own talk show to an African version of “Desperate Housewives,” which she landed in a deal with Disney. She has also inked content distribution deals with CBS and Netflix. The network now provides premium content to to 49 countries across Africa, as well as the UK and the Caribbean.”
In response to the accolade, Mo Abudu said, “This is a big moment for the entire EbonyLife TV team. Our goal remains to tell African stories and we do that by annually producing over 1000 hours of premium, original and home grown entertainment programming content. From Talk, Entertainment, Reality, Comedy, Drama, Lifestyle and Factual the channel boasts exclusive ownership of 90% of the content.”
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