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Africa's Oprah Winfrey Launching Her Own TV Network As Well

by Courtney
July 28, 2012 12:46 PM
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Mo Abudu

The "Africa's Oprah Winfrey" label isn't one I came up with; that's what she's been called within and outside of Africa, although she's originally from Nigeria, born and educated in the UK primarily.

And I should note that it's a label she rejects; although I wonder if the two have ever met. I couldn't find any evidence that they have.

Her name is Mo Abudu, a talk show host, TV producer, media personality. Her talk show, Moments with Mo, was launched in 2006 on South Africa's subscription-funded TV network M-Net, and is said to be the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional television.

The talk show was an instant success, immediately drawing comparisons to the Oprah Winfrey Show, covering numerous topics ranging from lifestyle, health, culture, politics, entertainment, and much more, with guests including celebrities, Presidents, Nobel Laureates, and even the 67th US Secretary-of-State Hillary Rodham Clinton.

And with the success of Moments with Mo (it aired in 48 African countries, and also now airs on cable TV in other parts of the world), the 47-year-old entrepreneur is launching a new network set to debut on South African pay-TV platform DStv called EbonyLife TV.

It is set to launch in early 2013. It's the first time that a fully Nigerian-owned network will be carried by DStv.

No word yet on what the new network's programming will include specifically, but Ms Abudu says the 24 hour channel will focus on celebrating the lives and accomplishments of Africans, and providing a more complete representation of continental Africa.

Content will include original series, news and talkshows, along with imported content "that addresses issues relevant to black audiences in Africa and its diaspora."

Mo Abudu states:

The goal of the new network is to produce content that gives young people hope across the continent [a group that she says remains underserved by African media, apart from music-driven channels like MTV Base]. These are the people that 10 years from now are going to be running the continent, and we're not engaging them. We want to make sure that the content we produce has global appeal... The vision is a global vision for EbonyLife.

Production on original content is reportedly already in motion, as Abudu works on finding partners around the world to expand EbonyLife TV's reach internationally.

Something to watch going forward...

By the way, Tinapa Studios, a high-end film and TV production studio in Nigeria is being redeveloped Mo Abudu; and it also happens to be home to the production of Half Of A Yellow Sun, which wrapped shooting a few weeks ago.

And if you'd like to watch Mo in action on her show, it has a YouTube channel with clips from episodes of the show, like the one I embedded below (access the YouTube channel HERE):

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  • ANONYMOUS | October 17, 2012 4:19 AMReply


  • anon | August 1, 2012 6:48 PMReply

    wow this is the sort of thing i like to hear africa is rising people and i for one am deligheted! no moaning and complaing about lack of represemtation they're just getting on with it and they have the money to back them up. this woman is intelligent she jknw wshe couldnt do this in england so she went back to africa - smart cookie!

  • David | July 31, 2012 1:19 AMReply

    North America Oprah -_-

    The Nigerian Oprah just sounds a hell of a lot better.

  • Kuka | July 28, 2012 9:17 PMReply

    As a woman, I'm disheartened that the first two comments I found under this article where about the woman's appearance and not her accomplishment.

    I think it is great that Mo is able to launch a 24 hour channel that promotes youth centered projects/people/news and creates content that the youth of Africa will be able to tune in to.

  • ALM | July 29, 2012 8:55 PM

    @Kuka. The first part of my comment was "This is great news". I applaud her accomplishments. I still take issue with the huge voluminous weave.

  • Suzanne | July 29, 2012 4:49 PM

    @ KUKA - Preach! I think we are getting sidetracked here. We should be celebrating an African sista's accomplishment in this male dominated game. I am proud of her.

  • starry118 | July 29, 2012 2:55 PM

    Thank you...I completely agree.

  • bondgirl | July 29, 2012 9:58 AM

    I agree, black women are so obssesive with other black women's hair and how it should look. It seems to be a form of projection.

  • ALM | July 28, 2012 4:02 PMReply

    This is great news, but why does she have the 15 pound weave with braids at the roots? Some women don't realize that weaves and eyelashes are supposed to look natural.

  • deeez | August 4, 2012 11:58 PM

    maybe you have some underlying envy that points you in the direction of judging her appearance when the article is about her commitment to creating a space for the african (and diaspora) voice within mass media. mediatakeout might be more your speed perhaps.

  • justsaying | August 1, 2012 7:29 PM

    @ALM, natural is relative. I hear they make extensions that weigh less than a feather...

  • Ash | July 29, 2012 11:04 PM

    I believe it's a style thing. Not every woman necessarily cares if you know that she's wearing added hair. They're just wearing a style that they like.

  • B | July 28, 2012 5:09 PM

    Amen to that! I was thinking the same thing. It looks ridiculous - I don't know why some black women can't see how ridiculous these weaves look.

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