Yes, it’s not just entrepreneurs who can learn a thing or two from Mo Abudu. Everyone, including career people and stay-at-home parents, can learn valuable lessons from the life of this remarkable woman who turned 52 yesterday, the 11th of September 2016.
- You can rise above adversity: Mosunmola Abudu was just 11 years old when she lost her father. It was a cruel hand life had dealt her early in life — losing a breadwinner is never easy for any family — but she was determined to rise through it all. She had her heart set on pursuing not just success but excellence. She wanted to make a name for herself, and that she certainly has!
- Hard work pays in many ways: As a young adult, Mo embraced hard work. She tried her hand at many different things and worked many jobs, some out of passion and others just to make ends meet. In the process, she not only earned a living but also discovered how much she loved working in the Human Resource field. Young people need to remember that it is often not by daydreaming but by rolling up one’s sleeves and working that one discovers their calling.
- A CEO is not groomed in one day: I recently saw a joke about people adding “CEO” to their LinkedIn profile as soon as they start a blog. Many are eager to be CEOs and while that is not a bad thing, work experience is always a good idea. As other entrepreneurs have discovered, working for a while before you start your business helps. Mo began her career as a recruitment consultant in the UK, rose to the role of branch manager, and then took a role at Starform Group where she managed the impressive Corporate Credit Management Exhibition for three years. Back home in Nigeria, she was recruited by Arthur Anderson to head the Human Resources and Training department at Exxon Mobil (then Esso Exploration & Production Nigeria Limited). By the time she established the privately-owned Vic Lawrence & Associates, she was thoroughly equipped with skills and experiences gained from working in properly structured environments. These same skills proved extremely valuable in birthing Mo Abudu’s dream of a 24-hour television channel that would be a voice for Africans and people of African descent. Ebony Life TV is definitely here to stay.
- Breaking out of your comfort zone can be worthwhile: As she took up her new role of talk show host on her TV show, Moments with Mo, in 2006, Mo, a member of the British Psychological Society qualified in occupational and personality testing, was well aware that her personality wasn’t a bubbly one. She was far more at home affecting people’s lives and careers positively through HR, but she didn’t let that stop her. And as she began to relax and ease into her new role, her genuine passion to better the lives of others saw to it that her “serious business person” image ceased to matter to viewers. What the show lacked in animation and effervescence, it more than made up for in content and depth, before Mo handed it over to other presenters nearly a decade later.
- Don’t shy away from partnerships: Only a few, if any, can survive in the business world without partnerships and collaborations, and this is something Mo understands. So when she visited Tinapa and found a state-of-the-art studio with never-before-used equipment, the baby in Mo’s womb leaped for joy and she immediately reached out to potential collaborators. Thankfully, she found partners in the government of Cross River State, and in MTN and Diamond Bank — sponsors who had stood steadfastly by her since the early days of her TV show, Moments with Mo.
Today, EbonyLife TV has some of the best programmings in Africa, churning out exciting movies and shows, including the on-going series, The Governor, starring international actress, Caroline Chikezie. As we await the soon-to-air Sons of the Caliphate, a TV drama set in Northern Nigeria that promises to be exciting, we just want to say Happy Birthday, Mo Abudu, and thank you for your commitment to showcasing a better Nigeria and a better Africa to the world!