Call it payback time for seasoned producer and presenter, Mo Abudu, and you may not be wrong. From the Chairman and Chief Executive Officer of Forbes Media, Steve Forbes, state governors, corporate executives to leading lights in the Nigerian entertainment industry, the world practically applauded her recently when her new brain child, EbonyLife TV, was unveiled in Lagos.
It was a dream come true for Abudu when the international TV channel was unveiled amidst inspiring talks, tributes and performances by artistes from different genres and generations.
The calibre of artistes that mounted the stage at the event, anchored by award-winning act, Darey Art–Alade, and Dolapo Oni, speaks volumes about the status of the channel and its promoters. Indeed, to lovers of Nigerian music, the most memorable aspect may be the performances where old-wines-are-tasty artistes paired up with their reigning contemporaries.
In what, for instance, foretells the new face of collaboration that will spice up the industry, Banky W, Tiwa Savage, King Sunny Ade, Onyeka Onwenu and Seun Kuti tickled the guests in a manner that portrays music as a relay race. MI and Obey also graced the stage together, while highlife icon Victor Olaiya and African Queen legend Tuface; Omawunmi and Onyeka Onwenu; as well as WizKid, KSA followed suit.
EbonyLife TV’s journey to the grand launch held at the Eko Hotel and Suites, Victoria Island, had been memorable. First, the TV channel found a home at the ultra-modern Tinapa Studio, Calabar, Cross River State. In the past two years, it has built a rich stock of contents, ranging from reality shows to films, comedy talk magazine and TV dramas.
Abudu has also attracted experts in various areas of TV business to the EbonyLife fold. It was after achieving these that she blew the whistle that drew the top crowd to the event where President Goodluck Jonathan was represented by the Minister of Information, Labaran Maku.
In a post-event statement from the organisers, they note that the inauguration unfolded according to their expectations.
They recall, “The evening was a compelling amalgam of the rich, the famous, the beautiful and the successful, all eagerly awaiting the beginning of the show that would herald the landmark launch of Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment Channel, EbonyLife TV Channel 165 on DStv.”
Cross River State Governor, Liyel Imoke, his predecessor, Donald Duke; Minister of Industry, Trade and Investment, Olusegun Aganga; Multichoice Nigeria Managing Director, Mr. John Ugbe; Executive Director, EbonyLife TV, Mr. Lanre Olusola, among others, also graced the occasion. Expressing support for the brand, they said the Abudu-led team was capable of positively affecting the industry globally.
Thanking everyone for the confidence they have in the company. She said, “From dream to reality, EbonyLife TV would never have been possible without the invaluable support of a host of individuals and brands too numerous to mention now. However, I would specifically like to thank First Bank Plc for their investment and belief in us. I want to thank them immensely for helping us realise our dream. To everyone else who has stood tenaciously by us, we appreciate you for coming along with us on this exciting mission of telling Africa’s stories with passion, soul and sincerity. Thank you and thank you again.”