Abudu’s takeaways? “If you don’t take responsibility for changing the narrative, when you leave your narration to someone else, you can’t blame them,” she said.
By 2013, “Moments” had made Abudu a household name in Nigeria. Seeing opportunities, Abudu took full advantage of Winfrey and launched a pan-African television network: EbonyLife TV. In 2020, Abudu’s parent company, EbonyLife Media, ditched its TV channel to focus on a model based on partnerships with some of the world’s biggest streamers and studios.
Today, of what Abudu described as “over 30 deals,” many of which have yet to be announced, EbonyLife Media has contracts with Netflix, Sony Pictures Television, AMC and Westbrook Studios, the production company. founded by Will Smith and Jada Pinkett Smith.
“I’ve been knocking on these international doors since day one,” she said, “but you know people weren’t ready to listen.”
When EbonyLife TV started in 2013, the mission centered around lifestyle programming that showcased the burgeoning cosmopolitan continent of the 21st century. But Abudu gradually tightened his muscles and broadened his creative palette.
“Castle & Castle,” which Abudu co-created and produced by the executive, concerns a Lagos law firm run by a husband and wife, whose respective affairs threaten to destroy their marriage. With this series, Abudu wanted to focus on specific legal issues in Nigeria. In one episode, for example, “there’s a case around lesbianism,” she said. “It’s actually still illegal to have a same-sex relationship in Nigeria.”