Abudu’s takeaway? “If you don’t take responsibility for changing the narrative when you leave your story to someone else, you can’t blame them,” she said.
By 2013, “Moments” had made Abudu a household name in Nigeria. Seeing the opportunities, Abudu went completely to Winfrey and started a Pan-African television network: Ebonylife TV. In 2020, Abudu’s umbrella company, EbonyLife Media, abandoned its TV channel to focus on a model based on partnerships with some of the biggest streamers and studios in the world.
Today, in what Abudu described as “more than 30 deals,” many of them yet to be announced, EbonyLife Media has contracts with Netflix, Sony Pictures Television, AMC and Westbrook Studios, which will Smith and Jada Pinkett is a production company founded by Smith.
“I’ve been knocking on these international doors since day one,” she said, “but you know, people weren’t ready to listen.”
EbonyLife TV, beginning in 2013, focused on mission lifestyle programming that reflected the thriving, cosmopolitan continent of the 21st century. But Abudu is slowly flexing his muscles and widening his creative palette.
“Castle & Castle”, which Abudu co-produces and executives, is about a Lagos law firm run by a husband and wife whose respective affairs threaten to destroy their marriage. With that series, Abudu wanted to focus on legal issues that were specific to Nigeria. In one episode, for example, “there’s a case around homosexuality,” she said. “It’s actually still illegal to be in gay relationships in Nigeria.”