Monthly Archives: October 2013

Mo Abudu, talks about the co-production of “Desperate Housewives Africa”, by EbonyLife TV and Disney, on BBC

Executive Chairman and CEO of EbonyLife TV, Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment Network, this morning, Wednesday October 30, 2013, chats with BBC Newsday’s Shaimaa khalil and Lawrence Pollard about the soon coming co-production of Desperate Housewives Africa, by EbonyLife TV and The Walt Disney Company. Short but sweet, listen now!



Africa as we all know is rich in cultural and human resources and food forms one of the many cultures of the African people the way we eat and what we eat has a lot to say about us and can go as far as telling where we come from or where we have been and our level of exposure. In general, Africans live in rural areas, particularly those people who live in western, eastern, and southern Africa. Many villagers are subsistent farmers, which means that they live almost entirely off of the food that they grow themselves. Fast food restaurants and supermarkets, as we know them, do not exist in most of Africa. People sell clothing, food, and other supplies at outdoor markets.
In Egypt, many people enjoy a popular bean dish called ful. Couscous is common in countries like Morocco and Algeria. This steamed grain is served with a stew of meat and vegetables. In Western Africa, people grow cassava, maize, millet, and plantains for food. Cameroonians may eat beans and plantains accompanied by baton de manioc, or manioc sticks. In Gabon, fish is prepared in a spicy sauce and served with rice. Most cultures in Africa remain very traditional–women and girls do most of the cooking.
Visitors to Kenya may be surprised to discover how the Indian culture has influenced the menu. Chicken curry may be enjoyed with a glass of chai tea. Mandalas, a type of donut, may finish off the meal. Kenya’s colonial past has also influenced the menu. The British brought the practice of drinking tea which continues to this day. In Botswana, millet and sorghum porridge are primary sources of nourishment. Millet and sorghum are both types of grains that must be pounded into flour and cooked.
Ours is a world of paradoxes when it comes to food and nutrition. On one hand, incomes around the world are on the rise. This globalized economy, however, threatens indigenous food cultures in many places, with communities adopting more Western—and less healthy—diets. How many people in the world?…how many cultures?…how many delicacies? Know more in a fresh, mouth-watering episode of CULTURE CONNECTS as we uncover the hidden similarities the world as a whole share via our various distinctive dishes. Showing on October 27, 21:30 CAT on DStv CHANNEL 165, EbonyLife TV.


CANNES/TINAPA – 17 OCTOBER 2013 – Disney Media Distribution EMEA today announced plans for a local production of the iconic hit series “Desperate Housewives,” bringing a new take on the series’ darkly comedic view of suburbia to African audiences. The series, to be filmed in Nigeria and known as “Desperate Housewives Africa”, will be co-produced by EbonyLife TV and Disney, and will beginning airing from Summer 2014.

The original “Desperate Housewives” won both the 2005 and 2006 Golden Globe Awards for Best Television Series – Musical or Comedy, and was created by Marc Cherry and produced by ABC Studios. The series is broadcast in more than 200 territories around the world, where it has been one of the most popular U.S. TV shows in recent history with its eighth and final series concluding in 2012.

Giovanni Mastrangelo, General Manager, Disney Media Distribution, Emerging Markets said: “Co-producing “Desperate Housewives Africa” with EbonyLife TV offers the opportunity to engage African audiences through locally relevant and entertaining storytelling. It’s terrific news that the local version of this hit series, starring a pan-African cast, will bring to life the universal stories and characters created by ABC Studios.”

Mo Abudu, CEO & Executive Chairman, EbonyLife TV, added: “In “Desperate Housewives” we find one of the most amazing formats for TV and we are extremely excited to be co-producing it with Disney Media Distribution EMEA. On our part, and in line with our mission which is to create original, homegrown and premium content with an African soul, we will work to ensure parity with the original storyline and production values that have characterised the global series, without compromising on that very important African essence. This is very crucial to our channel as it definitely is to The Walt Disney Company.”

Since 2006, five different versions of “Desperate Housewives” have been produced for EMEA and Latin American audiences. These are “Umutsuz Ev Kadinlari” a Turkish production which launched 2011; Amas de Casa Desesperadas,” the Argentinean version (in Spanish, for broadcast in Argentina, Uruguay and Paraguay); the Colombian/Ecuadorian version (in Spanish, broadcast in Colombia, Ecuador, Venezuela, Panama, and also sold to Japan); the U.S. Hispanic version (for broadcast in U.S., Mexico, Puerto Rico and Dominican Republic); “Donas de Casa Desesperadas,” the Brazilian version (in Portuguese, for broadcast in Brazil).

The Nigerian series will feature an African cast of new emerging and established talents and will be filmed on location in Lagos, Nigeria, at Adiva Estates, a gated development along the Lekki Expressway, developed by ARM. This location has been identified as Africa’s own “Wisteria Lane”.

Production will closely follow the format and storylines of the original US version, with a uniquely Nigerian flavour. And to ensure the series retains its international appeal but with an African soul, EbonyLife TV will be working with DO.ii designs and Agatha Interiors on furniture design for the Desperate Housewives Africa sets. On dressing of talent, EbonyLife TV will be partnering with stylist Veronica of Vane-Style and major Nigerian designers to include Bridget Awosika, Ella & Gabby, Jewel By Lisa, Kareema Mak, Lanre Da Silva, Meena, Me-Li, Needle Point, Odio Mimonet, Phunkafrique, Toju Foyeh, etcetera.

Talks are also ongoing with a number of potential sponsors to take advantage of this once in a lifetime opportunity that will undoubtedly deliver increased brand awareness, massive brand building and huge propensity to purchase.
Disney Media Distribution has leveraged other ABC Studios-produced scripted series for local production across the world; including versions of “Grey’s Anatomy,” “The Golden Girls,” “According to Jim,” “Hope & Faith” and “Revenge” in Turkey, local versions of “The Golden Girls” in Russia, Greece, Israel and Spain, and “Brothers & Sisters” and “Grey’s Anatomy” in Colombia.

About EbonyLife TV:
EbonyLife TV is Africa’s first Global Black Entertainment Network producing over 1000 hours of made-in-Nigeria content, presenting Africa as never before. Our vision is to be the preferred global network for premium African entertainment through the creation of original, homegrown and premium content, showcasing the best of Africa for a Global Black audience.
Barely three months after its launch which featured Mr. Steve Forbes of Forbes Media as special guest, EbonyLife TV has struck a deal with Disney Media Distribution to co-produce Desperate Housewives Africa, a Nigeria-based version of the hit series. EbonyLife TV is in Cannes seeking carriage and distribution deals worldwide for the channel that currently airs in 44 African countries across the continent on the DStv platform.

Through a Joint Venture Agreement with the Cross River State Government, EbonyLife TV is the concessionaire of Studio Tinapa, Africa’s first and only state-of-the-art and purpose-built Film Studio located within the Tinapa Free Zone & Resort, Calabar, Cross River State, providing first class production and post-production services for all the channel’s content, and from where the channel has continued to deliver on its promise of delivering a fresh new energy and perspective to audiences across the globe, receiving rave reviews from key international media such as the Washington Post, ABC News, BBC, Yahoo News, amongst several others.

About Disney Media Distribution EMEA
The Walt Disney Company’s EMEA Media Distribution team licenses the Company’s entertainment content to TV and non-linear clients across the region. This includes Disney-branded channels, plus a portfolio of motion pictures from Walt Disney Pictures, Disney●Pixar and Marvel, Lucasfilm, network TV series from ABC Studios, TV movies and miniseries, Disney and Marvel-branded kids and family programming, ABC Daytime and ABC News programming as well as the Annual Academy Awards®.

Disney Media Distribution also licenses reality and scripted formats for local production; including local editions of “Desperate Housewives”, “Grey’s Anatomy”, “According to Jim”, “Private Practice” and “Revenge” in Turkey, “Ghost Whisperer” in Spain, “The Amazing Race” in Israel and Norway, “The Golden Girls” in Greece, Israel, Spain and Turkey and “Desperate Housewives” in Nigeria.
The division is also responsible for music, publishing, mobile, games and interactive content made available to consumers via licensed third party commercial partners.

Press contacts:
Olajide Olaoluwa: 234 (0) 803 313 5747



Little buds of perspiration popped up on her forehead, they pooled up and slowly rolled south the left side of her face…tickling and trickling down the fact that she’s been holding on for more than five decades now…her palms all red and raw, eyes haunted by what they saw. A satisfactory object she’s been labelled…a platform for everyone’s new experiment, disposable matter…ordinary says it all, a loud call. She ain’t male, just the most populous country in the forlorn tale of a third world continent.

 ‘The light ain’t stable…’ A hot iron rod prodded her mind, ‘…unpredictable’.

 It burnt in ‘uncertainty’ as there seem to be little or no reason to believe in a future for the youths of Africa with all the different mishaps and constant negative situations chronically weakening our morals and aspirations. Decisions made by few twirl wildly as it ripple out into her children’s lives, leaving the repercussions to resonate out in destructive whirlwinds. Materialism fakes excuses for embarrassing, shameful actions…engines of sight wins a tricky hand, the right groovy beat drums out from a wrong band…exciting yet bland.

Sweat dripped into her eyes, it stung, making them bloodshot…the weary limbs slipped down a notch, the muscles ache… ‘Oh, what pain they make.’ Letting go and revolting defies caution, but it seems to be her only option.

‘…you’re almost there…’ echoes faintly out of nowhere, competing weakly with the ever scratching and disturbing noise of giving up…

The choice she made paled with the end of the tale.

 It’s going to get really entertaining & motivating on your Pan-African talk show, Moments With Mo, as we present a very special guest Dr. Mike Omeri, who sheds more light on the value of our national identity while spreading the message of hope and transformation to us all. This session of enlightening talk and information will solidify our long lasting, strong belief on a better & beautiful tomorrow for Africa and her youths. Be part of it!! Showing on October 15, 20:30 WAT, on CHANNEL 165, EbonyLife TV.

Success doesn’t patronize failure and sharpness always compliment the edges of a blade with allure. The future is just what it is …the future and we are here… shaping it into a bright and beautiful one now rests on each individual, each tribe, nationality  and all of us in general.


DESPERATE HOUSEWIVES – The Series Set For An African Adaptation!!

It’s getting more and more exciting on Africa’s First Global Entertainment Network! Disney Is Taking ‘Desperate Housewives’ To Lagos In Deal with Nigeria-Based EbonyLife TV!
Ben Pyne, president of global distribution at Disney, announced at the just concluded MIPCOM 2013 (the international TV and entertainment market held in Cannes once every year; where content is introduced for co-producing, buying, selling, financing and distributing). He revealed that an “African version” of Desperate Housewives – the once comedy/drama series created by Marc Cherry, and broadcast by ABC from 2004 until 2012 – is currently in development, for a summer 2014 debut. The co-production deal is with Nigeria-based EbonyLife TV – a multi-platform broadcaster, and subsidiary of Media and Entertainment City Africa (MEC Africa) in Cross River State, Nigeria.
Desperate 'Nigerian' Housewives ... Disney's Katherine Powell and Giovanni Mastrangelo, with Mo Abudu, CEO and executive chairman of EbonyLife TV.

Desperate ‘Nigerian’ Housewives … Disney’s Katherine Powell and Giovanni Mastrangelo, with Mo Abudu, CEO and executive chairman of EbonyLife TV.

Desperate Housewives – the “African version” will feature a pan-African cast, and will be set in Lagos, Nigeria, where it will also be shot, with a summer 2014 debut date set, airing in 44 countries within the continent. The original ABC TV series followed the dramatic lives of a group of women, over a 13-year period, and 8 seasons, as seen through the eyes of a dead neighbor who committed suicide in the very first episode.
“We are going to make it relevant, number one, by using local talent — talent that our viewers will know and love; two, we are going to work with local stylists, local fashion designers, local interior designers, making it  wholly immersed in African culture, fashion and music.” said Mo Abudu, CEO and Executive Chairman, EbonyLife TV. “We are going to give the stories an African flavor. We will localize it, because there’s nothing that the West has that Africa doesn’t have: we love, we fight, we kiss, we make up. We like all the good things in life. There’s good and there’s evil globally. So all those human interests, those things that appeal to you, believe me, appeal to us also. The series spoke universally to women and to men, about relationships, marriage and bringing up children. All those stories are there. And Africans are the original storytellers. Your grandparents would sit you down at night and tell you tales. We love a good story.”
Well then…the obvious question here is, what actresses from the continent will make up the ensemble cast in the Nigeria-set version of Desperate Housewives? Nollywood talents should definitely get some looks here…
Hold your breaths as Desperate Housewives is to become a household name in Nigeria. EbonyLife TV, CHANNEL 165, your destination for premium, homegrown African entertainment.

Mo’ Abudu, Founder/Chief Executive Of EbonyLife TV Appears Among The Top 25 Most Powerful Women In Global TV

The executives on The Hollywood Reporter’s Women in International TV power list are the deciders shaping an increasingly global industry. A group as diverse as the U.N., the women on THR’s inaugural list are united in their ambition, their savvy and their determination to make a mark on worldwide TV – and to do so on their own terms.

Widely described as African’s own Oprah Winfrey, Mosunmola Mo’ Abudu made the list of the Top 25 Women in Global TV according to Hollywood Reporter Magazine. This highly intelligent Nigerian business woman and media entrepreneur successfully launched Africa’s first syndicated talk show, “Moments With Mo” back in 2006, with celebrity special guests like Fashion designer, Diane Von Furstenberg, Hillary Clinton, and so much more. Her talk show ” Moments With Mo” broadcasts across over 48 African countries.

Mo’ (as she’s fondly called) launched EbonyLife TV this year, creating Africa’s first global black entertainment network, targeting the continent’s growing, inspirational middle-class with original, homegrown programming that celebrates style and success while motivating its audience to dream on and dream big.

Other top personalities who made the list are: Shine Chairman – Elisabeth Murdoch, FremantleMedia boss – Cecile Frot-Coutaz and Endemol COO; Martha Brass straddle worldwide production and distribution empires, RTL Group’s Anke Shaeferkordt, TF1′s Elisabeth Durand or BSkyB’s Sophie Turner.

The women on The Hollywood Reporter’s inaugural 25 Most Powerful Women In Global TV list are united in their ambition, savvy and determination to make a mark on worldwide TV by doing so on their own terms.

Mo’ Abudu and the EbonyLife TV crew are on the fast path of revolutionizing pay TV in Africa.



‘why did you stay with him?’….


Her sobs scratched out into my ears as I sit straight into a corner of my bed, the cellphone pressed firmly against my ear. The device is hot; we’ve been at this for over an hour.

 ‘I don’t know……maybe because I loved him…’ Now, I’ll say “I don’t understand“……

 She is a very bright, beautiful girl that fell in love and into the hands of a brute way back in the university and she has chosen my listening ear to unleash the burden of the pain and humiliation that she had silently suffered for more than five years. She has been physically, emotionally and sexually abused by the ‘love of her life’.

The issue of domestic abuse has eaten ‘marrow-deep’ into our society, and the wave of domestic violence in all its forms is sweeping across our country. A source of serious concern to many people. Ordinarily, domestic violence is that kind of violence that happens between family members in the home or during relationship between couple or would-be-couples, boyfriend/girlfriend as like. The causes are several. These include high temperament of the husband/boyfriend or the wife/girlfriend as the case may be, lack of understanding between the couple, lack of tolerance, incompatibility of the spouses, stress from work and even the daily chores of life. Once these factors are present in the relationship or marriage, there is tendency for friction that can lead to violent attacks. Psychological reasons also can be attributed.

why didn’t you tell people about it?…may be your family or friends?’

A deeper probe reveals to a large extent that our culture does not frown against wife battering and some wives have become used to violent attacks by their husbands. A further disturbing fact is that many people, man and woman alike, have come to accept physical violence as the side effect of African marriage. The more their husbands/boyfriends beat them, the more they become sexually aroused and submissive. It is only in western societies that women can walk out of marriage because of wife battery. In Africa including Nigeria where the culture of violence against women has thrived over the centuries, wives are obliged to hold to their marital vows to remain till death separates the couple. Infidelity is not tolerated and could lead to death of the woman who commits adultery especially of marriages contracted under native law and customs.

Thoughts differ, opinions clash and ethnicity separates us, but she clearly doesn’t want any other lady to go through what she had experienced, I realized as she finally ended the call.

It doesn’t end with her, that’s why four of our Nollywood Queens; Kate Henshaw, Rita Dominic, Funke Akindele & Uche Jombo tap on humanitarian attributes in the war against domestic abuse and violence in Africa. Follow their emotional journey as they go through the rigors of putting together an informative and captivating short drama. Showing every Monday at 9:30pm WAT on EbonyLife TV DStv CHANNEL 165.