Written by Joe Jackson on Dec 13, 2021. Posted in Awards and Festivals

EbonyLife Media CEO joins Forbes list of world’s most powerful women

The chief executive officer of EbonyLife Media has been named one of the World’s 100 Most Powerful Women by Forbes magazine. Screen industry pioneer Mosunmola Abudu - popularly known as Mo Abudu - joins a select group of women of colour on the list. This prestigious collection of influential figures includes: US vice-president Kamala Harris, presenter Oprah Winfrey, filmmaker Ava DuVernay, tennis star Serena Williams, and musicians Rihanna and Beyoncé.


“I had no idea this was coming but it’s a nice way to end an eventful year,” said Mo Abudu. “I’m humbled and deeply grateful to be associated with these amazing women. My wish is that there will be many more of my deserving African sisters on this list in the years to come.”



Forbes, one of the world’s most authoritative sources for business and finance, announced: “Media mogul and EbonyLife founder Mo Abudu is on a mission to bring Africa's stories to the world and upend Western misperceptions of the continent. The entertainment industry is looking beyond Hollywood to source local stories that resonate with a global audience. It's a formula that Abudu has been championing all along, culminating in her signing Netflix's first multi-title deal with an African production company.”


Ebonylife Films - a subsidiary of EbonyLife Media group - has produced well-grossing films and television series in Nigeria such as Fifty, Nigeria’s highest grossing film in 2015 and 2016, and The Wedding Party, Nollywood’s highest grossing title of all time. The only other African women on the list are Ngozi Okonjo-Iweala, director-general of the World Trade Organisation, and Samia Suluhu Hassan, president of Tanzania.



To determine each person’s rank on the list, Forbes analyses four metrics: money (GDP, revenue, assets, net worth), media mentions, impact and spheres of influence. Other factors include hard power (positions and constitutions), dynamic power (audiences, communities and creative influence), and soft power (what the women are doing with their influence to create change). The list features an array of trailblazing women who are rewriting the rules of business, entertainment, finance and politics. There are now 40 CEOs overseeing USD3.3 trillion in revenue streams – a major increase, several self-made billionaires and 19 world leaders.


This year’s highest ranked person is MacKenzie Scott, a philanthropist who has given away more than USD8.6 billion to nearly 800 charities and other non-profit organisations. Scott exemplifies the ethos that guides the choice of women on the list: “It’s not enough to have money or power, it’s what you do with it.”


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