It was indeed a memorable night when Moments With Mo debuted on DSTV eight years ago.
The show has since rebranded, with Mo leaving to focus on her executive enterprises.
There was only one place to be on Tuesday the 7th of November, 2009: in front of your TV set, as MNET began to air the first episode of the most anticipated talk show in those times – moments with mo.
There you are, lying down on your sofa, remote control in hand, trying desperately to locate what channel is broadcasting this show everyone can’t stop talking about. Then you finally tune in, ready for quick criticisms, only to discover that not only can you not think straight, you can’t even blink. You sit up, take an umpteenth look at the gorgeous presenter, the set, and the texture of the programme and you tell yourself the show is worth the hype after all.
That’s the kind of impact Moments with Mo had on viewers when the show debuted in November, the kind of impact Mo Abudu herself has on you the first time you meet her. Gorgeous and at the same time simple. Frank, and at the same time subtle. Young, and at the same time very mature. The kind of woman that enters a room and so many heads turn at the same time, that everyone’s having neck strain. The kind of newcomer that exhibits so much knowledge that you’re forced to think she’s a maestro.
That’s what happened when the ambitious lady introduced her new project ‘Moments’ to the media, at a well-attended launch on Saturday October 27, 2009. As she strolled into the room, inviting her sponsors and partners to the high table, it was obvious she was prepared for the attention this new project would bring her way.
Before then, Mo (she was born Mosunmola Dominique Abudu), 43, was another almost-anonymous achiever. As the soul of Vic Lawrence & Associates (a consulting firm she founded in 1993), she had scored feats and recorded achievements many may never hear of. And if you dig deeper, you’ll find her imprint in other laudable concepts like Inspire Africa and the Protea Hotel.
The silent achiever was finally stepping forward to hug a million watts of limelight. The background worker was now strutting forward, clutching the microphone. The one who used to be asked questions; who used to escape from prying journalists, was now the one facing the teleprompter and asking the questions.
As candid as possible, she admits her foray into TV was not by design, just as she confessed, while speaking with Journalists that prior to that time, she had no basic training in broadcasting. ‘There are some things that God just puts on your laps’, she said philosophically.
But she’s enjoying every minute of it; just as she expects audiences across the African continent to savour every moment of the show that seeks to celebrate the most defining moments of our lives: the good, the bad and the ugly.
And it was these kinds of moments that guests experienced at the official launch of Moments which held at the Civic centre, Ozumba Mbadiwe, Victoria Island, Lagos on Saturday October 27 of the same year. The red carpet event not only highlighted the way Abudu likes to do her things; it showed that entertainment can attract the right personalities, and corporate backing if properly packaged. From UBA’s Tony Elumelu, to Nollywood’s Stella Damasus and Rita Dominic, Obi Asika of Storm Records, Pastor Tony Rapu of This Present House, former gubernatorial aspirant Senator Tokunbo Afikuyomi, Ruth Osime of This Day Style, Betty Irabor of Genevieve magazine, John Fashanu, Ify and Francisca of the first ever Big Brother Nigeria, it was an eclectic assembly of heavyweights, just as the backdrops revealed a union of sponsors from the most unlikely quarters – including Skye Bank and MTN.
If the night’s content, the quality of programing, the quality of programming, the texture of the performances and the attention to technical details were anything to go by, it was only natural to expect that viewers would be transported to another planet with the eventual debut of the much talked-about show on November 7. Those priviledged to have seen preview editions of the show had already compared it to Oprah; and were already gearing to nickname Mo ‘Africa’s Oprah. But Mo, in a firm, assertive manner, insisted ‘Moments’ tells an African story, and is essentially about the moments that envelope individual’ lives.
Moments was at first, only available to DSTV subscribers ‘We plan to go on terrestrial TV as the show goes on’, Mo had said. ‘but for now, we’re exclusively on MNET. They’re our partners, helping make sure the show is seen across Africa’.
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