Yet again the popular anchor of Moments with Mo, Mosunmola Abudu is in the eye of the storm. The allegations against her by Gistlover may appear new to some but definitely not so with many Lagosians that have Al Barney ears.
Aunty Mo must be used to these stories by now. She is an industry veteran and arguably our foremost media matriarch who sits atop the estrogen empire of Nigerian celebrities. So she knows how to handle stuff like this. And this is why you are unlikely to come across the current story in the mainstream media. It is indeed her turf. An arena where years of sweat, toil, and connections have placed her in a position of great influence.
Moreover, what’s the point? What will she be saying to defend herself? I mean these controversies are of little consequence and even more so in Nigeria. So why respond? To feed the gossip mill? Or massage the ego of a lowly blogger? Naaa! It ain’t worth her while. I would imagine that the wives of those listed as her lovers will be more worried.
I know the kind of allegation that gets Mo’s attention. Like in 2008/9 when a charity concert organised by her Inspire Africa Foundation ended in accusations of fraud and profligacy by the Lagos state govt. Mo spent reasonable time in the media dispelling those allegations and subsequently filed a defamation suit against her erstwhile friend Yemisi Wada. A suit that kissed the canvas 8 years later. Or in January 2021, when Tobore Ovuorie accused her of copyright infringement over the movie Oloture. Aunty Mo took her time, dressed up, and sat before a camera to defend her position in a 10-minute video. I guess that matter was settled out of court as I never read that any suit was filed as threatened.
Those are the kind of imputations that worry Mo Abudu. And I dare say that it says a lot about her. It is a testament to her values. A woman of substance who is not given to frivolous chatter but rather appreciates and protects her hustle, creativity, and industry. In our patriarchal society, it is even possible that she regards her alleged lovers as tools or scumbags, who only serve as pedestals in her success journey.
And it should go without saying that Mo Abudu is a very successful woman. She has worked hard over the years and deserves her place in society. According to Wikipedia, she has been described by Forbes as “Africa’s Most Successful Woman”, and rated as one of the “25 Most Powerful Women in Global Television” by The Hollywood Reporter. She has mentored many women and inspired the likes of Linda Ikeji, Toke Makinwa, et al. Her EbonyLife Creative Academy is a wonderful initiative that reportedly produces about 120 graduates in filmmaking each quarter.
A woman with this CV definitely packs a punch. She also has wonderful poise and maintains admirable civility with her ex-husband. So ideally, her private life shouldn’t be anybody’s business. But because she has earned a reputation for hobnobbing with top politicians and corporate CEOs, Mo has often been accused — albeit in hushed tones — of dating these powerful men for favours.
This time though, Gistlover boldly mentioned names. And dearie me, that post triggered a chain of no holds barred reactions. From an array of governors to bank MDs and to the nouveau riche, all were rumoured to have tasted the pie. The list limned a personality only comparable to Naomi Campbell. And the resultant dragging forced Aunty Mo to lock her Instagram account.
Her fans will quickly tell you that nobody is self-made. Of course, that is not debatable. Successful men and women at one time in their rise received favours from a benefactor, sponsor, or whatever sobriquet you choose. Unfortunately, the imperious proclivity to assume that a lady slept her way to success is commonplace in Nigeria. And it is even worse for Mo that a reasonable number of Nigerians have come to regard Gistlovers blog as a reliable grapevine where the toad rarely makes a daytime sprint.
That is why many are shocked and disappointed that a lady mostly perceived as a ‘role model’ for young women has been stripped in the market square. While some Nigerians have quickly sprouted to her defence the usual parlance of ‘I stan Mo’, others are gutted that politicians are wasting scarce resources meant for the masses on a particular woman. This is notwithstanding that these tales have been there. Perhaps making the rounds in impotent platforms but nevertheless there. But Mo’s towering profile and successive accomplishments always managed to subdue any potential backlash..that was until now.
As the debate rages, I am particularly amused by some feminists who ironically have urged her to own her ‘real source’ like Anita Joseph once explained. They argue that a lady’s ability to manipulate these powerful men attest to her prowess. I cannot agree more. After all, some women became kept ladies while others frittered similar opportunities. Whatsmore, who wants to live in a society where women have to maintain puny duplicity about their path to success? Surely not with so many men proudly charting theirs through women in plain sight. So to hell with the deceit! Tell it all and let the proteges who have the guts stake their tokens.
Well, that is a choice. One to be made by adults, and I honestly have no scruples with it.
The problem, however, is that we are Nigerians. We still want to foster our moral conservatism despite all the wokeness adopted from the western world. And why shouldn’t we when we can boast of Okonjo-Iweala, Folurunsho Alakija, Stella Okoli, Ndidi Nwuneli, Funmi Iyanda, Omobola Johnson, Ibukun Awosika, and countless other amazons who have achieved great things without an inventory of men etched on their lingerie?
So it is actually possible for Mo to have been discreet and the fact that nobody is a saint invalidates whatever hypocrisy one may be accused of. As the adage goes, “every dog eats feaces but the one with a stained snout will be called out”.
Aunty Mo Abudu is an ambitious woman. That is fine. She also wants to be noticed. And that is no problem either. But to be seen at creme de la creme events and every celebrity gathering with a stained snout may be why flies like Gistlover will always hover around her. And until she wipes that stain we cannot rightly say that she represents an inspirational ideal. That is why many of us will rather not have her mentor our kids. But that again is another matter of choice. I know some who wouldn’t mind. I can only wish them luck.