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Photo courtesy of EbonyLife Media.

EbonyLife CEO Mo Abudu Is the First African To Be Awarded the Cannes Médailles d’Honneur

The Nigerian media mogul recently received the 2019 Médailles d'Honneur for making significant strides in the global television industry.

Nigeria's own Mo Abudu was awarded the 2019 Médailles d'Honneur at Cannes Monday—making her the first African (and Nigerian) to receive such accolades.

The Médailles d'Honneur—or the Medal of Honor—is presented to senior executives who have made a mark in the global television industry, as well as contribute to the development of the international television community.


Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife Media, is deserving of such an award as she's considered to be one of the most prolific producers on the continent. EbonyLife TV—Africa's first global black entertainment and lifestyle network—has been producing a wide array of original programs since she founded the platform in 2013 and has since expanded to four other divisions: EbonyLife Films, EbonyLife ON, EbonyLife Studios and EbonyLife Productions Limited.

Photo courtesy of EbonyLife Media.

"I would like to take this opportunity to thank MIPTV for this incredible award. My big dream was and still is, to change the narrative about my continent," Abudu says accepting the award.

"As a continent, Africa has remained creatively silent for centuries. Our stories seldom told outside of our families and villages and often from the perspective of 'someone' looking in. It is therefore with great pride that we, at EbonyLife Media, bring our stories to the world with our TV series and our films."

Abudu received the 2019 Médailles d'Honneur alongside Ilene Chaiken, U.S. writer, showrunner and producer, Stéphane Courbit, chairperson of the Banijay Group in France and Jane Millichip, UK managing director of Sky Vision.

It was announced in March 2018 that Abudu locked in a three scripted television series deal with Sony. One of the anticipated shows is an action-drama based on the Dahomey Amazon Warriors—the strong women soldiers who served for over 200 years in present-day Benin. Revisit the developments of the deal here.

Film
Photo by Dominique Charriau/WireImage via Getty Images.

Cannes 2019: Mati Diop Snags Grand Prix Award and a Netflix Acquisition for 'Atlantique'

The Senegalese-French filmmaker has surely made her mark as the 72nd Cannes Festival comes to a close.

This year's Cannes Film Festival came to a end this past weekend with jury president Alejandro González Iñárritu presenting the awards for the competition program, un certain regard and other prizes.

Mati Diop's Atlantique was the film to watch during the festival, as the Senegalese-French filmmaker is the first black woman to be included in the competition. Diop and Malian filmmaker Ladj Ly were the only African filmmakers in this year's competition as well (Ly took home the Jury Prize for his film Les Misérables, tied with Kleber Mendonça Filho and Juliano Dornelles' film Bacurau).

Diop surely made her mark at the festival, winning the Grand Prix award for the film, Variety reports.

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Op-Ed
Photo by Stephane Cardinale - Corbis/Corbis via Getty Images.

Black Women Are the Future of French Cinema—When Will Cannes Catch Up?

In this op-ed, OkayAfrica contributor Aude Konan reflects on the progression of diversity in French cinema a year after the Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier demonstration at Cannes Film Festival.

A year ago, 16 French actresses of African descent walked the red carpet at Cannes to talk about a new project they authored, Noire N'est Pas Mon Métier (Being Black Is Not My Job), where they shared their experiences with racism and sexism in the film industry.

In an era where the movements #MeToo and #OscarsSoWhite gained global momentum and led to some change in the Academy Awards, it was a first considering that outside of Aissa Maïga, French actresses seldom get any visibility and speaking out against racism put them at risk of being blacklisted, like the actor Luc Saint Eloi's unfortunate experience 20 years ago.

The red carpet moment was generally well received in France and in the rest of the world, with the main actresses getting large media coverage with features in Le Monde, Le Figaro and even Vogue U.S. The presidents of the Cannes Film Festival welcomed the actresses. No promises were made by any of the gatekeepers in French cinema, but the actresses were hopeful.

Since the book's release, the actresses have been busy working, some of them lucky enough to be able to portray fully fledged characters, others being reduced to play the "black woman" stereotype over and over again. Recently, one of them, Karidja Touré, well known for being in the film Girlhood, mentioned that she was pretty good at mimicking an "African accent." Semantics aside—and the fact that there is no such a thing as an African accent, as Africa is still not a country—it is pretty revealing: despite the wonderful coverage these actresses had, has the movement contributed to any change?

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popular
Still from YouTube.

Watch the Hazy Music Video for Burna Boy's 'Secret' Featuring Jeremih and Serani

Burna Boy drops a new music video for a fan favorite from his Grammy-nominated album 'African Giant.'

Grammy-nominated Burna Boy shares the music for the latest single "Secret," a fan favorite from his seminal album African Giant.

The track, which features American singer Jeremih and Jamaican dancehall artist Serani, is arguably one of the album's most fun and memorable tracks. The song gets a hazy music video starring the three artists in various dimly-lit, monochromatic settings. The video was directed by David Camarena.

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popular

Listen to J Hus' New Album 'Big Conspiracy'

The artist's highly-anticipated sophomore album features Burna Boy, Koffee and more.

J Hus is back. The heavyweight British-Gambian artist returns with his highly-anticipated sophomore album Big Conspiracy.

The 13-track album features the likes of Burna Boy, who joins the artist on the upbeat track "Play Play," as well as buzzing Jamaican artist Koffee who appears on the track "Repeat," one of the album's clear standouts.

It also features a new artist by the name of iceè tgm on three tracks. Some fans have speculated that the mysterious artist is J Hus' sister. The album includes the previously released single 'Must Be,' which he dropped in November of last year.

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