(RNN) - A Nigerian woman, who could be considered Africa's Oprah Winfrey, is launching an entertainment network that will be viewable in almost every country on the continent, with programs that showcase their evolving middle class.
According to The Washington Post, Mosunmola "Mo" Abudu aspires to change how viewers perceive Africa. Abudu wants to motivate Africans, and the rest of the world to embrace change. The network's programming will showcase relatable, every day issues of women from sex tips to skin bleaching, which is common in Africa.
"Not every African woman has a pile of wood on her head, and a baby strapped to her back," the 48-year-old told The Associated Press.
"We watch Hollywood as if all of America is Hollywood," she said. "In that same vein, we need to start selling the good bits of Africa."
Abudu, a former executive with the oil giant Exxon-Mobil, abandoned a 20-year career in human resources in 2006, to become a self-taught television talk show host. Moments with Mo became the first syndicated daily talk show on African regional TV, and also is aired in Britain on a Sky TV channel.
Some celebrities she has interviewed include Hillary Rodham Clinton; former African presidents F.W. de Klerk, of South Africa, and John Kufuor, of Ghana; former England soccer skipper Rio Ferdinand; musician R. Kelly; and American fashion icon Diane Von Furstenberg.
A telling moment for Abudu came when she was standing at London's Marble Arch and decided, on a whim, to ask people what came to their minds when they heard the word Africa.
The answers included Robert Mugabe, Zimbabwe's dictatorial ruler of 33 years, the British charity Oxfam, famine and babies with flies on their faces.
"The nicest thing I heard was sunshine," said an appalled Abudu.
Years later, she is setting out to transform that perception by shining a bright light on the so-called "dark continent's" riches, which include talented young entrepreneurs, fabulous art scenes, up-and-coming fashion designers, provocative authors and sassy musicians.
Network programs will discuss topics on why more women are bleaching their skin, on prevalent domestic abuse, sex and having loving relationships, among other topics.
Abudu says she aims for the highest quality in a network that she hopes will eventually be broadcast beyond Africa to the millions in the Diaspora.
"What we say is 'Everything you think you know about Africa is about to change,'" Abudu said.
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