Mo Abudu, Idris Elba And Seal Come Together For Film Collaboration With Afreximbank

Published 25 days ago
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(L-R) British singer Seal (Photo by STARLITE/Redferns for ABA); Mo Abudu (image by Kelechi Amadi Obi); and Idris Elba: from the 55th NAACP Image Awards at Shrine Auditorium and Expo Hall (Photo by Paras Griffin/Getty Images for BET)

Nigerian media mogul Mo Abudu is collaborating with pan-African financial institution African Export-Import Bank (Afreximbank) through its Creative Africa Nexus to produce a short film directed by Hollywood actor Idris Elba and starring music icon Seal.

In a move to empower and foster Africa’s creative economy, the founder and CEO of EbonyLife Films will set the movie, Dust to Dreams, in Lagos, Nigeria. The film follows the relationship between a mother and her teenage daughter, as she meets her father for the first time, and Abudu will serve as both Executive Producer and Producer, with Heidi Uys as Supervising Producer. Alongside Abudu and Uys are producers Temidayo Makanjuola, Inem King, and Vanessa Demme. The cast for Dust to Dreams includes international music icon Seal Henry Olusegun Olumide Adeola Samuel, better known by his stage name Seal, along with Nse Ikpe-Etim, Eku Edewor, Atlanta Bridget Johnson and Constance Olatunde (also known as ‘Konstance’).

“I am delighted to be working with Afreximbank and this incredibly talented team. Dust to Dreams is a story close to my heart, and I’m thrilled to bring it to life with such passionate collaborators,” Abudu shares in a press statement.

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Professor Benedict Oramah, President and Chairman of Afreximbank (who was also 2023 FORBES AFRICA African of the Year) adds in the statement that “the Bank is committed to supporting Africa’s creative industries through financing, facilitation, providing market access solutions, capacity building and other services”.

In a 2022 trade report by Afreximbank, Africa’s creative economy generates over a billion dollars in revenue yearly. In addition to that, the creative economy also creates thousands of jobs. The United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) added in their 2021 report that Africa (along with the Middle East), represents about 3% of this output, generating about $58 billion. The creative economy is recognized as a highly diversified, resilient, and gender-neutral sector that provides high-skilled jobs and encourages young entrepreneurship, while supporting innovative forms of sustainable economic growth.

In the August-September 2023 issue of FORBES AFRICA, the award-winning Elba, who was the edition’s cover star, had said that his film, TV and digital production company, Green Door Pictures in the United Kingdom, would be collaborating with Abudu to empower and uplift talent from Africa.

At the 2024 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Leading Women Summit in Johannesburg on March 8, Abudu had spoken about her work: “You’ve got to find what you are passionate about. And when you truly find what I call your God-given purpose, I do not see it as a cost… [you need to] go out and do certain things and make a change.

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“I spent a better part of my life [in England] and the manner in which I was treated as a black young girl growing up, I knew instinctively that I had to do something to change that and I wasn’t able to until I was 40…,” said Abudu, who also walked away with the FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Businesswoman Award at the 2024 FORBES WOMAN AFRICA Awards.

“Often, when I am asked what I would say to my younger self, it would have been to have the courage to say ‘Mo, you need to go out there and start telling stories about who you are, about who your continent is, the history, the culture and the traditions.”