MOMENTS WITH MO: SO FAR SO GOOD…
Talk, they say, is cheap. But a talkshow? Definitely not. Especially if you like to cross all the Ts, dot the Is and make sure the O is a perfect circle. That’s the kind of person Mo Abudu is. If you match that with the level of quality control at MNET, then it’ll come as no surprise that the much-hyped show, ‘Moments with Mo’ has lived up to its billing. Okay, maybe the show, which began airing on November 7 has not scored 100 percent. Maybe viewers and critics have noticed one or two flaws that need to be corrected. Maybe the producers are even struggling day and night to step up the quality of content. But from what we’ve all seen in the first six weeks of broadcast, compared to industry standards, then Moments is worth the wait; worth the watch, and definitely worth every cent expended on it.
The Oprah-style talkshow, conceived by Mo Abudu currently airs on Mnet channel 102 and in the first six episodes since its debut, we’ve come to appreciate why, apart from playing with the initials of the creator’s name, the producer named the show ‘Moments’. For every moment on Moments is a moment you never want to erase in a hurry.
To start with, when was the last time you saw former beauty queen and all-time style icon Nike Oshinowo in a television interview? It is such kind of high calibre guests and a subtle yet probing interview approach that have distinguished Moments, even as the show is yet to spend a quarter on our screens. When Mo and her friends tell us they know the right people in the right places, we go behind their backs, rolls our eyes and say ‘talk is cheap’. But now, with a record-breaking deal with MENT, a committee of sponsors that include MTN and SKYE bank; a first-class assemblage of technical professionals from Nigeria and abroad; and a roll call of guests no one else has been able to lure on set, aren’t we beginning to see that when Mo means business, she doesn’t settle for less?
Her story, to say the lest, is the story of the average Nigerian: resolute, driven, purposeful and always ready to exploit opportunities to the max. so, it’s unsurprising that that’s the kind of story we hear, every week as we tune in to MNET. From Nkechi Okocha to Nike Oshinowo, Kunle Afolayan, Dare Art Alade, John Fashanu and showbiz couple Tunde Wunmi Obe, it’s essentially the same thing. The themes and the scenarios may be different; the perspectives and experiences may vary, but in the core of it all is the discovery that, every moment of our lives, we’re constantly struggling to situate ourselves within the circumstances that nature brings our way – joy, sorrow, death, failure, success, love, tragedy or even life itself. Thankfully, except for a few, those that have told their stories on Moments have, unknowingly, provided a trailer-load of inspiration for millions sitting on their sofas and watching. Some stories have challenged us. Some have amused us. While some simply give us this feeling of de javu. Imagine someone on your screen, sharing a personal life experience. And there you are, going through the same experience, or having only recently emerged from such. You want to break your TV open, join them on set and scream ‘I’ve been there. I’ve passed through that road before!’
Sadly, as interesting and revealing as it is, millions across Africa, for whom the show has been designed, may never get to see it at all. By not being on terrestrial TV, only DSTV subscribers can watch for now, locking out many homes where DSTV is a luxury. And if we’re not to deceive ourselves, there are many of such homes around us. In fact, those without DSTV and other cable networks far outweigh those who have. I stand to be corrected. And to make matters worse, the timing on MNET even makes it that, while the show is on, most of us are still stuck in traffic, trying to find our way out of the usual bottle-necks that daily surface in Lagos around rush hours. Moments currently airs 6pm local time on Wednesdays, Thursdays and Fridays with repeat broadcasts at 3pm Saturdays and noon on Mondays and Tuesdays. It is almost certain that most people, who have read or heard about the show, are yet to get an opportunity to tune in; either because they can not afford a DSTV decoder, or because they’re just simply in traffic when Mo is at work.
And talking of Mo, the TV debutante is getting better with each edition of the show. And it is hoped that as the programme proceeds, she’ll master the art of chatting; interrogation, the art of probing and extracting details her guests would have sworn never to give out. The art, employed wisely by gurus like Larry King, Peirs Morgan, Maudlyn Park and Oprah Winfrey ensures the guests empty their souls; the hosts gets a sense of accomplishment and it gives the audience reasons to abandon all they’re doing next time the show is on air!