This morning on CNN, the world’s premier news network, Isha Sesay asked Mo Abudu, CEO of EbonyLife TV, about her forthcoming series, The Dahomey Warriors. Mo explained that EbonyLife TV was started as a means of changing the narrative about Africa, with its usual negative perceptions, and telling rich, powerful stories about the continent, its history and its influence on the world. Beginning six years ago, the channel came across amazing stories, including one about female elephant hunters in 1645, who developed into a feared fighting force and bodyguard to the ruler of the west African kingdom of Dahomey (part of modern-day Benin).
Development of the project led to the search for a suitable global production partner, which resulted in the deal with Sony Pictures Television in late March. The phenomenal success of Black Panther enabled both partners to see the potential of producing a story focused on these warrior women and the dramatic lives they must have led. In response to a question about authenticity, Mo Abudu affirmed that casting would remain true to the aesthetic of the period and location of the story. “The blacker the better, with melanin popping,” was her hilarious response. Also, Mo was quick to stress that Dahomey Warriors is the first of many stories that will come to our screens, as a result of the deal with Sony.
Full interview video below: