BusinessDay

An interview with MO ABUDU and Kate Henshaw on the release of Blood Sisters on Netflix

What inspired the storyline for Blood Sisters?
Mo Abudu: Life inspired it in terms of when you look around society but again it wasn’t my original idea it was Temi she’s my daughter, I’m very proud of her it was her original idea a few years ago before she was about to get married, her engagement and she was thinking about various things. She’s a producer in that creative space, she’s a storyteller always thinking about what the next big story and she said “ imagine if this my engagement went this way you know” It obviously wasn’t based on her life or anything like that but she reflected on what’s happening in our society; from dysfunctional family settings, to secrets we keep as family, to domestic violence, to drug abuse.All of these things that are in our community today plays a role in the series so it’s a very very relatable series and what I love about it is that anybody, be you wealthy be you poor you will be able to relate to blood sisters and that’s the big takeaway for everyone.

Why did you decide to break this content into a limited series?

Mo Abudu: We didn’t decide to do a limited series

So is that the end of it or are we expecting more episodes?

Mo Abudu: Well, it depends; never say never; they could suddenly come back and say limited is now unlimited, you know how it is in this world. Even telecoms will say it’s a little bundle, then an unlimited bundle at the exit. So I don’t know if it could become unlimited at one point, but that’s not for me to say today. As of now, it’s a limited series.

Domestic violence is a prevailing theme in the series; why was it essential to shed light on this ?

Mo Abudu: Yes, I mean, somebody said to me the other day that people will say maybe you are trying to take advantage of things because of the recent events in Nigeria. This story was developed at least three to four years ago, was shot during the pandemic and is only making its way. It’s a massive process in planning, from production to post-production to getting something on, so it doesn’t happen overnight. If anyone thinks we are taking advantage of any situation that has taken place in Nigeria recently, we are not. The thing is that this has been happening in our society for the longest time. Kate is sitting next to me here. We did a series a 10years ago called screen divas, and it was based on domestic violence, and their job was to see how they could help women that were dealing with domestic violence, and she’s very passionate about domestic violence. I’m also passionate about those things when it comes to empowering women and strengthening women, so
it’s a thing that I think was time. I think it was about everything happening at the right time. I think it was time for a story like this to be done a couple of years ago, we did human trafficking, and you could see it was very much out there. Still, now it’s domestic violence, and we have other projects dealing with a lot of these issues in a way that is entertaining and informative because our stories are not agenda-driven. They are not NGO-driven. They are entertainment-driven but with a powerful message within there.

Read also: Blood Sisters: Mo Abudu’s exceptional comeback from Chief Daddy 2

What is your advice for young ladies who are battling this challenge of juggling family pressure and safety?

Kate Henshaw: I’d say there’s never not a time for you not to speak up you see in our society we keep things hidden we have a lot of secrecy we don’t even believe i talking to a counsellor about how we are feeling abroad it’s a thing where you would have a counselling session you would speak to experts about how you are feeling even be hypnotised so that you can go to where your mind is and help you deal with whatever it is but here it’s a culture of silence that perpetrates a lot of evil and then there’s a lot of pressure from even parents to their children on how to live in certain way you have a girl who says to her mom my husband or fiancé see how he’s beating me and they’ll say what will people say … you will try and manage I’ve stayed with your father all these years you think I didn’t see anything you know II stayed with him, I raised you up what will people say that I’m a failure, you see that alone is pressure on the shoulders of the girl who has not even started life there’s a lot of expectation and parents are trying to live their lives through the lives of their children they should let children be they should let them make their own decisions and then be there to support them. I’d say this about a friend of mine who got married, and her father, at the wedding reception, spoke to the husband you’ve married my daughter, please; if at any point in time this is a true-life story, you don’t need her again, please don’t touch her room in my house is still going to be there please send her back to me as I gave her and I think that was just brilliant because when you know that you have a family to support you, you have friends to help you
then whatever it is you are dealing with, you can go back home and get your mind ready because life is meant to be enjoyed, not endured

Mo Abudu: Absolutely, that’s a good one to be enjoyed, not endured.

It was interesting to see you in a wicked mother-in-law role. What was that like for you?

Kate: I think I’ll be telling the story till the day I die as long as you are talking about blood sisters she gave me the opportunity she gave me the platform and also kudos and thanks to Netflix for also accepting that I’m going to play that role because it was a collective effort and I also auditioned let me say it loud and clear we were screen tested pretty there was no favouritism because people like to think, they’ve said it to me that I’m racist and she wants to give me a lot of roles and all that please it was on merit if I didn’t look the part or they didn’t think I could pull it off I wouldn’t have but I’m glad for this opportunity because I feel that as an actor people like to box you in if you cry a lot you will call till the day you leave this industry and if you’ve suffered a lot you will suffer till the day you die so I want to be other things I want to show my reign that is why I always do stage and tv that gives me opportunity to be different people so I’m glad for the chance thank you to ebonylife studio and Netflix you need to watch Uduak in this series she was amazing every single actor was outstanding is it Ini is it Nancy, is it genevieve, when I was a crew member every time I got dressed and came out she would be like lady Uduak and my shoulder will just go up.

Mo Abudu: She was terrific in that series.

What can the audience expect from Blood sisters?
Mo Abudu; it’s exciting, it’s thrilling, it’s ecstatic, it’s the best thing that has come out of Nigeria at this time. It’s accurate and relevant.

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