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MTV Shuga

Genres: Drama, Education
Broadcast on: SABC1, e.tv, eKasi+, BET International, Top One, MTV Africa, MTV Base, StarTimes One, FX Africa, BET Africa, eExtra

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Description


MTV Shuga (known simply as Shuga for its first three seasons) is a South African/Kenyan/Nigerian television drama series created as part of the MTV Staying Alive Ignite campaign, a multimedia campaign designed to empower and motivate sexually active youth and young adults to modify their sexual behaviour, and to embrace positive prevention strategies towards HIV infection.

The series, which first aired in November 2009 on MTV Base, explores key issues such as HIV testing, condom use, gender inequality and the role of multiple concurrent partnerships play in driving the HIV epidemic.

MTV Shuga is aimed at positively changing the behaviour of young people in order to improve their sexual and reproductive health. The series interweaves the tales of original and newly introduced characters in the various episodes.

The first two seasons of this drama are based in Nairobi, Kenya, while the third and fourth seasons were based in Nigeria. It moved to South Africa for Season 5, which was titled MTV Shuga: Down South.

Season 1 is a three-part drama series that follows the lives of a group of cool young students whose bright lives and fabulous futures are balanced on a knife-edge due to their love of risk and danger. It is a story of love, sex, Friday nights and the indelible marks we leave on one another.

Season 1 features actress, producer and director Lupita Nyong'o, reality show star and recording artist Valerie Kimani, established actors Anthony Mwangi and Nicolas Mutuma as well as South African actor Tumisho Masha.

Season 2 runs with the tagline "Love, Sex, Money" and explores a raw and uncut view of the lives of sexually active young Kenyans who are forced to face up to the consequences of their party-hard lifestyle.

Based in Nigeria, Season 3 relates a bittersweet tale of love, betrayal, relationships and heartaches among a small group of friends. Secrets and lies, crossed wires and broken dreams are at the heart of Season 3.

Season 4 picks up the story some months after the end of Season 3, exploring a number of themes and storylines that include first sex, grooming of adolescent girls, prevention of mother-to-child transmission (PMTCT) of HIV, disclosure of HIV status, sexual assault within a relationship, stigma, mentoring, and the use of helplines.

The fifth season, directed by Mmabatho Montsho, Thabang Moleya and Rea Rangaka and set in South Africa, includes a new focus on issues affecting adolescent girls in South Africa, with a particular emphasis on their vulnerability to unintended pregnancy and HIV infection.

The season interweaves stories of heartbreak, love, betrayal and difficult decisions among contemporary South African youth. Other key plot points include transactional sex, living with HIV, infidelity and issues affecting LGBT teens.

Season 6, now known as MTV Shuga Naija, returns to Nigeria with a mix of familiar and new faces. This year's storylines range from young mothers who have to make tough decisions to look out for their children, to daring characters who will do anything to see their dreams come true.

But what happens when the choices they make land them up in even more trouble than they could have imagined?

Season 7 is known as MTV Shuga: Down South 2 and is set one year on from the previous season, as old and new faces collide in the buzzing downtown hub of Braamfontein and the fictional vibrant township of Zenzele, where the characters come to terms with young adulthood, their relationships, sexual health, happiness and the challenges of self-acceptance and survival.

Directed by Thishiwe Ziqubu, Vivek Mehta and previous MTV Breaks winner Mlu Godola, the season focuses on topical issues in South Africa including toxic masculinity, the realities of living with HIV as a young person, and the root causes of gender-based violence.

Other key plot points include domestic violence, transactional sex, knowing your HIV status, antiretroviral treatment adherence and LGBTQ+ relationships.

Season 8 tackles social issues such as HIV prevention, HIV self testing, treatment adherence, sexually transmitted infections, tuberculosis, substance abuse, self-care, mental health, gender-based violence and various issues involving the LGBTQI+ community, amongst others.

Each storyline is laced with an original musical score from Amapiano to Afrobeats and every genre in between.

Amapiano power duo Mellow & Sleazy and Matorokisi singer Makhadzi make guest appearances, and this season unveils a dramatic drum majorette crew, that incorporates traditional and modern dance styles whilst adding a burst of colour to the episodes.

The series was produced by Bomb for the first four seasons. Quizzical Pictures took over as producers from Seasons 5-7; Burnt Onion took over for Season 8.

Starring Cast
 

Season 1

Lupita Nyong'o		... 	Ayira
Pepe Haze		... 	Ty
Tumisho Masha		... 	Felix
Sharon Olago		... 	Violet
Valerie Kimani		... 	Sindi
Eva Kanyang'onda	... 	Virginia
Nick Mutuma		... 	Leo
David Omwange		... 	Skola
Antony Mwangi		... 	Kennedy

Season 2

Sharon Olago		...	Violet
Nancy Karanja		...	Baby
Avril			...	Miss B'have (real name Judith Nyambura Mwangi)
Nicholas Mutuma		...	Leo
Edward Nyanaro		...	Rayban
Antony Mwangi		...	Kennedy
Ikubese Emmanuel Ifeanyi...	Femi
Lupita N'yongo		...	Ayira

Season 3

Tiwa Savage		...	Sade
Ikubese Emmanuel Ifeanyi...	Femi (as Emmanuel Ikubese)
Okezie Morro		...	Ekene
Maria Okanrende		...	Foye
Dorcas Shola Fapson	...	Sophie
Timini Egbuson		...	Tobi
Efa Iwara		...	David
Sharon Ezeamaka		...	Princess
Kachi Nnochiri		...	Osaro
Sani Mu'azu		...	Solomon

Season 4

Ikubese Emmanuel Ifeanyi...	Femi (as Emmanuel Ikubese)
Chris Attoh		...	Nii
Dorcas Shola Fapson	...	Sophie
Sharon Ezeamaka		...	Princess
Nick Mutuma		...	Leo
Olumide Oworu		...	Weki
Adesua Etomi		...	Sheila
Timini Egbuson		...	Tobi
Mohau Mokoatle		...	Bongi (as Mohau Mokoatle-Cele)
Zoe Favour		...	Mary (as Favour Abigail Zoe)
Jemima Osunde		...	Leila
Peace Hyde		...	Eniola

Season 5

Mohau Mokoatle		...	Bongi
Ikubese Emmanuel Ifeanyi...	Femi (as Emmanuel Ikubese)
Lerato Walaza		...	Zamo
Given Stuurman		...	Reggie
Thuso Mbedu		...	Ipeleng
Nick Mutuma		...	Leo
Samkelisiwe Makhoba	...	Khensani
Stephanie Sandows	...	Tsholo
with Clint Brink	...	Rakeem
Ayanda Makayi		...	Sol
Jezriel Skei		...	Q
featuring Vanessa Mdee	...	Storm

Season 6

Jemima Osunde		...	Leila
Rahama Sadau		...	Yasmin
Timini Egbuson		...	Tobi
Uzoamaka Aniunoh	...	Cynthia
Abayomi Alvin		...	Ebisinde
Helena Nelson		...	Diana
Olumide Oworu		...	Weki
Adebukola Oladipupo	...	Faa
Amal Umar		...	Hadiza
Bolanle Olukanni	...	Uju
Ruby Akubueze		...	Frances
Yakubu Mohammed		...	Mahmud
Ozzy Agu		...	Cyril
Moses Akerele		...	Khalil
Sharon Ezeamaka		...	Princess
Chimezie Imo		...	Shina
Sharon Jatto		...	Simi
Tomiwa Tegbe		...	Wasiu

Season 7

Thuso Mbedu		...	Ipeleng
Given Stuurman		...	Reggie
Lerato Walaza		...	Zamo
Malibongwe Mdwaba	...	Kwanele
Mamodibe Ramodibe	...	Arabeng
Samke Makhoba		...	Khensani
Jezriel Skei		...	Q
Mohau Cele		...	Bongi
Ayanda Makayi		...	Sol

Season 8

Ayanda Makayi		...	Sol
Dee Rasedile		...	Thuli (as Dineo Rasedile)
Lobisa Tsatsi		...	Azania
Alexander Adika		...	Victor
Chidera Nwoha		...	Khenzo
Palesa Mothopi		...	Vuvu
Ziya Xulu		...	Warona
Ayanda Nzimande		...	Kedibone
Ayakha Ntunja		...	Thembi
Zazi Kunene		...	Nono
Tyson Mathonsi		...	Snacks
Naret Loots		...	Emma


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