MTV's groundbreaking series Shuga is back for a 5th series and this time it's headed down south. Set in the cool clubs, hangouts and schools of Johannesburg’s Braamfontein, and the township of “Zenzele”, the new season brings more grit and drama than ever before. Starring Vanessa Mdee, Nick Mutuma and Emmanuel Ikubese, with cameo performances from Seyi Shay and Kwesta.
Shuga is a ground-breaking 360-degree mass-media behaviour-change campaign that aims to improve the sexual and reproductive health of young people. The campaign is driven by awarding-winning TV series and encompasses innovative radio, digital, social media, and mobile elements. The TV show is available rights-free at no cost to third-party broadcasters to ensure maximum reach. Shuga fuses sexual-health messaging with gripping storylines, exploring the issues of sexual relationships between young people.
Previous series have been set in Kenya and Nigeria; MTV Shuga boss, Georgia Arnold spoke about the move to the south of the African continent: "MTV Shuga is moving to South Africa at a time when HIV prevalence is up to 8 times higher among adolescent girls than among adolescent males (15-19 years old) in South Africa. (UNAIDS 2015). While the total number of AIDS-related deaths in all age groups fell by 35% between 2005 and 2013, AIDS-related deaths in adolescents increased by 50%. (Lancet Commission 2015).”
The exciting return of MTV Shuga follows a newly released study that shows ‘MTV viewers are twice as likely to get tested for HIV’. The study conducted by the World Bank and released today, has shown that ‘MTV Shuga has had a profoundly positive effect on knowledge, attitudes and behaviours of young people relating to HIV/AIDS and safe sex’. So not only are audiences being entertained, they are also making positive changes.
The series is being distributed across Africa but you can also watch it wherever you are in the world via the YouTube channel – watch episode 1 here.