Shuga (TV series)
|Written by||Amanda Lane, Desiree Markgraaff, Angus Gibson|
|Directed by||Teboho Mahlatsi & Angus Gibson|
|Creative director(s)||Tim Horwood|
|Theme music composer||Banky W., WizKid, L-Tido and Bonie|
|Country of origin||Kenya|
|Original language(s)||English, Swahili.|
|No. of seasons||3|
|No. of episodes||17|
|Running time||Season 1 ~ 72 minutes
Season 2 ~ 134 minutes
|Production company(s)||The Bomb Shelter|
|Original airing||November 2009|
|Shuga: Love, Sex, Money|
Shuga is a Kenyan television soap opera that was first aired in November 2009 on MTV Base as part of an initiative dubbed "MTV Staying Alive Ignite!". It was commissioned by MTV Networks Africa in association with The MTV Staying Alive Foundation, PEPFAR (The US President's Emergency Fund for Aids Relief), the Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation (HFG) and the Government of Kenya, as part of a ground-breaking multimedia campaign to spread the message about responsible sexual behaviour and tolerance. It later became a hit and was aired in 40 different African countries before it was aired internationally in over 70 television stations. It was thought to be a very controversial series by the senior generation of Kenyans because it contained some scenes that contained sexually explicit content. It bagged a Gold award in May 2010 at the World Media Festival in Hamburg, Germany in the Public Relations Health category for its vivid and uncompromising focus on love, emotions and sexual behavior amongst the Kenyan youth.
Season one comprised three episodes that followed the lives and love of a group of young students whose bright lives and fabulous future were balanced on a knife edge due to their love of risk and danger. This season told the story of a modern girl Ayira (Lupita Nyong'o) who knew what she wanted and how to get it. She developed passion with an older man at the expense of a longtime lover Ty. This season also highlighted the life of other two lovers Virginia and Leo who had various obstacles in their relationships but they were determined to make it work. This season also featured Cameo appearances of Madtraxx, P-Unit, Nonini, Nameless, Juliani, Jimmy Gate and Dj Adrian.
Principal photography for the series took place in Kenya (Nairobi and Malindi) in August – September 2011. The title song for “Shuga: Love, Sex, Money” debuted on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) on Tuesday 14 February 2012. Other artists that featured in the atmospheric soundtrack to Shuga: Love, Sex, Money included Camp Mulla, Flavour, P-Square, Wyre, STL, Madtraxx, J Martins, Sasha, Stella Mwangi and many others. Season two premiered on 10 February 2012  and it was an invite only affair at the Kenya National Museums which was attended by the Shuga Cast, MTV Executives, Kenya Government officials, MTV VJ Kule Ekirapa, MTV Rising Stars as well as a host of local and international media and music personalities. This season comprises six episodes which shall be followed by a one-hour synopsis episode. It is aired in Africa weekly on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) from Tuesday 14 February 2012 at 21:30 CAT (20:30 WAT/22:30 EAT) and on a multiple other terrestrial broadcasters around the world. The storylines in this season are rape, transactional sex and homosexuality plus a bunch of other issues to be explored included HIV testing, stigma, condom use, gender inequity and the role of multiple concurrent partnerships in driving the HIV epidemic. This season also aired some gay scenes that were meant to tackle the HIV/AIDs spread among the gay people. According to Georgia Arnold the executive producer of the drama series, the actual plan had to be pulled back to avoid controversy since it was a delicate matter in Kenya.
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- "Award winning series back on MTV Base". Retrieved 17 March 2012.
- Mukei, Catherine (2012). "'Invinsible' gay scenes on shuga II TV series". the-star.co.ke. Retrieved 31 March 2012.