Shuga (TV series)

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MTVShuga, Image, February 2012.png
Shuga Naija title screen
Genre Drama series
Written by Amanda Lane (Season 1; Season 2)
Kemi Adesoye (Head Writer) (Season 3)
Directed by Teboho Mahlatsi (Season 1 - 2)
Angus Gibson, John Trengrove (Season 2)
Biyi Bandele (Season 3)
Creative director(s) Tim Horwood (Season 1 - 2)
Tope Oshin Ogun, Jane Arnell (Season 3 - 4)
Starring Tiwa Savage (Season 3)
Lupita Nyong'o (Season 1 - 2)
Ikubese Emmanuel (Season 2 - 3)
Okezie Morro (Season 3)
Maria Okanrende (Season 3)
Dorcas Shola Fapson (Season 3)
Sharon Olago (Season 1 - 2)
Antony Mwangi (Season 2)
Edward Nyanaro (Season 2)
Nick Mutuma (Season 2)
Avril Nyambura (Season 2)
Nancy Karanja (Season 2)
Theme music composer David Campos, Philip Miller (Season 1 - 2)
Warrick Sony (Season 1)
Nic Patton, Hibou Music (Season 2)
Ben Onono, Rhys Adams (Season 3)
Country of origin Kenya (Season 1 - 2)
Nigeria (Season 3 - 4)
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 5
No. of episodes 29
Executive producer(s) Georgia Arnold (Season 1 - 3)
Cathy N. Phiri (Season 1 - 2)
Sara Piot, Richard Warburton (Season 3)
Producer(s) Desiree Markgraaff (Season 1 - 2)
Jonathan Curling (Season 3)
Location(s) Kenya (Season 1 - 2)
Nigeria (Season 3)
Cinematography Zeno Petersen (Season 1 - 2)
Hein de Vos (Season 3)
Editor(s) Carl Morgan (Season 1)
Jeremy Briers (Season 2)
Matthew Bate (Season 3)
Running time ~30 minutes
Production company(s) The Bomb Shelter (Season 1 - 2)
MTV Staying Alive Foundation Production (Season 3)
Distributor Viacom International Media Networks (Season 3)
Original network MTV
Original release November 2009
External links
MTV Shuga

Shuga, also known as MTV Shuga, is a television drama series that was first aired in November 2009 on MTV Base as part of an initiative dubbed "MTV Staying Alive Ignite!". Its first two seasons 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 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.[1] 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.[2] 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.[3]

In 2013, production of the series was moved to Nigeria, where the third and subsequent seasons are set. Dubbed "Shuga Naija",[4] the new version is a multimedia campaign which educates youths on HIV, safe sex and teen pregnancy.[5] It also touches on maternal and child health, family planning, gender-based violence, and women empowerment.[6][7] It was produced in partnership with Nigeria's "National Agency for the Control of AIDS" (NACA).[8][9] The season 3 of the series was broadcast via 88 television stations across the world, with estimated household viewers of over 550 million.[10]

Season 1 (2009)[edit]

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.[11] This season also featured cameo appearances from Madtraxx, P-Unit, Nonini, Nameless, Juliani, Jimmy Gate and Dj Adrian.[12]

Season 2 (2011)[edit]

Principal photography for the series took place in Kenya (Nairobi and Malindi)[13] in August – September 2011. The title song for “Shuga: Love, Sex, Money” debuted on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) on Tuesday 14 February 2012.[14] Other artists that featured in the atmospheric soundtrack to Shuga: Love, Sex, Money included Camp Mulla, Flavour, P-Square, Wyre, Madtraxx, J Martins, Sasha, Stella Mwangi and many others. Season two premiered on 10 February 2012 [15] 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.[16] 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.[17] 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.[18]

Season 3 (2013)[edit]

The third season of the series, dubbed Shuga Naija, was shot and set in Nigeria, produced in partnership with the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA).[8] It is directed by Biyi Bandele and stars Tiwa Savage, Chris Attoh, Maria Okanrende, Emmanuel Ikubese, Sharon Ezeamaka, Efa Iwara, Dorcas Shola Fapson, Okezie Morro, Timini Egbuson, Kachi Nnochiri, Sanni Mu'azu and Leonora Okine.[19] Shuga Naija tells the story of different Lagos youths and how they deal with love, sex and relationships.

It was officially announced in June 2013 that the new seasons of Shuga will now be produced in Nigeria[9] At the unveiling event,[20] it was stated that the new series will have a whole new look; with new predominantly Nigerian cast and crew.[4][5] Speaking on the transition, Alex Okosi, the Managing Director of Viacom International Media Networks Africa says producing the project in Nigeria will help the realization of the series due to Nigeria's flourishing entertainment industry.[9] According to Business Day; "When it is a Nollywood production, it tends to get more recognition and embrace for people, both locally and internationally".[5] Principal photography commenced in August, mainly in Lagos.[9]

The third season of Shuga [Shuga Naija] premiered on 26 November 2013 at the Silverbird Cinema, Victoria Island, Lagos,[21] and was generally positively received by the audience.[22][23]

Season 4 (2015)[edit]

It has been officially announced that the fourth season of Shuga will commence filming in Nigeria, in the early months of 2015,[10] with a release date slated for June 2015. Prior to its release, a nationwide HIV campaign tagged "MTV Shuga on Tour" will hold in March 2015, in partnership with the Elton John AIDS Foundation. The campaign will also involve peer to peer education drive seeking to change the attitude of Nigerian youth towards public health issues. Like in previous seasons, Shuga 4 will focus on a range of themes, which include adolescent girls, stigma, prevention of mother to child transmission (PMTCT), HIV testing, gender based violence, first sex and the disclosure of HIV status.[24][25]


  1. ^ "Staying-Alive". Retrieved 29 February 2012. 
  2. ^ "Season 2 contains 6 Epsisodes". Retrieved 3 March 2012. 
  3. ^ "HALL OF FAME - WINNERS 2010". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  4. ^ a b Milah, Ojay (28 June 2013). "MTV TV Show Shifts to Nigeria from Kenya". Daily Times. Daily Times Nigeria. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  5. ^ a b c Ochugbua, Mary (5 July 2013). "MTV Shuga launches in Nigeria". BusinessDay. Business Day Online. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  6. ^ "'SHUGA' SEASON 3 LAUNCHED: Shifts to Nigeria,with only one Kenyan actor". Hinamundi Reviews. 5 August 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  7. ^ "Shuga Ends With A Pow Wow! Catch Episode 8 of MTV Shuga – 'Kasala'". Bella Naija. 20 January 2014. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  8. ^ a b "TV series & multimedia campaign to educate Nigerian youth on HIV, safe sex & teen pregnancy". MTV. MTV Base. 24 June 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  9. ^ a b c d "MTV Berths 'Shuga' in Nigeria". This Day Newspaper. ThisDay Live. 30 June 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  10. ^ a b "Kenyan Actors for Shuga Season 4?". 6 December 2014. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  11. ^ Rosemary, Kokuhilwa. "Shuga: The Movie (The MTV Staying Alive HIV/AIDS Campaign)". Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  12. ^ "MTV "Shuga" to feature local rappers". Capital Group. Retrieved 22 March 2012. 
  13. ^ "MTV Shows | Shuga: Love, Sex, Money – Season 2". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  14. ^ "SHUGA Sound Track". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  15. ^ Kevin Oyugi. "GHAFLA! EXCLUSIVE: MTV SHUGA PREMIERE + TRAILER". Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  16. ^ Fadhili, Qanini. "Default Shuga: Love, Sex and Money premieres in Nairobi today". Retrieved 8 March 2012. 
  17. ^ "Award winning series back on MTV Base". Retrieved 17 March 2012. 
  18. ^ Mukei, Catherine (2012). "'Invinsible' gay scenes on shuga II TV series". Retrieved 31 March 2012. 
  19. ^ "It's Finally Here! Watch Episode 1 of MTV Base's Shuga Season 3 – "Home Coming"". Bella Naija. 6 December 2013. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  20. ^ Arogundade, Funsho (28 June 2013). "MTV Adds 'Shuga' To Nigerian Talents". PM News. PM News Nigeria. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  21. ^ Ojo, Amaka (27 November 2013). "Biyi Bandele, Alex Okosi, Banky W, Iyanya, others attend premiere of MTV's Shuga". Nigerian Entertainment Today. The NET NG. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  22. ^ Sulaiman, Azeezat Fadekemi (15 March 2014). "TV Review: Shuga Season 3". Naija Living. Retrieved 6 October 2014. 
  23. ^ Babalola, Bisoye (5 January 2014). "Teen Y! HOT: Watch Shuga Naija the cast would make you love this series". YNaija. YNaija. Retrieved 7 October 2014. 
  24. ^ Ikeh, Chrysanthus (3 December 2014). "MTV announces HIV campaign tagged Shuga on Tour". Nigerian Entertainment Today. The NET NG. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 
  25. ^ Opeoluwani, Akintayo (4 December 2014). "Shuga To Premier Season 5 June 2015". Daily Times. Retrieved 21 December 2014. 

External links[edit]