MTV Shuga is an edutainment series, which basically means that it mixes education along with its goal of entertainment.
It was first aired in November 2009 on MTV Base as part of an initiative dubbed “MTV Staying Alive Ignite!”
The show targets a very common problem in Africa which is a high incidence of HIV/AIDS. It is therefore targeted at African youth to slow down the spread of HIV/AIDS and encourage frequent testing.
It’s been in two countries already, with Kenya having it for seasons one and two and Nigeria for seasons three and four.
Now however MTV is taking all that MTV Shuga goodness to South Africa for its fifth season. The announcement was made two days ago in New York by Georgia Arnold. He noted that;
“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 return according to the MTV Shuga website comes on the tail of a newly released study which shows that MTV viewers are twice as likely to get tested for HIV.
The study was conducted by the World Bank and was released on Wednesday. So the vision for the show is indeed working as the study shows that; ‘MTV Shuga has had a profoundly positive effect on knowledge, attitudes and behaviors of young people relating to HIV/AIDS and safe sex’.
Pre-production on MTV Shuga is scheduled to begin in September 2016 and will star South African actress Mohau Mokoatle (aka Bongi).
The latest series installment will be funded by South Africa’s Ministry of Basic Education, PEPFAR (The US President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), Marie Stopes International and Positive Action.