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MTV Shuga Is Back

MTV Staying Alive Foundation scales up its work across Africa and India, with the launch of three new campaigns.

The MTV Shuga drama series and multimedia campaign was introduced in Nairobi in 2009 and features young people from the African continent. From Kenya to Nigeria, South Africa, Cote d'Ivoire, and India, the drama has covered a wide range of topics including HIV testing & prevention, Covid-19, family planning & contraception, transactional sex, gender-based violence, and condom usage since 2009. As part of its ongoing outreach efforts, MTV Shuga is expanding its messaging beyond HIV and reproductive health, with new seasons on the way to address COVID-19, gender equity, tuberculosis, substance use, and mental health issues as well.

Three upcoming campaigns of MTV Shuga have been announced by the MTV SHUGA Staying Alive Foundation (SAF); MTV Shuga Naija (Nigeria), MTV Shuga Down South (South Africa), and MTV Nishedh (India). The foundation is launching this campaign in these three regions after the Covid 19 Pandemic, this is also the first time it is expanding its messaging beyond HIV and reproductive health.

The Executive Director of MTV Staying Alive Foundation, and Executive Producer of MTV Shuga & MTV Nishedh, Georgia Arnold while speaking on the impact of the show stated; “We know that if a young person has interacted with our campaigns, it has a positive impact on their behavioral choices and their lives. Seeing this proven impact has encouraged us to scale up our campaigns and broaden our messaging to include social issues like gender equity and substance abuse, as well as health issues like Tuberculosis, COVID-19, and mental health. I’m excited that we’ll be able to reach even more young people, empowering them to make informed choices about the social and health issues they encounter. With partners like Viacom18 on board for India's leg, it gives the campaign monumental leverage in terms of reach and engagement.”

Season 5 of MTV Shuga Naija tagged ‘CARRY GO’ will be produced by Isioma Osaje and Temidayo Makanjuola of 1Pod Pictures. The duo will produce a show that will continue to address HIV prevention and will encourage conversations around gender-based violence and gender equity. It will also raise awareness about the risks of COVID-19 and encourage vaccination.

Monde Twala, Senior Vice President of Paramount Africa, Peer Lead BET International, and MTV Staying Alive Board Member while addressing the press stated that “The upcoming MTV Shuga campaigns are poised to uplift and empower youth across the African continent and in India. A huge percentage of youth globally reside in Africa and India, so the impact we are hoping to make is no small feat. Not only are we excited about the TV series, radio, and digital content, but we are thrilled to be taking these messages directly to the youth on the ground through peer education. By enlisting the youth to be a part of the change, we ensure that they are not just passively consuming our edutainment content but are included in the solution.”

MTV Nishedh Season 2 will premiere in 2022; MTV Shuga Naija and MTV Shuga Down South in 2023. All episodes of MTV Nishedh will be broadcast on MTV India and Hindi General Entertainment channels of Viacom18 and will be digitally streaming on VOOT. The MTV Shuga Naija and Down South series will premiere on MTV Base, BET and Free to Air broadcasters, SABC and NTA, followed by YouTube and Facebook. All MTV Shuga seasons will be available on Netflix after broadcast on TV and will then air on national broadcasters within a few weeks of launching.

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