Excitement, as MTV Shuga Naija Season Six premieres
After months of working on location, MTV Shuga Season 6 tagged MTV Shuga Naija, premiered on Thursday, at the FilmHouse IMAX Cinema, Lekki, Lagos. Featuring a stellar cast and a powerful story, the new season of the educating series promises engaging, captivating, suspenseful and twitter-ready moments that homegrown MTV Shuga is known for.
Globally rated as Africa’s most viewed youth-focused series, the programme has since inception in 2009 grown local cultural and social relevance on a continent which is rich in social diversity and culture and where countries are wanting content in local languages that resonates with them culturally.
Broadcast in over 61 countries, the series format which combines music and prevalent pro-social issues which are relevant across the continent, MTV Shuga Season 6 features a plot that both in storyline and visually, portrays the vibrant streets, eclectic clubs along with the bustle of Lagos metropolis along with the contrasting Northern Kano and Kaduna regions.
In keeping with growing and investing in the production and film industry in Africa, the full cast of local talent includes MTV Shuga veterans, who make an appearance to consolidate their roles from Season 4. Timini Egbuson, Jemima Osunde, Sharon Ezeamaka and Olumide Oworu all make a warm return to our screens. New cast members making their debut in season 6 are Ozzy Agu, Rahama Sadau, Amal Umar, Yakubu Muhammad, Bolanle Olukanni, Funlola Aofiyebi-Raimi, Nobert Young, Bukola Oladipupo, Alvin Abayomi, and Helena Nelson along with many more new faces.
Award-winning writer/filmmaker and MTV Shuga Season 4 Producer Chris Ihidero, working together with Emma Uduma and award-winning Nigerian directors, Tolulope Ajayi, Ishaya Bako and Tope Oshin, produce MTV Shuga Naija.
MTV Shuga is a great example of where the format and story line resonates globally. This series together with pulsating entertainment and pop culture is where MTV Shuga Naija weaves in stories that will speak to young people across Nigeria and the many gatekeepers they have to engage with as they navigate choices about safe sex, family planning, the use of contraceptives, peer pressure, domestic and sexual violence.
“We are thrilled to be bringing MTV Shuga back to Nigeria. We can’t wait to share the exciting new storylines and important messaging on family planning and sexual health that we’re touching on this season. We’ll explore more issues that affect young people and highlight the reality faced by many adolescents in their everyday lives, as well as the choices they can make to empower themselves,” said Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility for MTV Networks International
Commenting on the return of MTV Shuga, Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), Alex Okosi, said: “VIMN Africa is committed to empowering young people in Africa, and through MTV Shuga, we address key social issues affecting young people through realistic storylines and characters that resonate with them. The series seeks to impart knowledge and empower the youth to take positive action towards their health and lives.”
With funding from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, MTV Staying Alive has also worked with Lagos State Ministry of Health, Hello Lagos, Nurhi, Adolescent 360 (SFH) and DKT to ensure accurate and relevant messaging throughout the scripts. MTV Shuga is working to improve knowledge, attitudes and behaviour with regards to sexual and reproductive health and increase the uptake of family planning services and commodities in Nigeria, with particular focus on adolescent girls (15-19) and young women (20-24).
Since it launched in Kenya in 2009, MTV Shuga has been broadcast in over 61 countries across the world, showing on 180 channels and reaching over 720 million people.
According to a World Bank study on the series, Nigerian viewers were more than twice as likely to go to centers to get tested after six months of watching MTV Shuga. In addition, the rate of girls with chlamydia who watched MTV Shuga was 58% lower than those who did not.
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