Opportunity for young talents as MTV Shuga Naija beckons
Following the recent premiere of the new season of MTV Shuga Down South in South Africa and the announcement of upcoming campaigns in Cote D’Ivoire and India, MTV Shuga continues to champion conversations about real issues affecting young people using relatable characters and stories that revolve around contraception, sexual health, family planning, gender-based violence and other social issues.
In line with the campaign, the award-winning drama series returns to Nigeria and seeks fresh talent for the new season. The MTV Shuga Naija is a multi-sectorial partnership led by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and is supported by MTV Base Africa, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the United Nations Population Fund (UNFPA) and NGOs.
This year’s MTV Shuga Naija TV and radio campaign welcomes award-winning director Tope Oshin as producer. Known for setting the pace for female directors in the Nigerian movie industry, she has earned accolades for her amazing portfolio, featuring movies including Relentless, Fifty, Wedding Party 2, New Money, We Don’t Live Here, and most recently, Up North.
The campaign kicks off with open auditions, which holds on Thursday, April 4 at the Classique Event Centre, Ikeja Lagos. MTV Shuga has been at the forefront of attracting and developing new acting talent including Timini Egbuson, Emmanuel Ikubese, Bukola Oladipupo, Helena Nelson and Jemima Osunde. Last season’s open auditions attracted over 1700 hopefuls. This year, MTV Shuga Naija would-be actors will be judged by a diverse range of industry experts and selected based on their acting skills and originality.
Full information can be found at www.mtvshuga.com/naija. However, this year, applicants are encouraged to pre-register via the MTV Shuga website clicking on the Eventbrite link in the Open Auditions page: http://bit.ly/MTVShugaNaijaAuditions. Registration prior to the auditions gives you fast-tracked access upon arrival at the venue on audition day.
Auditions are open to Nigerian residents aged 18+ and will run from 7am – 3pm. Participants will be required to provide one head shot photograph (minimum size 4×6 inches) and a form of photo identification, such as a passport, driver’s license, national ID card or student ID card.
Speaking on the auditions for the upcoming series, the Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Georgia Arnold said:“We are excited to bring back the public auditions for the new season of MTV Shuga Naija. Our aim is to continue using relatable storytelling to educate and empower young people about social issues like contraception, sexual health, family planning and gender-based violence. We can’t wait to discover amazing new talent to join the MTV Shuga family!”
MTV Shuga remains the gold-standard model for use of mass-media as a vehicle to positively change the behavior of young people. MTV Shuga educates at-risk youth on sexual health and HIV/AIDS awareness, and also ensures that this education is followed through via on-the-ground testing and direction to health services, with proven impact of demand-creation among our audience.
Alex Okosi Executive Vice President and Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks and BET International commented:“MTV Shuga provides an important narrative for our African youth with socially relevant content that resonates globally. This call for auditions is a platform for young talent on the continent to open up the industry with diverse storytelling.”
Pioneered in Nairobi, Kenya in 2009, MTV Shuga is a long-running drama series and multimedia campaign that follows the lives of young people on the African continent. Aired on Viacom international channels around the world, the content is also offered rights-free to 3rd party broadcasters and content platforms, and used as a teaching aid by educators, healthcare workers and grassroots HIV/AIDS organisations around the world.
Over five seasons, the drama has crossed the continent from Kenya to Nigeria and onto South Africa and touched on numerous plotlines relating to HIV and safe sex including HIV testing, stigma, living with HIV, mother to child transmission, transactional sex, gender-based violence, and condom use.
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