Tuesday, January 24, 2017

Fifth season of MTV Africa's Shuga sex drama filmed in South Africa will be set in a fictionalised Soweto called Zenzele; adds Nigerian artists.

The 5th season of MTV Africa's Shuga, filmed for the first time in South Africa, is bringing a South African flavour to the mix but is toning down its overt "South Africanness", adding Nigerian artists and setting it in a fictional township doubling as Soweto.

While MTV's Shuga is being filmed in South Africa for the first time, MTV Africa wants the pan-African edutainment sex drama to remain relatable to a broad African youth audience base that will be broadcast in several African nations.

Quizzical Pictures, producing the fifth season of Shuga entitled Shuga: Down South, for Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa), decided to create and set the new season in the clubs and schools of "Zenzele" - a fictionalised version of the sprawling South African township of Soweto, bordering Johannesburg's mining belt in the south.

Nigerian artists are part of the latest season to keep a pan-African feel to the gritty series that in its new 8-episodes will continue to tell cautionary tales around HIV/Aids and youth sex, drug use, teen motherhood and unplanned pregnancy, and other relational issues young African people are confronted with.

South African actors Given Stuurman (soccer player Reggie struggling with his sexual identity), Stephanie Sandows (mercenary teenager Tsholo), Ayandai Makayi (possessive boyfriend Sol) and Winnie Ntshaba (religious mother Neliswe) have been added to Shuga: Down South.

They join Vanessa Mdee (Storm), Clint Brink (Rakeem), Thuso Mbedu (pictured) (Ipeleng), Mohau Mokoatle Cele (Bongi), Jezriel Skei (Quinton), Lerato Walaza (teen mom Zamo) and Phila Mazibuko (DJ Coalstove).

Nigerian actors Emmaniel Ifeanyi Ikubese (Femi) and Adesua Etomi (Sheila), as well as Kenya's Nick Mutuma (Leo) will also appear. The Nigerian artist Seyi Shay and South African rapper Kwesta will make guest appearances in Shuga: Down South as themselves.

After open auditions, six more people were added to the cast: Samkelisiwe Makhoba as troubled teenager Kensai, Cebo Zikhali (Kitso), Sphelele Mzimela (Sis No'xolo), Herbert Sibanda (Fentse), Eve Rasimeni (nurse) and Thabiso Seboka (soccer player).

Production on Shuga: Down South started in December 2016 and will be broadcast  from 8 March on MTV Base (DStv 322). Shuga will also be shown BET (DStv 129) and on SABC1 later in 2017.