WINDHOEK, FEB 26 – The second season tackles crucial issues including Hiv Self-Testing, Preventive Therapy (Prep), Toxic Masculinity, Sexual Identity and Physical Abuse.
Johannesburg, 7 February 2019 – Your favourite characters are back and returning to our screens this February in MTV Shuga: Down South 2. Set one year on from the previous series, old and new faces collide in the buzzing downtown hub of Braamfontein and the fictional vibrant township of Zenzele, as they come to terms with young adulthood, their relationships, sexual health, happiness, and the challenges of self-acceptance and survival.
MTV Shuga: Down South 2 will be broadcast from Tuesday, 12 February 2019 on MTV Base (DStv 322) at 21:30.
Part of a three-year partnership with Unitaid – which includes two other series to be shot in Côte d’Ivoire – the MTV Staying Alive Foundation (MTV SAF) and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, have launched the seventh instalment of the award-winning drama series which will introduce and evaluate storylines on HIV-innovation approaches, including HIV self-testing and preventative drugs (PrEP).
Lelio Marmora, Executive Director of Unitaid, stated: “Millions of people in Africa watch MTV Shuga. Our partnership with MTV Staying Alive Foundation offers a vital bridge to young women and men, who don’t otherwise have reliable access to health information. By raising awareness among young people of the need to take the initiative in protecting themselves from and testing for HIV, MTV Shuga is providing invaluable support for Unitaid investments in HIV self-testing and prevention in Africa.”
Directed by Thishiwe Ziqubu, Vivek Mehta and previous MTV Breaks winner Mlu Godola, the new series focuses on topical issues in South Africa including toxic masculinity, the realities of living with HIV as a young person, and the root causes of gender-based violence. Never one to shy away from difficult subjects, MTV Shuga: Down South 2 is jam-packed with interweaving stories of love, betrayal and the difficult decisions that contemporary South African youth face. Other key plot points include domestic violence, transactional sex, knowing your HIV status, antiretroviral treatment adherence, and LGBTQ+ relationships.
Fan favorites return to the series, from stars including Thuso Mbedu who reprises her role of Ipeleng, the intelligent university scholar who struggles to balance university life with the pressures of caring for unruly little brother Lemo, played by Tshiamo Molobi. Given Stuurman also returns as Reggie, the loveable friend who must now learn to navigate life in Braamfontein as an openly-gay young man. Ayanda Makayi is back in Zenzele as criminal Sol, and Samke Makhoba returns as Khensani who must face life after the loss of her best friend Tsholo. Other key roles are played by Jezriel Skei, Lerato Walaza, Jemima Osunde, Jet Novuka, Nqobile Sipamla, Gcina Grace Olifant, Sthandiwe Kgoroge and Winnie Ntshaba.
Talented newcomers to the series include public auditions winner Malibongwe Mdwaba, who was awarded the principal role Kwanele, a fun-loving party boy who works and lives with friend Reggie, after wowing the judges at the nationwide public auditions last year.
Talent was strong at this season’s public and online auditions, with nine young South Africans awarded roles in the series. Other new characters include Mohale Motaung who stars as the charming Odirile, Mamarumo Marokane who plays sports science student Dineo, Mamodibe Ramodibe who plays Lesotho-born Arabeng, and Dee Rasedile as Sol’s little sister Thuli.
Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, commented “By empowering young people to make informed decisions about their sexual health and relationships, MTV Shuga trusts in the ability of our viewers to become a force for positive change. Contemporary, provocative, but most importantly – relevant – MTV Shuga reflects young peoples’ lives and features characters and stories that resonate.”
Alex Okosi, Executive Vice President & Managing Director, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN Africa) added, “MTV Shuga continues to be an incredibly powerful catalyst for education and change on the continent. This instalment of MTV Shuga Down South highlights our efforts as MTV Base in collaboration with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and our partners to empower the youth of Africa.”
Music has always been at the heart of MTV Shuga, and this series features emotive performances from Patty Monroe, Rowlene Bosman, Melo B, DJ Slique along with additional exciting contemporary South African artists woven into the storylines. MTV Shuga: Down South 2 also features a vibrant soundtrack which viewers can listen to on Spotify and Soundcloud by searching for the handle MTV Shuga.
MTV Shuga: Down South 2 is also complemented by a radio drama series, a hugely successful peer-education programme, a comic book, audience polling, consumer helplines, mobile information service, social media and a range of digital platforms.
This season also features a series of accompanying online content where viewers can get to know the characters in more detail. Head online to our website (www.mtvshuga.com) and social media (@MTVShugaDS) where you can watch in-character videos and get updated on what’s been happening in the lives of both returning and new characters. You can also view cast interviews, Shuga Diaries and Shuga Moments online which provide a sneak peek into the behind-the-scenes action on the set of MTV Shuga: Down South 2.
MTV Shuga: Down South 2 is funded by Unitaid and supported by the South African Government’s Department of Health and She Conquers programme, The London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, and Lovelife.
MTV Shuga: Down South 2 is produced on behalf of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and MTV Base by Quizzical Pictures.
To continue the conversation about MTV Shuga: Down South 2, please go to www.mtvshuga.com, like MTV Shuga on www.facebook.com/MTVShuga, or follow MTV Shuga: Down South on Twitter or Instagram @MTVShuga using the hashtag #MTVShugaDS2. – MultiChoice Namibia