MTV's 'Shuga' Moves To Nigeria For Its Third Season, Biyi Bandele Directs
Published on Wed, Jun 26 2013 by Web Master
What better place than Lagos, Nigeria's iconic metropolis, to shoot the next season of Shuga? The third installment of the MTV youth series, a potent mix of sexual health awareness and powerful themes, stands to benefit greatly from a talented Nigerian cast and crew including Biyi Bandele, director of the highly anticipated big screen adaptation of Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie’s Half of a Yellow Sun and celebrated scriptwriter Kemi Adesoye (Tinsel, The Figurine, Doctors Quarters, National Cake, Phone Swap).
After two seasons set in the nighttime haunts of Nairobi, Kenya, Shuga moves to Lagos as "part of a powerful 360-degree mass media campaign designed to raise awareness about HIV prevention and teen pregnancy in Nigeria, after research highlighted widespread ignorance about or indifference to contraception, poor access to contraceptives, and a significantly high incidence of mother-to-child HIV transmission in the region."
The latest installment of the series will star Nigerian actor and musician Ikubese Emmanuel Ifeanyichukwu, aka 9con, who will reprise his role as smooth-talking bad boy Femi from season 2. Kenyan actor, singer and radio presenter Nick Mutuma, 24, present since the first season, continues to play Leo, one of Shuga’s most popular characters. A number of popular Nigerian musicians are also expected to be involved in cameo and acting roles, following hit turns by Banky W and WizKid in season 2. Further cast members and roles will be revealed in the near future.
Pre-production of the TV drama is already well underway and principal photography is scheduled to take place in August/September 2013. The series will premiere on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322), Nigerian terrestrial broadcasters and other MTV networks and third party broadcasters around the world on World AIDS Day (1 December 2013).
Speaking about helming the production of the all new season, director Biyi Bandele said, “I was attracted to Shuga because it is special, it’s great… it’s doing something that no other TV series in Africa is doing right now. It is essentially is saying to young people: the future is yours, but you have got to take responsibility for your own life, you’ve got to take responsibility for yourself.” “It’s crucial that Nigerians tell our own stories. When you do that, you find that your target audience immediately responds, there is no translation to be made, you don’t have to do any special pleading – they’re just there with you immediately,” he continued.
Other elements of the Shuga campaign will include a radio drama series, a peer educator programme, a comic book in Hausa and English, a mobile information service, as well as awareness cutting across social media and a range of digital platforms.