Event, Arts and Entertainment

MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 premieres to a star-studded audience at exclusive Lagos event

MTV Shuga Naija Season 5, the highly anticipated series produced by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, premiered at an exclusive event in Lagos on Thursday. The event featured a press briefing that focused on the issues addressed in the series, followed by a private screening of the new season. 

The new season combines an exciting ensemble of established on-screen legends and rising stars including Adesua Etomi-Wellington, John Njamah, Tomiwa Tegbe,  Maggie Osuome, Okey Uzoeshi, Gbubemi Ejeye, Genoveva Umeh, Ilooise Omohimin, Sharon Jatto, Lexan Peters, Bolaji Ogunmola, and Susan Pwajok.  

Big Brother Titans star, Kanaga Jnr. Eme, and Chioma Edak will be playing lead and supporting acts respectively, having come through the MTV Shuga Naija public auditions last year. 

“This season, we have partnered with Unitaid, Global Innovation Fund, and Paramount to address issues on gender-based violence, COVID-19 vaccine confidence, women empowerment, modern contraception, as well as generate demand for the HIV self-testing kits now available in Nigeria,” remarked Anita Adesiyan, Country Manager, MTV Staying Alive Foundation. “True to our ethos of promoting safer lifestyle choices and advocating against harmful cultural practices through entertaining drama, the new MTV Shuga Naija season will give our viewers a broader perspective on everyday issues that affect young people as they try to find their place in the world,” Adesiyan added. 

The eight-part series, produced in partnership with 1Pod Pictures – a female-led production company out of Nigeria – is set for a May 7 African premiere on MTV Base (DStv Ch. 322 and GOtv Ch. 72) at  21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT. In addition, the show will be simulcast on MTV Base in South Africa and debut on BET Africa (DStv Ch. 129 and GOtv Ch. 21) at 21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT from Wednesday, May 10. 

“We are incredibly excited to be showcasing the highly anticipated new season of MTV Shuga Naija on our channels, MTV Base and BET. As a network that is committed to engaging with and empowering young people, we recognise the immense impact that this series has in promoting positive behavioural change and sparking important conversations on social issues. With a compelling storyline and relatable characters, we can’t wait for our audiences to tune in and experience the magic of this new season,” commented Dr Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager, Paramount

Read:  Google for Nigeria: All the Key Announcements at the #GoogleForNigeria Event 2019

The new season follows the story of Moh (Gbubemi), a bright young woman who must make a difficult decision when her parents force her into an arranged marriage with an older man and her family’s benefactor. 

Speaking on Unitaid’s role in supporting initiatives like MTV Shuga Naija and the key role of partnerships in accelerating the progress towards ending HIV/AIDS, Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director, Unitaid, said, “New developments in health technologies can make real change in the lives of young people – but only if they know what the risks are, and how to protect and treat themselves. Unitaid is delighted to support another season of MTV Shuga, which is critical to reaching youth with those messages and advancing global health.” 

With MTV Shuga Naija having been widely praised for using novel storytelling to tackle social issues, Rachna Nag Chowdhuri, Senior Vice President, Impact at Global Innovation Fund, stressed the importance of social innovations in improving the lives of millions across the continent saying, “At GIF, we believe that women and girls must be the protagonists in their own lives and our work – focusing on Innovating for Gender Equality – supports social innovations with the greatest impact on shifting gender norms. This new season of MTV Shuga Naija is a fantastic example of that as it addresses many difficult topics on gender-based violence and gender equality, backed by a great track record and solid evidence of impact. What’s more, the series is not only promoting gender equality through its content but also in the media industry by partnering with local female-led production companies and creating opportunities for female talent across the production.” 

One of the underlying objectives of the MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 project was to invest in female creatives in the Nigerian media market. This, the campaign underscored through its Talent Accelerator Program, a social media campaign through which 11 female interns were selected to work across different departments on set. The MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 crew also had an overall female representation of 80%. 

Read:  Goldberg’s ‘Ariya Repete’ Wraps Up In Style.

The well-attended event was graced by notable personalities in the Nigerian corporate, medical, advocacy and entertainment spheres including the Director General, National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr Gambo Aliyu; Director, Youth and Adolescent Unit, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Folashade Oludara; CEO, Lagos State Agency for the Control of AIDS (LSACA), Dr Monsurat Adeleke and more.  

One of the highlights of the premiere was the track-listening session hosted by Chocolate City. One of the most successful indigenous urban record labels in Africa, Chocolate City partnered with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to exclusively curate the track list for the new MTV Shuga Naija season. 

Repeats of MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 will air Wednesdays on BET Africa (DStv Ch. 129 and GOtv Ch. 21) at 21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT, and Thursdays on MTV Base (DStv Ch. 322 and GOtv Ch. 72) at 22:00 WAT/23:00 CAT. The series will also be broadcast on free-to-air platform, NTA later this year. All episodes of the season will also be available on Netflix and YouTube. 

About the MTV Staying Alive Foundation  

The MTV Staying Alive Foundation aims to harness the power of entertainment to change the attitudes and behaviour of young people around the world. The campaign includes a radio drama, print, digital and social media, and peer education programmes. It has been broadcast on over 180 channels in 70 countries and has reached over 720 million households.  

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 Paramount 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 organisations around the world.  

Read:  Merck Foundation and African First Ladies announce “More Than a Mother” Africa Film Awards 2021.

Since 2009, the drama has crossed the continent from Kenya to Nigeria, South Africa, Cote d’Ivoire and India and has touched on numerous plotlines relating to HIV testing & prevention, Covid-19, family planning & contraception, transactional sex, gender-based violence, and condom use. 

About Paramount Africa 

Multimedia entertainment powerhouse, Paramount offers the most comprehensive international broadcast portfolio on the African continent, reaching more than 100 million viewers across 48 territories in Africa. Paramount currently comprises ten separate T.V. channels and five consumer websites, as well as multiple mobile and social media sites. The company’s African business interests include content production and distribution, spot sales, 360-degree sponsorships, events, and mobile, digital and consumer products. 

About Global Innovation Fund 

The Global Innovation Fund is a non-profit innovation fund headquartered in London, with offices in Washington D.C., Nairobi and Singapore, that invests in the development, rigorous testing, and scaling of innovations targeted at improving the lives of the world’s poorest people. GIF believes the best ideas for solving some of the world’s most critical problems can come from anyone, anywhere. Through its grants and risk capital, GIF helps breakthrough solutions to global development challenges from for-profit firms, non-profit organisations, researchers, and government agencies. 

About Unitaid 

Unitaid is a global health agency engaged in finding innovative solutions to prevent, diagnose, and treat diseases more quickly, cheaply, and effectively, in low- and middle-income countries. Its work includes funding initiatives to address major diseases such as HIV, malaria, and tuberculosis, as well as HIV co-infections and co-morbidities including advanced HIV disease, cervical cancer, and hepatitis C, and cross-cutting areas, such as fever management. Unitaid is now applying its expertise to address challenges in advancing new therapies and diagnostics for the COVID-19 pandemic, serving as a key member of the Access to COVID-19 Tools (ACT) Accelerator, co-leading with Wellcome the Therapeutics Pillar and participating in the Diagnostics Pillar. Unitaid is hosted by the World Health Organization. 

Related posts

Chief Olusegun Obasanjo, Duke, Others Laud Ethan & Harriet Products, Initiative Launch


Delta State Government celebrates her 25th Anniversary


Senate passes Bill to restrict NIPOST to postal operations


Jemiriye thrill fans at Pittsburgh Airport


Bintu The Musical, drama on North-East Nigeria, premieres in Lagos


9mobile ‘The Hack’ Holds in Abuja.


Leave a Comment