Season 4 SABC1 (*191) 20:30
MTV Networks Africa’s “soapie” Shuga (2009-current) has proven popular with viewers across Africa – and it’s made its way across the continent too, starting off season 1 and 2 (2009 and 2011) in Kenya before moving to Nigeria for season 3 (2013). With six-episode season 4 (2015) starting tonight on free-TV, here are a couple of things to know…
The drama’s main theme is HIV/ 1
Aids and how to stay healthy and prevent the spread of the disease – and it’s had an impact! According to an independent study released in June this year, fans of the show were 35% more likely to get tested every six months for HIV and they say that “Shuga has taught us a lot about HIV and other diseases”.
The show won the gold award 2
for Edutainment & Intermedia at the World Media Festival in May 2016 thanks to its viewership: it’s broadcast in over 88 countries around the world with an estimated 550 million viewers.
Season 1’s main characters Ayira 3
and Felix may look familiar. Ayira was played by 33-year-old Kenyan star Lupita Nyong’o (from 2013 drama film 12 Years A Slave) and Felix was played by Tumisho Masha (most recently as Scandal!’s Hector in June). “Shuga is trying to talk about how HIV and Aids is not a death sentence,” says Lupita.
The cast and crew get tested for 4 HIV/Aids at the end of each season. Season 5 is going to be filmed in 5
South Africa later this year, with local actress Mohau Mokoatle-Cele playing “well grounded” 16-year-old Bongi. She adds that “I love that you get to enjoy it and the message it carries is powerful and important”.