Season 5 MTV Base (*322) 21:00 Drama
After being filmed in Nigeria and Kenya for the first four seasons, the fifth season of MTV Base’s youth drama Shuga (2009-current) was filmed in South Africa. “Shooting here was a no-brainer,” explains Monde Twala, MTV Base vice president. “The country has a diverse culture. That’s what we needed this – different faces and raw talent that will add to the dramatic storytelling.”
The action in the new season, which has been called Shuga: Down South, happens in the fictional township of Zanzele and filming was done on location around Joburg. And it’s in these real-world townships that the show found its new stars, Monde says. “The production team’s aim was to mirror society as closely as possible. Everything’s worked out great with the production process.” As well as characters from previous seasons, Down South will bring in new faces like Thuso Mbedu (Winnie on Mzansi Magic drama Is’thunzi, 2016- current) as sassy student Ipeleng and rapper Kwesta puts in a cameo too.
And just like in previous seasons, Monde explains that “Shuga will deliver entertaining, engaging and informative drama that will propel discussion among viewers and on social media”. The show isn’t just about HIV/Aids awareness though – it tackles other topics that communities are often hesitant to confront, like homosexuality and teen pregnancy. “Shuga teaches life lessons to the whole family,” Monde adds.