Sea­son 5 MTV Base (*322) 21:00 Drama

TV Plus (South Africa) - - 8 MARCH -

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.

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