SHUGA: Love, Sex, Money (@MTVShuga), the African sex-and-relationships drama from MTV Staying Alive, PEPFAR, the Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation (HFG) and UNICEF, has won a prestigious edutainment award. The TV and radio drama, produced by MTV Base and directed by award winning South African directors Angus Gibson and Teboho Mahlatsi (The Bomb Shelter, won the Best Overall Edutainment award at the Edutainment Africa Awards (EAA) held in Kampala, Uganda on World Aids Day (1 December 2012).
Shuga: Love, Sex, Money, which addresses head-on issues such as promiscuity, transactional sex and rape within the family – all in a modern African context – was recognised by the judges for its “constructive role in educating and entertaining society”.
Shuga: Love, Sex, Money launched on TV in February 2012 as a six-part TV series and subsequently aired on 60 TV broadcasters in 65 countries, reaching an audience of approximately 120 million people. Filmed in Nairobi, Kenya, the series offered a raw and uncut view of the lives of sexually-active young Kenyans as they were forced to face up to the consequences of their hard partying lifestyles. The series, a follow-up from the 2009 season Shuga, developed keys issues prevalent in driving the HIV epidemic. Told through interlinking tales of original and newly introduced characters, and featuring African celebrities such as Banky W, and WizKid, the series was a huge hit among youth audiences in Africa. On radio, Shuga took the form of a 12-part radio spin-off series and two magazine shows, which aired across 60 radio broadcasters across Africa.
Many months after the TV and radio series premiered, Shuga: Love, Sex, Money continues to live online, on Facebook and on Twitter. The series currently enjoys over 45,000 Facebook fans at www.facebook.com/mtvshuga,while online, episodes of Shuga: Love, Sex, Money have been watched more than 198,000 times.
Louise Ashley accepted the award from Halima Namakula, Executive Director, Women at Work International – Uganda on behalf of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and VIMN Africa (Viacom International Media Networks Africa), in the presence of Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga, and the Ugandan President, Yoweri Kaguta Museveni.
Innocent Ogwal, Chairman of the EAA said, “This is a humbling point for all of us at EAA to associate with a cause that is literally rescuing thousands of young and adult lives across the African continent and beyond. Congratulations to Shuga: you truly deserve this. Thank you for highlighting to this generation the consequences of irresponsible hard partying lifestyles. Plus the EAA Committee was highly impressed by the high level professional acting by the cast. Keep serving.”
Commented Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, “We are delighted to receive this award that recognises Shuga’s ground-breaking resonance among youth audiences, thanks to its subtle blending of educational, safe-sex and HIV awareness messaging with high quality contemporary drama and world-class acting.”
Produced by MTV’s African network, Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa, Shuga: Love, Sex, Money is part of a ground-breaking multimedia campaign conceived to educate and inform young people about the risks of irresponsible sexual behaviour, funded extensively by the U.S. Government through PEPFAR. The Shuga radio series was funded by UNICEF.
Angus Gibson was previously nominated for an Academy Award for “Best Documentary Feature” for his documentary, “Mandela” (1999), while Teboho Mahlatsi won the coveted Venice film festival Silver Lion for his short film “Portrait of a Young Man Drowning”.