MTV Staying Alive and MTV Base add Kwesta and Seyi Shay to cast of MTV Shuga “Down South”
Kwesta, Seyi Shay, Given Stuurman, Ayanda Makayi, Stephanie Sandows, Winnie Ntshaba and Samkelisiwe Makhoba are to join the talented ensemble cast for the upcoming fifth series of MTV’s gripping pro-social drama, newly tagged MTV Shuga: Down South.
Hip hop star Kwesta and Afro-pop diva Seyi Shay will be making cameo appearances as themselves in the new series, which premieres in March 2017 on MTV Base (DStv channel 322).
Also boosting the star-studded cast are a host of well-known SA TV and movie regulars including:
- Given Stuurman (Invictus, Konig Otto, Straight Outta Benoni) – playing tormented youth “Reggie”, a handsome, talented soccer star struggling to understand his sexual identity, and make his own path in the world
- Stephanie Sandows (Scandal, Bonisanani) – getting her teeth into the role of precocious, mercenary teenager, “Tsholo”
- Ayanda Makayi (Against the Wild 2: Survive the Serengeti, Skorokoro, Jana und der Buschpilot) – creating the role of “Sol” a spoilt, 20-something and Tsholo’s possessive boyfriend
- Winnie Ntshaba (Generations) – “Neliswe”, the hyper-religious mother to impressionable 15-year old school girl, “Khensani”
Other key roles are played by Lerato Walaza, who plays the part of irresponsible teenage mother and party lover, “Zamo”, while Phila Mazibuko inhabits the role of happy-go-lucky township boy made good, “DJ Coalstove”.
Six additional cast members won their place on MTV Shuga: Down South after participating in gruelling open auditions in Johannesburg or online, notably Samkelisiwe Makhoba, who plays the pivotal role of naïve and troubled teenager, “Khensani”. Other cast members hand-picked from the public auditions include Cebo Zikhali (“Kitso”), Sphelele Mzimela (“Sis No’xolo”),Herbert Sibanda (“Fentse”), Eve Rasimeni (a clerical nurse), and Thabiso Seboka (a soccer player).
Produced by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and MTV Base, MTV Shuga, an award-winning ”edutainment” drama that has been proven to actively change behaviour relating to HIV prevention, went into production in Johannesburg in December, turning its lens on the issues of sexual and reproductive health among teenagers and young women in South Africa.
Having successfully highlighted issues affecting young people in Kenya and Nigeria for nearly a decade, MTV Shuga is using powerful contemporary storylines and relatable characters to disseminate public health messages targeted squarely at South African youth, with a particular focus on adolescent girls and their vulnerability to HIV infection and unintended pregnancy, and exploring sexual identity. Crowded with interwoven stories of heartbreak, love, betrayal and difficult decisions among contemporary South African youth, MTV Shuga is supported by South Africa’s Department of Basic Education, PEPFAR (The U.S. President’s Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief), Marie Stopes International, ViiV Healthcare’s Positive Action MSM & Transgender Programme, CIFF (Children’s Investment Fund Foundation) and FHI 360 (Family Health International).
The new cast members join previously announced cast members Vanessa Mdee (“Storm”), Clint Brink (“Rakeem”), Thuso Mbedu (“Ipeleng”), Mohau Mokoatle Cele (“Bongi”), Jezriel Skei (“Quinton”), Emmanuel Ifeanyi Ikubese (“Femi)”, Nick Mutuma (“Leo”) & Adesua Etomi (“Sheila”).
Set in the cool clubs, hangouts and schools of Johannesburg’s Braamfontein, and the township of “Zenzele”, a fictional version of Soweto, MTV Shuga will premiere across Africa on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322), BET (DStv channel 129) and BET International. The series will also air on other terrestrial broadcasters and other Viacom-owned networks and third party broadcasters around the world, including SABC in South Africa from 8 March 2017. Other elements of the campaign will include a radio drama series, peer educator programme, comic book, mobile information service, social media and a range of digital platforms.
MTV Shuga: Down South is produced on behalf of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa by Quizzical Productions.