Last week Thursday 11th May 2017, I was privileged to host the premiere of MTV Shuga season 5 in Uganda. The show is an award winning series that made its debut in November 2009. It was first shot in the streets of Kenya with now celebrated Holly-wood star Lupita Nyongo staring therein.(Many say this was the show that catapulted her acting career-but that’s for you to decide)..
Emmanuel Ikubese who stars as “Femi” in the series since season 2 says the show was then moved to Nigeria and dubbed Shuga-Naija. The current which was premiered last week at Sky Lounge, Kisementi was shot in South Africa-the very reason it is called Shuga Down South.
I am the kind that used to watch too much of television, the difference now is that schedules out weigh the time to actually sit in-front of a telly and enjoy a worthwhile show. But while the days were still young and staying up late to watch television was an achievement, I caught episodes of Shuga—it was(impeccably still is) one gripping show. As I watched the premiere episode, the difference that stuck out for me was how evident the change in video quality, color and verve there was compared to the previous episodes. It had me engaged.
Maureen Andinda, the M & E chief with Reach A Hand Uganda stated that as an organization, their main intent is to influence behavioral change among youths so that the sky-rocketing numbers of HIV/AIDS, Teenage pregnancies, early child-marriage, cross-generational relationships are eliminated and put an end to.
Maj. Rubaramira Ruranga, an HIV/AIDS activist said that when he first came clean about his HIV status, he was abandoned by everyone. He was told that he would pass away in 3 years but he is now a year away to 70 years and has lived a positive life for 31 years. “If I were to die today, it wouldn’t be because of HIV, it would be because of old age”. He said amidst sighs of awe from the audience.
Pamela Adong, the chief marketing officer at NBS Television said that it is in the station’s interest that their viewers catch on to such shows as Shuga that have an educational aspect coupled with entertainment to them because beyond just programming, the station’s values are to reach out to the audience with bold, accurate and authoritative content.
Finally, Emmanuel Ikubese(who is awesomely taller in person *winks), who stars as Femi in the series said he first got tested for HIV when he watched Shuga. “I am proud to have been part of the drama series as it is positively impacting lives of the youth across the continent.” He further shared that the reason the series kept changing location is because it is important to appeal to all youths across the continent.
When the panel made its way down, everyone plugged their headphones onto their ears, glued their eyes onto the projected screen and watched the premiere episode that was silently screened. Episode 1
The night was crowned with loads of interacting and networking.
P.S–> Just if you are wondering when to watch this new series, tune into NBS Television every Tuesday during the hour of 8:30pm and you will get acquainted.