Rape, commercial sex and male homosexuality are just some of the important topics being laid bare in Shuga: Love, Sex, Money, the new seven-part drama series about sex-and-relationships amongst contemporary African youth. The red carpet premiere of Shuga: Love, Sex & Money will take place in Nairobi on February 10, 2012.
Produced by MTV Networks Africa in association with The MTV Staying Alive Foundation, PEPFAR and the Partnership for an HIV-Free Generation (HFG), Shuga: Love, Sex, Money was conceived in order to spread the message of responsible sexual behaviour and tolerance. The initiative, funded extensively by the U.S. Government through PEPFAR, is working closely with the Government of Kenya to ensure the programme fits within Kenya’s existing HIV prevention strategy.
A brutally honest account of emotional relationships among Kenyan youth, Shuga: Love, Sex, Money – is set to explode the romantic hearts-and-chocolates view of Valentine’s Day, with a hard-hitting series debut on 14 February 2012 (21:30 CAT, MTV Base, DSTV Channel 322).
Kenyan actress, Nancy Wanjiku Karanja, 24, features in a key story line about rape when her character Baby is attacked by a trusted older relative. Other themes playing out against the background of Kenya’s clubs, bars, hangouts and ghettos include commercial sex and male homosexuality.
Nancy Karanja is joined in the heartfelt drama by a sizzling cast, including Kenyan singer, Avril (Miss B’have), Sharon Olago (Violet), David Omwange (Skola), Nick Mutuma (Leo), Antony Mwangi (Kennedy), Valerie Kimani (Sindi), Nick Ndeda (Angelo), Brenda Wairimu (Dala), Edward Nyanaro (Rayban), Christopher Otieno (Slim) and Wairugi Mutero (Njoki).
Nigerian artists Banky W and Wiz Kid both play themselves in the series, performing during emotionally hard-hitting club scenes while Kenya-based Nigerian musician Ikubese Emmanuel – a.k.a. 9con – plays the role of Femi.
Minutely researched, beautifully acted and with stunning cinematography, Shuga: Love, Sex, Money is directed by South African veteran director Teboho Mahlatsi, alongside Kenyan director, Lupita Nyong’o, who also plays a cameo as Ayira.
Shuga: Love, Sex, Money was shot on location in Nairobi and Malindi between August and September 2011. The show will be offered rights-free to other broadcasters around the world in order to spread its message about responsible sexual behaviour and tolerance.
Shuga: Love, Sex, Money airs on MTV Base (DStv Channel 322) from Tuesday 14 February 2012 (20:30 WAT/21:30 CAT/22:30 EAT, MTV Base, DSTV Channel 322) until Tuesday 27 March 2012.