MTV Shuga Down South returns for a third season, opening up the industry to aspiring South African talent for casting through the public auditions.
Image supplied by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation
The MTV Staying Alive Foundation has announced a gripping third season of the multi-award-winning TV drama, MTV Shuga Down South. Public auditions extended to Monday 21st November 2022 for aspiring South African talent to join the ‘alumni’ of previous seasons Lupita Nyong’o, Thuso Mbedu, Malibongwe Mdwaba, Samkelisiwe Makhoba to name a few.
The announcement, which was made in partnership with UNITAID, Anglo American Foundation and Paramount Africa. MTV Shuga is a 360-multimedia campaign cantered around a fictional television drama informed by true life stories of South African youth. This third season is inspired by the formative research findings from the Centre for Aids Development Research and Evaluation (CADRE). In addition to comprehensive Sexual Reproductive Health and Rights (SRHR), accentuated messaging comprises of HIV prevention choices, including PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis) and the Depivarim Ring, substance abuse, mental health, Tuberculosis, GBV and LGBTQIAP+. Amplified media includes radio, print, activations and a peer education programme in high schools and institutions of higher learning targeting youth between 16 and 24 years of age.
The last season, MTV Shuga Down South 2 was independently evaluated by the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine. Findings showed that, amongst online participants in the Eastern Cape across rural and urban settings, knowledge of HIV status was higher among those exposed to the show (71%) vs those who were not (39%). The show was also associated with increased awareness of HIV self-testing, with 60% of those exposed expressing knowledge of the method and 29% having used a self-test.
Tshireletso Yvonne Diogo, Country Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation said:
“MTV Shuga is fictional, but the storylines are based on the real lives of young people. Through relatable characters we are able to signpost innovative health products and services, empowering our audiences to make informed choices about their sexual lives and overall well-being. All this is possible through our partnerships.”
Dr Philippe Duneton, Executive Director of Unitaid said:
“New products like long-acting injectable HIV prevention or simple to use tools like self-tests have the potential to transform services for people at-risk of or living with HIV, but access is only one half of the solution. Unitaid is proud to fund MTV Shuga’s critical work that reaches young people with vital information and empowers them to take charge of their health.”
Dr. Alexandra Plowright, Community Health and Wellbeing Lead at Anglo American said:
“The MTV Shuga programme forms an integral part of Anglo American’s Sustainable Mining Plan built around creating a Healthy Environment, Thriving Communities, and a Trusted Corporate Leader. The show’s content is highly relevant to the profiles of communities where we operate in the North-West, Limpopo, and the Northern Cape Provinces and has to potential to transform the lives of our young people through positive decision making and access to important information.”
The international television drama MTV Shuga Down South 3 will be produced by the young, vibrant and award-winning local production house, Burnt Onion. The last two seasons opened up the industry for Samkelisiwe Makhoba, MTV Shuga Down South 1, and Malibongwe Mdwaba, MTV Shuga Down South 2. Both gifted artists landed leading roles and to date continue to entertain audiences locally and abroad on television and streaming platforms. Academy Award Winner Lupita Nyong’o who played Ayira in MTV Shuga Love Money Sex and Thuso Mbedu who played Ipeleng in MTV Shuga Down South 1 and 2 are MTV Shuga alumni who personify global excellence in acting!
Aspiring South African talent has the opportunity to join this line up of MTV Shuga alumni through the online public auditions for MTV Shuga Down South 3. Audition submissions close Monday, 21 November 2022.
Monde Twala, Senior Vice President & General Manager of Paramount Africa and MTV Staying Alive Foundation Board Member commented
“The return of MTV Shuga Down South arrives at a time when global youth culture is at the brink of re-defining its history. Using Paramount Africa’s programming means we are one step closer to our vision of transforming mindsets for a better human race. We are excited for the return of MTV Shuga Down South!”