Kanaga Jnr, Tsatsii, Gbubemi Ejeye, Genoveva Umeh Spotted at the Premiere of “MTV Shuga Naija” Season 5 | See Photos
On Thursday, the highly anticipated fifth season of MTV Shuga Naija premiered at an exclusive event in Lagos. The premiere kicked off with a press briefing that focused on the themes explored in the series, followed by a private screening of the new season.
The latest season boasts an impressive cast of both veterans and fast-rising actors, including Adesua Etomi-Wellington, John Njamah, Tomiwa Tegbe, Maggie Osuome, Okey Uzoeshi, Gbubemi Ejeye, Genoveva Umeh, Ilooise Omohimin, Sharon Jatto, Lexan Peters, Bolaji Ogunmola, and Susan Pwajok.
Big Brother Titans star Kanaga Jnr will play a leading role in the series, while Chioma Edak, who was discovered through the MTV Shuga Naija public auditions last year, will have a supporting role.
“This season, we have partnered with Unitaid, the Global Innovation Fund, and Paramount to address issues on gender-based violence, COVID-19 vaccine confidence, women’s empowerment, and modern contraception, as well as generate demand for the HIV self-testing kits now available in Nigeria,” stated Anita Adesiyan, Country Manager, MTV Staying Alive Foundation.
“True to our ethos of promoting safer lifestyle choices and advocating against harmful cultural practises through entertaining drama, the new MTV Shuga Naija season will give our viewers a broader perspective on everyday issues that affect young people as they try to find their place in the world,” Adesiyan added.
The eight-part series, produced in partnership with 1Pod Pictures, a female-led production company out of Nigeria, is set for a May 7 African premiere on MTV Base (DStv Ch. 322 and GOtv Ch. 72) at 21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT. In addition, the show will be simulcast on MTV Base in South Africa and debut on BET Africa (DStv Ch. 129 and GOtv Ch. 21) at 21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT on Wednesday, May 10.
“We are incredibly excited to be showcasing the highly anticipated new season of MTV Shuga Naija on our channels, MTV Base and BET. As a network that is committed to engaging with and empowering young people, we recognise the immense impact that this series has on promoting positive behavioural change and sparking important conversations on social issues. With a compelling storyline and relatable characters, we can’t wait for our audiences to tune in and experience the magic of this new season,” commented Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager, Paramount.
The new season follows the story of Moh (played by Gbubemi), a bright young woman who must make a difficult decision when her parents force her into an arranged marriage with an older man and her family’s benefactor.
Speaking on Unitaid’s role in supporting initiatives like MTV Shuga Naija and the key role of partnerships in accelerating the progress towards ending HIV/AIDS, Philippe Duneton, Executive Director, Unitaid, said, “New developments in health technologies can make real change in the lives of young people—but only if they know what the risks are and how to protect and treat themselves. Unitaid is delighted to support another season of MTV Shuga, which is critical to reaching youth with those messages and advancing global health.”
With MTV Shuga Naija having been widely praised for using novel storytelling to tackle social issues, Rachna Nag Chowdhuri, Senior Vice President, of Impact at Global Innovation Fund, stressed the importance of social innovations in improving the lives of millions across the continent, saying, “At GIF, we believe that women and girls must be the protagonists in their own lives, and our work, focusing on Innovating for Gender Equality, supports social innovations with the greatest impact on shifting gender norms. This new season of MTV Shuga Naija is a fantastic example of that, as it addresses many difficult topics on gender-based violence and gender equality, backed by a great track record and solid evidence of impact. What’s more, the series is not only promoting gender equality through its content but also in the media industry by partnering with local female-led production companies and creating opportunities for female talent across the production.”
The event was graced by notable personalities in the Nigerian corporate, medical, advocacy, and entertainment spheres, including the Director General of the National Agency for the Control of AIDS (NACA), Dr. Gambo Aliyu; the Director of the Youth and Adolescent Unit, Lagos State Ministry of Health, Dr. Folashade Oludara; the CEO of the Lagos State Agency for the Control of AIDS (LSACA), Dr. Monsurat Adeleke; and more.
One of the highlights of the premiere was the track-listening session hosted by Chocolate City. The record label partnered with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to exclusively curate the track list for the new MTV Shuga Naija season.
Repeats of MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 will air Wednesdays on BET Africa (DStv Ch. 129 and GOtv Ch. 21) at 21:00 WAT/22:00 CAT, and Thursdays on MTV Base (DStv Ch. 322 and GOtv Ch. 72) at 22:00 WAT/23:00 CAT. The series will also be broadcast on the free-to-air platform, NTA, later this year. All episodes of the season will also be available on Netflix and YouTube.
See more photos from the premiere below: