New cast unpack the struggles of the youth on ‘MTV Shuga Down South’ season 3

The cast of "MTV Shuga Down South" season 3. Picture: Supplied

The cast of "MTV Shuga Down South" season 3. Picture: Supplied

Published Jun 23, 2023


Aside from being among the talented cast of “Shaka iLembe” captivating Mzansi, local actress Ziya Xulu is also one of the new faces on “MTV Shuga Down South” season 3.

“MTV Shuga Down South”, also known as MTV Shuga, an MTV Staying Alive Foundation (SAF) initiative, is back with an exciting 10-part drama series.

“I didn’t even think they were going to make another season,” Xulu tells IOL Entertainment.

Xulu stars as Warona, a shy, queer teenager who loves music and is a good dancer struggling with weight issues and the death of a close friend.

Ziya Xulu, "MTV Shuga" s3 cast member. Picture: Supplied

“I’m really excited, especially with all the developments that have been made in television since the last season.”

“We have taken it to another level visually, talent-wise, authenticity wise in so many ways to try to tell the stories as authentic as possible,” added Tyson Mathonsi, who stars as Sandile (Snacks), a rich-kid hustler and manipulative flirt.

Tyson Mathonsi, "MTV Shuga" s3 cast member. Picture: Supplied

The cast members dazzled at a watch party held at a Sandton rooftop venue. They were dressed by Imprint, hair and make-up by Hair Majesty, Studio 353, Nubian Crown, Mizani and L’Oréal Professionals.

“New faces and fresh things are coming up,” teased Ayanda Nzimande, who portrays Kedibone, a young queer girl who is very loving and supportive of those around her.

Public auditions were held to help provide an opportunity for aspiring South African talent to join the alumni of previous seasons. Nzimande, Xulu and Mathonsi are a part of the new cast additions.

Ayanda Nzimande, "MTV Shuga Down South" s3 cast member. Picture: Supplied

Xulu adds that it was important that the youth watch the show, especially as the country is commemorating Youth Month.

“This is a show by the youth for the youth. During Youth Month, we have all the youth’s attention. We know what they want to be hearing.

“And how better to grip them in their month with important social issues, and it’s not just only groove, but we also manage to take something out of it.”

Mathonsi added: “At the end of the day, we do tell stories of the challenges youth faces and how to overcome them.”

“MTV Shuga Down South” season three is funded by the global health agency Unitaid and the Anglo American Foundation and premières on June 27 on BET (DStv channel 129) at 8pm with repeats on Sunday.