'MTV Shuga Alone Together' a self-shot series, available on YouTube
The MTV Staying Alive Foundation in partnership with various other stakeholders have come up with a 60 part mini-series of MTV Shuga to raise awareness in the fight to flatten the Covid-19 curve.
Produced remotely, "MTV Shuga Alone Together" is a self-shot series, written and directed by acclaimed writer, Tunde Aladese and is available on YouTube for streaming.
Set in Kenya, Nigeria, South Africa and Cote D’Ivoire during the height of the Covid-19 outbreak, the show depicts every aspect of life during the pandemic over several months.
The stories are told through video calls between MTV Shuga characters, reflecting how social media has become the new form of socialising during this era of lockdown, and reflect the changes in our lives as lockdown changes across the months.
"MTV Shuga Alone Together" educates viewers across the world about how practicing hygienic habits, social distancing and self-isolation are critical to fighting the spread of the coronavirus.
From tackling Covid-19 myths and stifling the spread of fake news, to keeping a close eye on mental health while staying home, the pan-African production, shot entirely by the actors during lockdown, is a window into the real-life effects of the pandemic.
Along with the critical public health messaging, "MTV Shuga Alone Together" portrays other real-life threats that people across the world are facing during their national lockdowns; such as the heightened dangers of domestic violence or mental health challenges. It also examines the increased risks faced by people who may be HIV+ and not managing their viral load, and those who have TB.
Georgia Arnold, Executive Director at MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Senior Vice President of Social Responsibility, at ViacomCBS Networks International said: “MTV Shuga has always believed in educating and engaging young audiences on real issues.
"MTV Shuga Alone Together" continues this trend at a time when education and information in stopping the spread of Covid-19 are needed the most. By using popular culture, relatable storylines and the talents of some of Africa’s strongest actors, we are determined to reinforce the crucial messages which will contain the outbreak," she said.
Monde Twala, The Senior Vice President and General Manager of ViacomCBS Networks Africa, expressed his tremendous support for the crucial project when he said: “MTV Base and MTV Africa are always at the epicenter of the crucial conversations that affect our continent.
"The only way to fight the challenges posed by Covid-19 is to empower and equip a generation of active citizens with accurate information and encourage dialogue.
"We have reached a point where every second counts in the fight against the coronavirus and as a network we are inspired to partner with MTV Shuga and the MTV Staying Alive Foundation on another life-saving campaign.”
"MTV Shuga Alone Together" will be the first time that cast members from Kenya, Côte D’Ivoire, Nigeria and South Africa have starred in the same season.
The production features several familiar faces from various seasons across the years including Timini Egbuson (Tobi), Nick Mutuma (Leo), Tomiwa Tegbe (Wasiu), Jemima Osunde (Leila), Lerato Walaza (Zamo) and Ange Eric N'Guessan (Daniel).
Watch "MTV Shuga Alone Together" episode 1 below: