MTV Shuga- A Mix of Education and Entertainment

What African show addresses issues of HIV/AIDS, sexual assault and sexual health in general? Where do we find African film characters that speak for children born with HIV? MTV Shuga is a show where we can find these issues addressed in a fun and entertaining manner.

I have been watching Shuga for a while now and its message appeals to me. One of the characters, Sophie was a runs girl (a young lady who dates an older man for money)  who faced an HIV scare after engaging in unprotected with an older man who has HIV. Watching her made the viewers more aware of the risks of unprotected sex. There is a Nigerian saying that AIDS no dey show for face, meaning one cannot tell if a person is HIV-positive by looking at a person’s face. This was evident in Shuga where people were engaging in risky sexual behaviour without knowing each others’ HIV status.

There is an underlying message on sexual violence in relationships including marriage. It raised questions on whether a woman is at fault if she visits a man on her own accord and is raped. Shuga has shown that when a woman experiences sexual violence, there are places where she can receive help such as 6222 helpline. Before I watched Shuga, I felt that there were no places where a woman could turn to if she encountered sexual violence but now I am more aware of the support systems available to women and men in these circumstances.

Shuga is a show that I would highly recommend as I believe it has improved my understanding of the topics it addresses. I love the fact the show was set in Kenya and Nigeria showing that HIV and sexual assault is not just a Nigerian issue but an issue that is paramount in other African countries such as Kenya.

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