The MTV Staying Alive Foundation and MTV Base have revealed the key cast members for the upcoming production of Shuga – Lagos, the award-winning TV drama which starts filming on location in and around Lagos this week.
Hand-picked by director Biyi Bandele, the cast for the hotly anticipated series includes a mixture of well-known faces and some exciting newcomers. Beat FM DJ and Morning Rush host Maria Okanrende plays the key part of Foye – an ambitious radio and club DJ with a domineering mother. Singer-songwriter Tiwa Savage will also make her TV debut in Shuga in the role of Sade – glamorous owner of Badoo Tree nightclub, a favourite hangout of the key characters. “Oliva Tweest” star Dorcas Fapson takes on the role of Sophie – a failing student who’s not averse to using her body to get what she wants. The pivotal male role of Ekene – a young music promoter with a steady girlfriend but a roving eye – will be played by Okezie Morro, while “Tinsel” soap star Chris Attoh plays the role of Kofi, a domineering husband.
Other key cast members include: Adeyemi Okanlawon – a handsome medical student; “Dear Mother” child star Sharon Chisom Ezeamaka – Sophie’s naïve teenage sister; James Timini Egbuson – a conscientious student; Kachi Nnochiri – PA and “Mr Fixit” to a corrupt businessman; Leonora Okine – Sophie’s married friend; and Olumide Oworu – Sade’s 16-year old nephew.
The Shuga crew is also giving viewers the chance to get involved in the casting process by voting who gets to take two walk-on roles. Chosen from the hundreds who showed up for the public auditions in Lagos on 26 and 27 July 2013, six candidate’s auditions will be available for online voting from 14 August 2013. Check out www.shuga.tv for details.
The cast will join previously announced Shuga Series 2 stars Emmanuel Ikubese, who returns in the role of music promoter Femi, and Kenyan actor, singer and model Nick Mutuma who plays the role of Leo, a close friend of Femi’s from his Nairobi student days.
Fusing sexual health messaging with gripping storylines, Shuga is part of a powerful 360-degree mass media campaign designed to raise awareness about HIV prevention and teen pregnancy in Nigeria. Key themes covered by the series will include: living with HIV; disclosing your status; getting tested; condom use; gender based violence; gender equality; women’s empowerment; family planning; teen pregnancy; transactional sex; multiple concurrent partners; stigma and discrimination of people living with HIV; and parent/child relationships/communication.