The much-anticipated second season of MTV Shuga: Down South – a production in partnership with Unitaid, the MTV Staying Alive Foundation (MTV SAF) and the London School of Hy-giene & Tropical Medicine –has added familiar celebrity face to its already star-studded cast. Johannesburg-based entrepreneur, model and actor, Mohale Motaung, will be featuring on the popular and informative series in the role of the openly-gay Odirile.
Through characters like Odirile, the upcoming season of MTV Shuga in conjunction with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Unitaid, will continue to address critical social issues and challenges faced by the continent’s youth, such as transactional sex, physical abuse and HIV prevention. Odirile is one of the key characters through which the series will explore innovations in the HIV-prevention space, including precautionary medication like PrEP (Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis), self- testing, toxic masculinity, abusive relationships and transactional sex.
“MTV Shuga has proven to be a powerful catalyst for informing and positively affecting the lives of young people across the continent and I am thrilled by the opportunity for dialogue that this role presents. While same-sex marriage is legal in South Africa, so many people are still shunned by those closest to them for being open about their sexuality.” – Mohale Motaung
Following on from a successful first season in South Africa, MTV Shuga: Down South 2 sees characters like Ipeleng, Q, Zamo and Reggie moving on after graduating high school in Zenzele and trying to navigate their way through the hardships of studying, working and starting businesses in downtown Johannesburg.
Odirile, alongside other new characters like Monareng, form part of Reggie’s post-school social circle. The new season opens with Reggie working at a call centre, unable to cover his fees for art school and unwilling to accept his father’s conditions to help him study. Similarly, Odirile, while comfortable in his sexuality, has been alienated from his family since he came out five years previously.
“As an openly-gay man, I’m fortunate to have the support of my family and my fiancé, Somizi, but not all South African youth, especially those growing up in conservative and traditional households, experience the same level of acceptance. That’s why programmes like MTV Shuga play such a crucial role in informing the youth and helping them realise they are not alone,” – Mohale.
Commented Monde Twala, Vice President for Youth, Music and BET for Viacom International Media Networks Africa (VIMN Africa): “Part of the MTV Shuga vision is to empower and open up the industry for young African talent, as it did for Lupita Nyong’o, who got her start on MTV Shuga Kenya. We’re excited to have Mohale join the MTV Shuga: Down South 2 family.”
Watch MTV Shuga: Down South 2 when it premieres on Tuesday, 12 February 2019 on MTV base (DStv channel 322) at 21:30 CAT.