Producer: Chris Ihidero
Director: Tolulope Ajayi
Head Writer: Tunde Aladese
Cast: Funlola Afoyebi, Timini Egbuson, Robert Young, Bolanle Olukani, Sharon Ezeamaka, Jemima Osunde, Rahama Sadau
The sixth season of MTV Shuga is back! The show continues with wild partying among youths, a focus on family planning, an education on contraception, HIV prevention and sexual health talk but it also takes a new and exciting dimension.
The excitement of being young and the need to be involved in relationships are some of the bits that are explored as soon as the season begins. Leila changes dramatically; also, the new and very young cast are there to explore the topic of bullying and flimsy admiration being confused for love.
Teenagers show excitement at slang words that represent sex and it is taken advantage of, to give an education on contraception. It proves the effort of the show to balance entertainment and education.
Season 6 blends the Northern and Southern communities to give us a taste of dynamic Nigerian lifestyles. The focus remains on youths but new additions, especially Mrs. Olutu (Funlola Aofiyebi) and Principal Obi (Norbert Young) are there for the older audience. They also represent contrasting views of how adults put in charge of training teenagers do the work. Gender seems to play a role in their different behaviors, but how this plays out is left to be seen in more episodes.
The season plays serious attention to representation. Hadiza (Amal Umar) starts an important conversation in the season. Hadiza, a girl from Kano, plays an important role in bringing to the fore the struggle of adjusting motherhood with education.
It will be interesting to watch through entertainment the challenges of being a young single mother and how being from different parts of Nigeria directly complicates this. Princess has a child and she returns in the new season with new struggles. Hadiza, on the other hand, is a new addition that is necessary to the storytelling.
On the importance of representation; Yasmin and Mahmud are introduced as the new couple. Both are from Northern Nigeria, they are young and have been married for three years. They are there to represent how partnership in marriage should be. Their relationship does not fall into the usual stereotypes of how Northern couples are depicted in films.
Yasmin, in the first episode, has done a lot to shatter stereotypes about women from the North. Yasmin has an opinion she is not afraid to share. On screen, women from Northern Nigeria have been stereotyped into lacking opinions and as people that are unable to share experiences on events that occur with them.
The other couples featured in the series are Uju (Bolanle Olukani) and Cyril (Ozzy Agu) they seem to be another example of a dynamic relationship that will be explored as we go further into the season.
The decision to set people from different parts of Nigeria is important to the lessons the new season of MTV Shuga is set to bring.
The show is essential to youth education and entertainment. While this is just the first episode, it sets the tone for an exciting season, that is also forward in bringing to fore some of the challenges faced by Nigerian youths and women,