Apparently, we’ve been missing out on quality TV featuring Black folks because we live in states. While we continue to get bombarded with negative images of ourselves via Reality TV shows, MTV has been producing and broadcasting some very interesting shows to our brothers and sisters throughout the Diaspora.

Today, while checking the film blog, Shadow and Act (because I’m a film junkie), I watched the Kenyan film Shuga. Filmed entirely in Nairobi, Kenya.

MTV Ignite describes Shuga as,

“A hard hitting three part drama series which follows the lives and loves of a group of cool, young students whose bright lives and fabulous futures are balanced on a knife edge due to their love of danger.

Its a story of love, sex, Friday nights and the indelible marks we leave on one another”


The film is a part of MTV’s Staying Alive campaign, which aims to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS by attempting to change the attitudes and behaviors of young people. Currently, MTV Ignite has produced three shows—In Kenya, Trinidad and Tobago, and the Ukraine—to aid this goal.

Contrary to the common images of Africa we typically see in mainstream American media—of famine, war, and political upheaval—Shuga shows that many of the people in Africa, and particularly Kenya, live, work, and fall in love as we do.

I thoroughly enjoyed watching the film. There is something about seeing beautiful Black people on film playing multi-faceted characters that just makes my heart smile. And the message—that our choices have a profound impact on our life—is a reminder for all of us, no matter where we live.

Check out the film ‘Shuga’, and let us know what you think!

Episode 1

Shuga Episode 1 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Episode 2

Shuga Episode 2 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Episode 3

Shuga Episode 3 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

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  • jobu

    Engaging, emotional, short bitter sweet. I’m hungry for more quality like this little series.

  • Pearlsrevealed

    @ Jobu…Cosign!

    I was really impressed. I particularly like the lady who portrayed Ayira. Awesome.

  • sey

    This is really great! The way this was presented was excellent and I think this is a great way of improving the stigma associated with HIV/AIDS! Kudos to the creators and producers of this show!

  • [email protected]

    WOWWW…..this is the type of content that needs to be on MTV, BET, etc! I couldn’t take my eyes, I hope there is more of this!! Also, it is nice to see Kenyans and black Africans as a whole portrayed in a more developed and multi-faceted way!