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Paramount Africa Culture Squad Member, Ilooise Omohinmin; actors Tomiwa Tegbe and Gbubemi Ejeye; Country Manager, MTV Staying Alive Foundation, Anita Adesiyan; Co-founder, 1pod Pictures and showrunner, MTV Shuga Naija season 5, Temidayo 'Ted' Makanjuola; actors Genoveva Umeh and Kanaga Jnr. Eme at the MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 media briefing event in Lagos.

MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 Premieres At Exclusive Lagos Event


April 28, 2023

MTV Shuga Naija Season 5, the highly anticipated series produced by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation, premiered at an exclusive event in Lagos on Thursday. The event featured a press briefing that focused on the issues addressed in the series, followed by a private screening of the new season. 

The new season combines an exciting ensemble of established on-screen legends and rising stars including Adesua Etomi-Wellington, John Njamah, Tomiwa Tegbe,  Maggie Osuome, Okey Uzoeshi, Gbubemi Ejeye, Genoveva Umeh, Ilooise Omohimin, Sharon Jatto, Lexan Peters, Bolaji Ogunmola, and Susan Pwajok.  

Big Brother Titans star, Kanaga Jnr. Eme, and Chioma Edak will be playing lead and supporting acts respectively, having come through the MTV Shuga Naija public auditions last year. 

“This season, we have partnered with Unitaid, Global Innovation Fund, and Paramount to address issues on gender-based violence, COVID-19 vaccine confidence, women empowerment, modern contraception, as well as generate demand for the HIV self-testing kits now available in Nigeria,” remarked Anita Adesiyan, Country Manager, MTV Staying Alive Foundation. “True to our ethos of promoting safer lifestyle choices and advocating against harmful cultural practices through entertaining drama, the new MTV Shuga Naija season will give our viewers a broader perspective on everyday issues that affect young people as they try to find their place in the world,” Adesiyan added. 

“We are incredibly excited to be showcasing the highly anticipated new season of MTV Shuga Naija on our channels, MTV Base and BET. As a network that is committed to engaging with and empowering young people, we recognise the immense impact that this series has in promoting positive behavioural change and sparking important conversations on social issues. With a compelling storyline and relatable characters, we can’t wait for our audiences to tune in and experience the magic of this new season,” commented Dr Bada Akintunde-Johnson, Country Manager, Paramount

The new season follows the story of Moh (Gbubemi), a bright young woman who must make a difficult decision when her parents force her into an arranged marriage with an older man and her family’s benefactor. 

With MTV Shuga Naija having been widely praised for using novel storytelling to tackle social issues, Rachna Nag Chowdhuri, Senior Vice President, Impact at Global Innovation Fund, stressed the importance of social innovations in improving the lives of millions across the continent saying, “At GIF, we believe that women and girls must be the protagonists in their own lives and our work – focusing on Innovating for Gender Equality – supports social innovations with the greatest impact on shifting gender norms. This new season of MTV Shuga Naija is a fantastic example of that as it addresses many difficult topics on gender-based violence and gender equality, backed by a great track record and solid evidence of impact. What’s more, the series is not only promoting gender equality through its content but also in the media industry by partnering with local female-led production companies and creating opportunities for female talent across the production.” 

One of the underlying objectives of the MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 project was to invest in female creatives in the Nigerian media market. This, the campaign underscored through its Talent Accelerator Program, a social media campaign through which 11 female interns were selected to work across different departments on set. The MTV Shuga Naija Season 5 crew also had an overall female representation of 80%. 

One of the highlights of the premiere was the track-listening session hosted by Chocolate City. One of the most successful indigenous urban record labels in Africa, Chocolate City partnered with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to exclusively curate the track list for the new MTV Shuga Naija season.