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Award-winning youth drama Shuga: Love, Sex, Money to reach new audiences in radio format

To date, 65 stations to broadcast across six countries

NEW YORK, 27 June 2012 - Shuga: Love, Sex, Money will hit the airwaves today in its new radio format in six countries: Cameroon, Democratic Republic of Congo, Kenya, Lesotho, South Africa and Tanzania. 

The award-winning television show has been developed into a radio drama to reach the massive estimated listening audience of 45 million in the region by UNICEF, MTV Staying Alive Foundation and the PEPFAR Partnership for an HIV Free Generation in collaboration with young people, representatives from government and partners from across participating countries.

In 12 eight-minute episodes, Shuga Radio provides a raw and uncut view of the lives of a group of four young fictional characters aged 15-24.  The series tells a story about their choices, dreams, friendships, challenges and triumphs in a world where HIV and AIDS are an ever-present threat.

Sub-Saharan Africa has one of the highest rates of infection in the world, and young people are particularly vulnerable, as the majority of young people living with HIV do not know their status. 

“Every day there are more than 2,500 new HIV infections in young people across the world, four out of 10 are in sub-Saharan Africa and the vast majority of these are young women and adolescent girls,” said Geeta Rao Gupta, UNICEF Deputy Executive Director.  “Shuga, an initiative that combines media with a partnership for service delivery, is an example of how to work with partners and young people to reach key audiences and maximize the return on investments for HIV prevention.”

The 12 episodes are followed by two 25-minute pre-recorded magazine shows which further explore the topics covered with young people, experts from the countries and global and national cooperating partners.

Available in English, French and Swahili, Shuga Radio will air three times per week for 12 weeks.

The Shuga Radio storyline examines a similar range of themes to those in the TV drama including; HIV counselling and testing, condom use in stable relationships, positive prevention, gender inequality and sexual violence, transactional sex, alcohol abuse and the role of multiple concurrent partnerships in driving the HIV epidemic.

The content and storyline for Shuga Radio were written and created with 30 young people from Cameroon, DR Congo, Kenya, Tanzania, Lesotho and South Africa in a special workshop hosted by Question Media Group with support from MTV and UNICEF.

Among the characters whose moving stories will be told in Shuga Radio are Sofia,19, her sweetheart Fally, 20, Sofia’s cousin Amina,17, smooth-talking risk-taker Karis, 20, and a successful business woman and ‘sugar mommy’ Riziki.

 “We are delighted to expand the scope and impact of the Shuga TV series by moving the concept into the radio medium where it will reach millions of listeners on youth, student and community stations who may not have had access to the TV series,” said Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation.

So far, 65 broadcasters have committed to airing the series.

At the International AIDS Conference in Washington D.C.,  MTV, UNICEF and PEPFAR will be hosting a special event, including a preview of Shuga attended by some of the actors on Tuesday, 24 July, 2012, 7:00 pm – 9:00 pm.

For more information on Shuga Radio, to follow the weekly episodes or to listen to or view past episodes of the radio and TV series, visit http://www.shuga.tv or UNICEF Voices of Youth (www.voicesofyouth.org/sections/shuga-radio). To share your thoughts on Shuga Radio, add #shugaradio to your Tweets.


Note to Editors
Shuga Radio will air on the following radio stations from 27 June 2012:

Kenya: Homeboyz Radio, Koch FM

South Africa: University of Cape Town Radio, Rhodes Music Radio

Lesotho: Radio Lesotho

Tanzania: Clouds FM

DRC: RTNC ( Radio Television Nationale Congolaise ), 100 FM; RTAE (Radiotélévision Armée de l’Eternel), Radio ECC 104.00 MHZ, RTK (Radio tele Kintuadi), 91.10 Mhz ; RATELKI ; RALIK ; COMICO (Radio Musulmane); RATELKI, AFRICA FM ELIKYA, RTVA, CVV, Radio Louange , Radio Munku, Tropikana FM, RTNC, RTA (Radio Tele Amani): 100.1 Khz, 103.5 Khz, RTNC, RADIO KIVU ONE 88.6 FM,  Radio COMICO FM,  RTGB (Radio Tele Graben Beni), RTNC,  RADIO STAR,  RTNC Katanga, Radio Communautaire Mwaisani Kipushi, Radio Communautaire Likasi, RTNC, RTK4, RTK4, SSM, RTB, RCDB, RTNC,  RTDM, RATELKI, RTDM, RATELKI, BNTV, VUVO KIETO, NTEMO, RTK2,  BANGU,  MUINDA, BNTV

Cameroon: CRTV Centre, CRTV Ouest, CRTV Nord Ouest, CRTV Est, Radio Jeunesse Yaoundé, Radio Femmes-FM Mbalmayo, Radio Odama F.M., Nanga-Eboko, Radio Doforo FM Garoua Boulai, Radio Boumba FM Yokadouma, Radio Metoung FM Abong Mbang, Radio Aurore, Bertoua, Radio Bouam, Bertoua, Radio Noun, Foumban, Radio Campus Universite, Dschang, Radio Batcham, Mbouda, Radio TV Afrique Nouvelle, Bamenda, Ngoketunjia Community Radio, Ndop, Radio Abakwa, Bamenda, Radio Hot Cocoa, Bamenda, Oku Rural Radio, Oku.

The first series of Shuga aired in November 2009, subsequently reaching viewers in 48 countries in sub-Saharan Africa and more than 70 TV stations worldwide. Research conducted by Johns Hopkins University/Centre for Communications Programs in Kenya following the airing of Shuga (series I) reported increased intentions for HIV testing, decreased intentions for multiple sex partners, improved attitudes towards people living with HIV and AIDS and increased usage of accessible health and social services among youth who had watched the series. 

A second, six part TV series entitled Shuga: Love, Sex, Money premiered in Africa on14 February 2012.  The series aired in more than 65 countries including South Africa, Kenya, Nigeria, France, The Netherlands, UK and the Caribbean,

The global success of Shuga as a vehicle for HIV and AIDS messaging targeting youth was recognised in May 2010, when Shuga won a prestigious Gold award at the World Media Festival in Hamburg, Germany in the “Public Relations: Health” category, for its vivid and uncompromising focus on love, emotions and sexual behaviour among Kenyan youth.  In February 2012, Shuga: Love, Sex, Money was additionally shortlisted in the Best Drama category at the One World Media Awards, the UK's most prestigious international media awards.

In 1998, MTV launched the Staying Alive campaign, which is today the world's largest, youth focused, HIV & AIDS prevention mass media campaign. Following the success of the campaign, the Staying Alive Foundation was launched in 2004 by MTV as a public charity to support young people engaged in grassroots HIV and AIDS prevention projects to take forward and expand the work of the Staying Alive campaign. Learn more about the MTV Staying Alive campaign and the Staying Alive Foundation at http://www.stayingalivefoundation.org.

UNICEF works in 190 countries and territories to help children survive and thrive, from early childhood through adolescence. The world’s largest provider of vaccines for developing countries, UNICEF supports child health and nutrition, good water and sanitation, quality basic education for all boys and girls, and the protection of children from violence, exploitation, and AIDS. UNICEF is funded entirely by the voluntary contributions of individuals, businesses, foundations and governments. For more information about UNICEF and its work visit: http://www.unicef.org

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For further information, interviews or imagery, please contact:
Alison Reid, Director of Communications, MTV Networks Africa,
Mobile + 33 609 685 861   

Kate Donovan, UNICEF Media, New York,
Tel + 1 212 326 7452




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