A few years ago I was at some event at the University of Nairobi and I distinctly remember thinking how interesting it would be to get a snippet into the lives of the students I was surrounded by. Just being in such an environment felt so different from my entire world in East Africa (i.e. my craziness of my day-to-day work in Sudan at the time followed by binges of R&R where travel, shopping, good food, hot showers, parties, hair cuts, massages and everything close to normalcy had to be jammed into a few days) that my interest was immediately sparked.
Well that curiosity is now being feed by the MTV Staying Alive Ignite three part series called shuga. Based in Nairobi, the show looks at young students in the city and the impact of their decisions. The Staying Alive campaign by MTV focuses on getting youth the information they need to make the right choices to help prevent the spread of HIV and AIDS (use this as a major hint about the theme of the series). The Kenyan series is one of three releases (the other two set in Trinidad and Tobago and the Ukraine) and I can tell you it was really well done! It totally doesn't feel like those after school specials from back in the day. Instead, MTV has gotten hot young actors and actresses, a good story line and loads of famous Kenyan musicians to cameo making sure that the youth of the nation (at least those with access to TV) will hear the message. Considering that it was the kids of my good friend in Kenya that even informed me about this, I think they are getting their message across.
Check out the series right here!