Gerald Langiri
March 16 / 2012

In 2010, a new series called Shuga, swept and revolutionized the Kenyan screens and not only did it storm Kenya as a country but the series went viral globally which led to it being viewed in 48 African countries and 73 countries worldwide through 13 MTV channels and over 100 third party partners and the cable channels included MTV and BET. The series became the talk of the town where the audience embraced and appreciated the global phenomenon whole heartedly. Be it the cast, production or professionalism, it was surely top notch and there was no other like Shuga that we would compare to. Fast forward to September 2011, Shuga announced they would produce another sequel to add on their franchise, Season 2 would be coming soon. We were all excited and could not wait for it as we yearned for more of this heart-throbbing series to grace our T.V screens making our local content run for their money. Here is the best thing about the announcement of Shuga 2; they announced that they would be holding auditions for the series. Every young actors dreams (well, I have to admit that I am also on the forefront) is to be featured in a series like Shuga. Many have dreamt of it, and only a few have gotten that one golden opportunity. (Lets face it; we all cannot be featured on shuga.)

Come the audition day at Homeboyz Studios, as early as 7 a.m. the place was packed to the brim. This is where all types of people show up, be it pro actors, aspiring actors, people seeking to bask in fame and glory, people after the money name it all. They were all there and let us say roughly 700+ people showed up for the audition and leaving out all the propaganda and politics that goes down during auditions, Shuga got its cast and extras who suited the various role.

Before Shuga 2 premiered on air, there were questions like, “Will Shuga 2 leave up to the expectations of Shuga 1?” We all had to wait and see the outcome and when the first episode aired; there were so many talks about the first episode where some were disappointed and others appreciated the premier. In my honest opinion, when I watched the first episode, I felt that there was more room for improvement because the production had raised its own bar of standards the previous season. Come the other episodes that followed, I was proved wrong and yes, Shuga is Shuga and they lived to the expectations as I could see the series get better and better in each following episode.

On to my main agenda, which is; what makes Shuga be Shuga:

1. Quality Production: If you are looking for quality and great production, take a closer look at Shuga. From the picture to sound, Shuga brings out top notch and a world class state of the art production.

2. Great Cast and acting Technique: This is one arguable point, where some would complain that the production used a star studded cast but all in all, the cast knows what they are doing and when you watch Shuga, the actors are natural and are in character for sure unlike the stereo-type plastic acting which has become a cliché on our screens

3. Wonderful scripting, storyline: It is said if you have a whack script and story; you are likely to produce a whack show. The script and the story are relevant and this comes out in the presentation of the storyboard.

4. Authenticity and realism: The show tries to remain original in terms of music composition whereby the use of locally composed music by Kenyan artists is enforced which also promotes local music unlike some of the series here in Kenya that usually use soundtracks that they have not gotten the rights. For instance; a certain popular local drama used the soundtrack from the movie Inception which shows lack of creativity. In terms of realism, the show depicts real life situations that even if the story is fiction, it is real in one way or another.

5. Message driven: The show is message driven whereby it passes across the message of HIV/AIDS awareness. Some of our shows locally have no sense of direction and when you try to get to understand the concept or synopsis of the show, they do not make any sense.



Shuga: Love, Sex, Money - Episode 1 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.

Shuga: Love, Sex, Money - Episode 2 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.


Shuga: Love, Sex, Money - Episode 4 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.


Shuga: Love, Sex, Money - Episode 6 from mtv staying alive on Vimeo.


Written by Mark Kaiyare



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