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Johannesburg, 17 August 2018: Award-winning educational drama series, MTV Shuga which airs on MTV Base (DStv channel 322) invites all young aspiring South African actors to audition for the upcoming season of MTV Shuga: Down South.

This year, thousands of young hopefuls will have the opportunity to audition in not just one, but two South African cities and MTV Shuga online platforms. The 2018 MTV Shuga public auditions will take place on Saturday, 25 August 2018 at Zone 6 Venue in Johannesburg followed by auditions on Sunday, 26 August at Olive Convention Centre in Durban. Registrations opens at 08:30 for auditions will close at 15:30 on the day, with no exceptions.

Aspiring young actors who can’t audition in person at either venue and are also invited to audition for the show online. Digital auditions are currently open, and submissions will be accepted until 23:59 on Saturday, 1 September 2018. The entry mechanism for online auditions is simple and full instructions can be found on

Once the deadline for online auditions has expired, the production teams will consider all submissions and contact successful entrants privately. The final cast for MTV Shuga: Down South will be announced in time for production to begin in the Spring 2018 – building up to the new season in the first quarter of 2019.

Judging auditions in both cities will be the Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Executive Producer of MTV Shuga, Georgia Arnold, Vice President of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa’s BET, Youth & Music Monde Twala and Quizzical Productions’ casting director, Bonnie Bouman.

Georgia Arnold Executive Director of the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and Executive Producer of MTV Shuga commented: “After being thoroughly impressed by the acting performances during the first season of MTV Shuga: Down South, we are thrilled to be taking our search for talent even further; our aim is to discover not just a new lead actor for MTV Shuga, but have them play a pivotal role in contributing to the impact that MTV Shuga makes across the continent.”

On the day, fans will be joined by some of their favourite characters from the first edition of MTV Shuga: Down South. Ayanda Makayi (Sol), Lerato Walaza (Zamo), Stephanie Sandows (Tsholo) and Given Stuurman (Reggie) will all be attending the live public auditions in Johannesburg. Samke Makhoba (Khensani), who landed a starring role following the 2016 public auditions, will be joining the Durban leg.

MTV Shuga’s Pan-African journey is entering its 7th season and has seen the show set in Kenya (Seasons 1-2), Nigeria (Seasons 3, 4, 6) and now returns to South Africa following a dramatic fifth season in 2017 that took fans on an emotional rollercoaster.

Monde Twala, Vice President of Viacom International Media Networks (VIMN) Africa’s BET, Youth & Music added: “MTV Shuga continues to deliver ground breaking content for the youth, by the youth. MTV Base is excited to be part of this life changing opportunity that drives engagement with young people on the social issues they face daily. The series Pan-African appeal makes it unique, and this is an opportunity to showcase local talent, while affecting real impact.”

The next wave of untapped acting talent in South Africa will hope to follow in the footsteps of MTV Shuga alumni, among whom are Lupita Nyong’o (who won the 2014 Academy Award for Best Actress in a Supporting Role for 12 Years a Slave) and Thuso Mbedu (who was nominated for the International Emmy Award for Best Performance by an Actress for Is’thunzi).

Actress and filmmaker, Samke Makhoba successfully auditioned for MTV Shuga: Down South, landing the role of teenager, Khensani. She spoke about the experience, encouraging young actors to turn up and be noticed: “Starring on MTV Shuga is a dream come true for many young actors in South Africa and I would encourage anybody who is thinking of auditioning to take this opportunity to do so. It’s a great platform to expose your talents to an international audience, and more importantly, you get to see the impact your work has on real people around South Africa and beyond.”

The call for auditions follows the recent global announcement that MTV Shuga will be partnering with Unitaid and the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine to produce three more seasons of the educational drama – the first of which will be taking place in South Africa before the show ventures into Cote d’Ivoire.

MTV Shuga is produced by the MTV Staying Alive Foundation (MTV SAF) and supported by Unitaid, a Geneva-based organization that funds promising innovations that have the potential to make fast, sweeping improvements in global health, such as HIV self-testing. The success of MTV Shuga in influencing the attitudes and behaviour of viewers will be evaluated by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine.

The 7th season of MTV Shuga will be focusing on HIV self-testing, often known as self- screening in South Africa (existing methods, access and benefits, the importance of follow-up testing and treatment), preventative drugs (PrEP), Family Planning, LGBT rights and available support, as well as the link between toxic masculinity and gender-based violence.

Activations promoting the above messaging are set to take place during both live public auditions. A group of peer educators will be distributing HIV self-testing kits and those who audition will have the opportunity to test for HIV.

Audition venue details are:

Time: 8:30-15:30
Venue: Zone 6, The Venue, 28 Blackchain Shopping Centre, Soweto

Time: 8:30-15:30
Venue: Olive Convention Centre, 81 Sometseu Road, North Beach, Durban

MTV Shuga will continue to broadcast on MTV Base (DStv channel 322) and distributed across Viacom platforms globally, including FTA partners.

For more information on MTV Shuga auditions, visit, like and chat to us on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram using the handle @MTVShuga, or join the conversation using the hashtag #MTVShugaAudition

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