The EPIC MTV Shuga recap – what you need to know…

MTV Shuga: Down South is nearly here. After four seasons of ShugaMagic, there’s a lot to catch up on. Don’t worry fam, we got you.

Let’s take it way back when, all the way to the beginning of the Shuga story. Since we started off in Kenya, we’ve hit the streets of Lagos and made it all the way down south to Mzansi. Regardless of where we’ve been, our message has always been constant: telling real stories about real experiences that our youth face every day.

To know where you’re going, you need to know where you’ve been, and eight years of MTV Shuga has meant quite a journey. If you’re not one of the 720 million people who have hit up some Shuga vibes since our story began, here’s what you need to know:


Nairobi, Kenya (2009)

Season one marked the birth of MTV Shuga. Hitting up the East Coast of Africa, we took a closer look at some of the journeys our Kenyan squad were going through. The crew rolled DEEP, and we called on Ayira (Lupita N’yongo), Leo (Nick Mutuma), Violet (Sharon Olago), Sindi (Valerie Kimani), Kennedy (Antony Mwangi), Skola (David Omwange), Virginia (Eva Kanyang’onda), and Ty (Pepe Haze) to hook us up. The three episodes of season one followed the lives of our Nairobi team, as they tried to work their way through life’s wicked games.

Ayira, our independent, strong-minded woman was determined to get ahead. Putting her dreams and ambitions before all else, Ayira was busy working out how to climb the ladder and paying little notice for the consequences of her actions. Sometimes, life presents shortcuts to help you get ahead, but these quick-fixes are rarely as straightforward as they seem. Ayira thought she had things figured out, and used sex to get her way. Although her boyfriend Ty was crazy about her, Ayira thought love was for suckers and felt that having sex with her boss was okay, as it was another step in her blossoming career. Ayira wasn’t out on her own though, and Sindi (the good friend and sensible head) and Violet (the party and impulsive one), were her main girls. Sindi was always offering up solid advice, warning her girls to be safe when it came to sex, and reminding them to stay woke. Violet was the fun-loving party-goer, intent on having life her way. Getting boozy and making risky decisions came back to haunt her though, as she tested as HIV positive.



Leo, our MTV Shuga vet, first hit our screens back in season one. A smooth-talking friendly dude, Leo had his eyes set on Virginia. Virginia’s positive status though, made it hard for her to connect. Kicking back with Skola and Kennedy was hard when love was on his mind. Skola and Kennedy, Nairobi’s best radio presenters, were busy doing their own thing. Skola ran around Nairobi trying to hook up with multiple girls, forgetting the risks he faced. Soon enough, his antics caught up with him, and Skola infected Violet with HIV, whilst realising he himself had been HIV positive without knowing it.

If you want to see season one for yourself, then check it out here.


Nairobi, Kenya (2011)

Six episodes of love, sex and money made things pretty interesting for our Kenyan crew. Leo, Violet, Skola and Kennedy graced the screens once more, whilst Miss B’have (Avril), Angelo (Nick Ndeda), Kipepeo (Shirleen Kiura), Baby (Nancy Karanja), Dala (Brenda Wairimu), and our main guy Femi (Emmanuel Ikubese) came onto the scene.


Baby had a tough time in season two, living with her mom and step-dad, but also her devious Uncle Joe (Wilfred Maina Olwenya). Baby, still a kid, was desperate to grow up fast, and wanted to hit the clubs with her friend Violet. Uncle Joe had other ideas. The advances made by Uncle Joe made Baby’s life a living hell, and ended up in her uncle raping her. Violet, now working at SWAG magazine, and dealing with rejection from her father because of her HIV status, was not having any of it. She confronted Baby’s long-lost dad and made him step up and be there for Baby.

Our boy from day dot, Leo, kept up his smooth ways. His relationship with Virginia from season one had faded and now Leo was entering a serious relationship with Dala. Leo’s wandering eye got the better of him though, and whilst presenting his lit radio show he met Miss B’Have. From here on out, things got complicated for season two’s power couple. Leo and Miss B’have begun seeing each other on the D.L, but sooner or later Miss B’Have was going to have to put Leo in check, and tell the boy to decide between her and Dala. However, Leo was greedy and carried on seeing his two lovers whilst hoping for the best. The best did not follow. Dala, feeling down and confused, sought comfort in Leo’s main guy Femi, widening the risk of the Kenyan crew catching STIs.


Catch all six episodes of season two now.


Lagos, Nigeria (2013)



Not only did season three of MTV Shuga introduce us to a whole host of new faces, it also featured a brand new city: LAGOS! Carrying the flame across the Continent did nothing to turn down the heat of MTV Shuga. Relationships, love, violence and betrayal. Season three was filled to the brim with hard-hitting drama. Good thing we had eight episodes…

Femi bid farewell to Kenya as he tried to flee from his past mistakes. Running away from the city lights of Nairobi to the bustling streets of Lagos was meant to help Femi have a fresh start. He wasn’t alone though. Femi, alongside his boy Leo, were joined by Nigerian locals: Sophie (Dorcas Shola Fapson), Ekene (Okezi Morro), Foye (Maria Okanrende), Tobi (Timini Egbuson), Princess (Sharon Ezeamaka), Nii (Chris Atoh), Maliaka (Leonora Okine), Weki (Olumide Owuru), Sade (Tiwa Savage), Solomon (Sani Mu’azu) and Bikiya (Owumi Ugbeye). It wasn’t long before things started heating up.

Femi’s big return was never going to be plain-sailing. Seeing his old friend Foye resurrected some old feelings, leaving him in a volatile love triangle once again. Ekene, Foye’s man, wasn’t having any of it, but channelled his anger in a wayward manner. Sleeping with Foye’s best friend, Sophie, was only going to lead to trouble and some nerve-wracking HIV testing for the three of them.

For Malaika and Nii, life wasn’t so simple either. Malaika wanted to focus on her studies and get ahead in life, but Nii had other ideas. Trying to force a controlling, manipulative family life on Malaika resulted in Nii becoming abusive, and resorting to physical violence to try and get his way.

Sophie was another important character in ShugaNaija, whose story impacted on many lives. Young, wild and sometimes reckless, Sophie wanted the finer things in life. Checking in with her Sugar Daddy Solomon every now and again for a taste of the high life, Sophie was heading down a risky path. When her sister Princess came to town, things didn’t get any easier. As if that wasn’t enough, our season finale ended with Sophie getting shot in Club Badoo, and her life hanging in the balance.


Did Sophie survive? Keep reading fam. If you’d rather not know, then watch season three here.


Lagos, Nigeria (2015) 

New faces are a running feature for the MTV Shuga fam. The more the merrier! Season four welcomed Sheila (Adesua Etomi), Leila (Jemima Osunde), Eniola (Peace Hyde), Bongi (Mohau Cele Mokoatle), Michael (Ifeanyi Dike Jr), and Mary (Zoe Favour). Don’t worry though, we had some of our crew from back in the day hit us up too.


ShugaVeterans Femi and Leo decided to settle down in season four. Leo and Sophie made a hot couple; deciding to take things slow as their relationship developed. For Femi, being with Sheila was a hard but enlightening experience. Knowing that Femi was HIV positive did not prevent Sheila from loving her man, and being there for him through thick and thin, even though she was HIV negative. They had to deal with a lot of negativity from Sheila’s family as well as the outside world. Together, though, they managed to battle through the storm and muster up the courage to reveal their ‘magnetic relationship’ to the world. Sophie and Leo’s relationship didn’t reach the heights of Feila (get it?) Instead, the season ended with Leo forcing himself on Sophie before pulling himself back; all be it, a little too late.

Love was most definitely in the air for our Lagos crew, and Weki found his teenage kicks in Leila. Unlike Femi, Weki decided to keep his status to himself, and struggled throughout the season to live life positively. In the process, though, he managed to grow and learn a lot about himself through seeking the right support.


Season four also welcomed our newest (and CUTEST) member with Princess’s baby boy. Despite her status being positive, Princess was able to follow the right advice and give birth to a healthy and HIV negative child. This undying bond was also seen amongst bffes Bongi and Mary. Mary’s relationship with an older, violent man in Nii left her in a difficult spot. Turning to Bongi for help and advice was crucial in helping her escape this cycle of abuse.

Relive the highs and lows of season four of MTV Shuga now.


Jozi, South Africa (2017)

Not so fast ShugaFam…we’re not ready to spill the beans just yet, but we promise that season five is like nothing you’ve ever seen before. We’ve announced our cast for MTV Shuga: Down South, we’ve run competitions to find the hottest new talent in Mzansi, in terms of actors and directors, and have thrown it back to Naija to get a dope photographer to capture the buzz on the MTV Shuga set.


With twelve episodes lined up for season five, MTV Shuga is coming at you bigger, better and bolder than ever before.

We love all of our past seasons and cast members, but this year is going to be like nothing you’ve ever seen. If you don’t know, now you know…