• QUEER.
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#OpenUpTheIndustry: What has MTV Shuga done lately?

#OpenUpTheIndustry: What has MTV Shuga done lately?

#OpenUpTheIndustry, a hashtag that was started in 2016 by Phumlani Kango, is an important movement that has sparked conversations around the entertainment industry…

So, what is it all about?

If you’ve been out of the game over the last few months and are not sure what the hashtag #OpenUpTheIndustry is all about, pull up a chair and let me school you!!!

#OpenUpTheIndustry is a hashtag that I started after noticing that TV productions used the same faces for different shows. People engaged with the hashtag and also shared their opinions on the entertainment industry in South Africa, and how it did not allow for new faces to break in.

Yet, things are beginning to change. We’ve seen some new faces on our screens and more conversations have been had regarding what can be done to further open up the industry.

MTV Shuga is one example of a TV production trying to bring new faces onto our screens, and no I am not biased because I write for them.

Let me give you four ways in which MTV Shuga has helped #OpenUpTheIndustry…

Springboard For Success
A lot of people don’t know that MTV Shuga helped launch Oscar winner, Lupita Nyong’o’s career. Yep, you got that right; Lupita was in the first season of MTV Shuga when it aired in November 2009, and also featured briefly in the second season too.



Recruiting Unsigned Talent
Samkelisiwe Makhoba, who played ‘Khensani’ in MTV Shuga: Down South, was discovered through MTV Shuga’s public auditions in Jo’burg. Samke played a LEAD role in the South African season and she did an exceptional job at it. MTV Shuga definitely invested in young creative talent because the rest of the cast were fresh-faced actors who had not been in the industry for long.



Giving Young Creatives A Chance
During it’s time in SA, MTV Shuga teamed up with MTV Breaks to provide young creatives with the chance to break into the entertainment industry.

Joining forces with MTV Breaks meant that Mlu Godola, a young South African director fresh out of film school, and Eseosa Ikponmwosa, a hot-shot photographer from Nigeria, were able to come on set and become part of the Shugafam.

Mlu directed his very own scene from #MTVShugaDS episode 4 (you know the one where ‘Ipeleng’ breaks up with ‘Q’), and Eseosa was flown over from Lagos to take behind-the-scenes pictures with our cast in Jozi. Think I’m bluffing? Check out their experiences here!

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