The popular series centred on the lives of the vulnerable youth is back on our television screens for its fifth season, this time airing from South African soil. Look out for a focus on adolescent girls, unwanted pregnancy and HIV infection.
The new season of MTV’s hit youth programme brings more grit and drama, and some eye candy that includes cameo performances from Nigerian musician Seyi Shay and South African hip hop artist, Kwesta. EOA catches up with two of the main characters, Mohau Cele and Emmanuel Ikubese, who share their journey into the entertainment industry, as well as being part of the show’s cast.
1.What was your childhood dream?
Mohau: I wanted to do anything that would put me on stage and in front of people. After having recited a very dramatic poem at my grandfather’s funeral, I realised how I actually enjoyed being in another zone and embracing a different character. I knew then that I wanted to be in performance arts.
Emmanuel: My childhood dream was to become an entertainer, which is what I am doing at the moment. I have always wanted to represent my country on the world stage. I am glad I was able to do that as Mr Nigeria, representing Nigeria at Mr World.
2. Was your family supportive of you being in the entertainment industry?
Mohau: My late uncle Thembinkosi Nkabinde introduced me to the arts and took me to my first audition in the early 2000s, which was an AFDA student production. He believed in me so much that I began to gain confidence in my craft as well. My family was very supportive because they saw that I liked performing for them, be it singing, dancing, poetry or acting. They really enjoyed being entertained by me.
Emmanuel: I stumbled into acting; I was doing music before I started acting. MTV Shuga was my first professional film production. My parents are my biggest fans and have always supported me.
3. What lessons has Shuga taught you on a personal level?
Mohau: Stay true to yourself and don’t allow people to take advantage of you because of circumstances. Never become a slave to people’s thoughts. Also, the storylines also made me realise that young people go through a lot and they need better role models. They need to know that they are not alone.
Emmanuel: The Shuga campaign has taught me a lot and has affected my life positively. My character in the show is one that lots of young people can relate with, including myself.
4. What plans do you have for 2017?
Mohau: To do whatever I can to perfect my craft.
Emmanuel: I am working on lots of projects this year with really big brands and I am very excited. I am also shooting some movie projects and a new daily TV show that will start airing soon.
More from Mohau Cele:
5. How did your first acting job come about?
Apart from the AFDA student production, my first professional acting job was on MTV Shuga Naija. I was well prepared for the audition, but I also prayed hard. I knew I was talented, but I realised that you are cast based on how you look and talk – talent is just an afterthought. I have always felt that no one would want to cast me on a TV production because I am not “pretty” enough or “articulate” enough for TV. I just had to rely on God to make a way. I didn’t have to wait for a callback after the Shuga audition, as I got the role immediately. I can only thank God for that.
6. Do you plan on venturing into other projects/businesses apart from entertainment?
Yes! Yes! Yes! I want to make money! I want to invest in property and agriculture.
More from Emmanuel Ikubese:
7. Tell us about The Emmanuel Ikubese Foundation. Why did you establish it and what has been its biggest achievement?
My foundation focuses on issues such as domestic violence and rape. I believe these are serious issues faced by young people in our society today.
8. Who is your favourite actor and why?
Will Smith! I admire his talent and personality, and his love for his family.
9. What advice do you have for those who want to venture into the entertainment industry?
Make sure it’s something you have a passion for. The passion is what keeps you going.
Catch the new season of Shuga on Wednesdays at 21:00 PM (CAT) on MTV base, DStv, Channel 322.
Images: Total Exposure.