MTV SHUGA DOWN SOUTH: Episode One- “Welcome Home”

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MTV Shuga is finally back. The show is now taking place in South Africa.

For those who don’t know about MTV Shuga, it is a series that discusses the lives of young people on the continent and the issues that face them when it comes to love, sex and money. The show was created to bring awareness to the issue of HIV and AIDS on the continent. It’s where I was first introduced to Lupita Nyong’o. The series first started in Nairobi, Kenya and then moved to Lagos, Nigeria.

*side note* I use to write recaps about the show on my Tumblr  page you can check them out there to catch up

Many of the characters from Lagos are not in the new season and we don’t learn what happens to them. (This happens every season since the show moves from City to City and many actors move on to other endeavors) The only characters from Lagos that will be seen in this series are Bongi, Femi and Leo (these two are the main people that travel to every city in the series). **I hear Adesua who plays Sheila will be back as well**

The show starts off with Bongi at the airport, she notices that Femi is there as well in the baggage claim area. She is so excited to see him. Femi asks what she is doing in South Africa. She explains that her parents have a new business and have moved from Lagos so she is back in South Africa to stay in Zenzele with her aunt. Femi tells Bongi he is in South Africa for business, he is the new club music promoter for Club Surge. As they leave the airport Femi tells Bongi to call him and keep in touch.

Bongi is driven to her Aunt’s house by Sol. On the ride to Zenzele, Sol tells Bongi that Zenele is the happening place in town and that if she ever needs anything she should contact him.

We are then introduced to Ipeleng who is at home with her younger brother. She is trying to prepare breakfast for her brother but doesn’t have enough items in the house. Her brother talks about missing their mother. Ipeleng promises him that she will bring home food from work and she will make things better now that it is just the two of them. Ipeleng’s boyfriend Q enters the house and says he misses her. She doesn’t seem to have time for him and tells him she is very busy and has to go to work soon. He asks if she will return to school soon, Ipeleng says she will eventually return to school but she has to work first to take care of her and her brother because they are barely making ends meet.

Sol drops Bongi off at the house, her Auntie is so happy to see her after all these years.

Femi is at Club Surge and see’s a man and woman arguing, it turns out to be his new boss Rakeem and a girl named Storm who looks very interested in Femi. Rakeem tells Femi that he wants him to be in charge of the live talent for the club so that his club will be a hit. His first assignment is to get the backup dancers for the live talent to be organized. Femi promises Rakeem that he will fix the problem and it will be a great show.

Bongi is in the yard with her Auntie helping her wash and hang laundry. Bongi asks her Auntie about Sol. She tells her that his is the son of a taxi owner who drives people around and asks if she remembers his family. Her Auntie wants to take her around to see people in the area she hasn’t seen since she left 5 years ago. Bongi tells her Auntie that she is tired and would like to rest first. Her Auntie says that is fine and that later her cousins will come over to see her, but Bongi isn’t interested in seeing cousins she wants to go into the city and see Femi at Club Surge. Her Auntie is disappointed that she doesn’t want to spend time with family on her first day back. Bongi tells her Auntie she is stuck in Zenzele for a year and has plenty of time to spend with family. Her Auntie is hurt by her use of the word stuck and explains her family has missed her. Bongi says she misses them as well but is 17 and can make her own decisions. Her Auntie disagrees with her and says it is her responsibility to take care of her as had promised her sister, Bongi’s mother.

As Bongi and her Auntie are arguing a visitor walks up to them. Bongi embraces him to the disapproval of her Auntie. The visitor is Bongi’s long time friend Reggie. Bongi complains that there is no life in Zenzele, Reggie tells her that is not true and offers to show her around ‘the park’ so she can see how fun Zenzele is.

Next we are introduced to Tsholo, who is in the kitchen preparing lunch for her father. He asks her what she wants as a gift when he comes back from his trip. She cant make up her mind at first but finally settles on wanting her father to bring her back a dress. Before leaving her father tells her to focus on school, she promises that she will focus on school and gives him a big hug and begs him to be safe on the road.

At the club, Femi has to get the dancers in sync. The live entertainment artist Praiz is not happy with their performance and tells Femi to fix it. Femi has until 6pm to get the girls ready.

We learn that Ipeleng works as a dishwasher at Club Surge. While cleaning she sees some leftover food in a bowl and decides to take the food and hide it in her apron. Rakeem comes in to the kitchen looking for a girl named Mandy. He says she is late and he is worried because she is his money maker. This news brings an idea to Ipeleng’s mind.

Bongi is walking around Zenzele with Reggie and doesn’t seem impressed with the area until she sees some graffiti on a wall. She is shocked to see that people in Zenzele do such things. Reggie tells Bongi that he is the one who did the artwork but she should keep the information quiet, since he doesn’t want anyone to know. Reggie talks about how his father doesn’t know he is a graffiti artist and if he did he would kill him because he has dreams of Reggie becoming an Engineer. Bongi tells Reggie that they are in Grade 11 now and it was time for them to make their own choices.

Ipeleng approaches Rakeem about taking over for Mandy as hostess for the night. She wants the opportunity to work to show herself worthy of a hostess position. Rakeem tells her she doesn’t have the look or what it takes to be a hostess for his club (so rude). He tells her to go back to the Kitchen. You can see the hurt in her eyes.

Reggie introduces Bongi to his friends. They start playing music and Zamo dances on Reggie which seems to annoy Bongi. The guys think Bongi is jealous because Reggie is her man, but she tells them that is not the case. Bongi decides she wants to leave Reggie and his friends to head into the city to see Femi at Club Surge. Reggie asks what she will tell her Auntie, Bongi decides to send her a text message letting her know she will be out for the night.

Tsholo and her friends on the other side of the park drinking. Tsholo keep looking at Zamo as she dances. She is envious of her clothes and wants to know how she is able to afford such nice things. Her friend Khensani tell her that Zamo must have a someone that buys her the clothes because her mother could not afford those items on her salary. Tsholo is envious and wants to have nice things like Zamo. Khensani tells her to just find a good guy who loves her instead. Tsholo does care about love she wants nice things instead. Tsholo decides to utilize what she has (her body) and give it to the right person who can get her the things that she wants.

Reggie is at home talking about his future with his father . His father wants him to focus on Science. Reggie tells him he hates that subject and wants to focus on art. His father tells him his dreams will get him nowhere, and he must take Science whether he likes it or not. Reggie leaves upset and defeated. Once he is gone his mother tells his father he shouldn’t be making such decisions for Reggie. But his father wont listen and thinks he knows what’s best and how to make a man out of Reggie.

At Club Surge, Ipeleng is studying the drink menu. Femi is with the background dancers from earlier in the day giving them words of encouragement about their dancing. Ipeleng is now in the locker room holding up a dress that looks like a hostess dress.


Bongi gets Sol to drop her off in the city near the club. Sol tells her to be careful and call her if anything. Bongi says she is not worried because she lived in Lagos and can handle herself.


Praiz is perfroming and the crowd is loving the performance.

Rakeem is apologizing to clients who are waiting for a hostess to attend to them, when Ipeleng shows up dressed as a hostess and offers to get them men some drinks to start the night. Rakeem pulls Ipeleng to the side and tells her she looks nice. She asks for a chance to prove that she can be a hostess. He agrees to give her one chance and that she shouldn’t mess it up.

Bongi is walking and singing on her way to the club. A man spots her and starts following her. He calls out to her and stops her. She asks what he wants and he attacks her and takes her phone. He struggles with Bongi looking to see what else she has on her when Sol shows up and scares the man away. She is hurt and doesn’t make it to the club.

The episode ends with Praiz’s performance and Femi looking happy at the great job he has done. Storm is seen in the background looking at him longingly.


This season looks like it will be better than the last season in Nigeria. Im hoping it goes back to the way it was when it was in Kenya.


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