Shuga …

listening to: Rock Box – Run D.M.C

I’m quite aware that events in this world do not occur in a bubble. I figure that this is a statement I have to open up with because I have been accused of being contrarian when it comes to my opinion on pop culture and our relationship and reaction to it. I’m the first to roll my eyes when it’s claimed that xyz show has corrupted the “youth” or giving folks the wrong idea about a certain subject. However, I am aware of the fact that we are influenced by what we read see and hear. I’ve said this before and I’ll say it again – somewhere between the idea that TV, movies etc are to blame for all dodgy societal behaviour and the school of thought that it occurs in a vacuum lays the truth. And that truth is that the issue is more complex that people give it credit for which is what makes discussions about it so frustrating.

As an aside, you know who annoy me? Uppity folk who figure that they are above pop culture. They get up on their high horse and sniff about how they cant believe people can be so stupid as to be influenced by a random movie or song. Of course, this they say as they carry around the coolest new phone that has been heavily advertised, use words that were clearly picked up from the top forty charts and dress in a manner that show that clearly they read GQ and Cosmopolitan on a regular basis. In my opinion they are just as bad as those who flip out about every little thing on out there as being bad for us. Its like surely, give the human race some credit but dude, you aren’t as smart as you think.

Which brings me to Shuga. I thoroughly enjoyed watching it because I was like finally, a show about sex and HIV that doesn’t talk down to its audience or treat them like daft children. In my opinion, people related to it a lot because they were able to see themselves, or someone they know in similar situations. This review by Kenya Christian disagreed and he or she saw it as importation of “western ideals” which I find baffling. The comment I left on the blog is still stuck in moderation I guess, but this is what I wrote:

i’m not sure what you refer to as “being imported from the west” and “foreign ideas”. is it that they were having sex? cos even before shuga, mtv or even a tv station that wasnt KBC folks were cheating on each other, having sex for jobs and money and having multiple partners. and yes, this included the church going, choir singing folk.

the reason why shuga resonates with so many is that it doesnt treat its intended audience like they are stupid. we all know these things go on. the story in itself shows the consequences of unprotected sex, sex with multiple partners and sex under the influence of alcohol. is your issue with the love scenes shown? in your opinion,would it (the show) have been up to par had they not been included? im seriously asking by the way, not being rhetorical or anything.

by the by, the lip lock on the church steps? in my view, not frisky (quite chaste actually, considering all else that was going on) and something i know for a fact goes on on church grounds.

in conclusion (i apologize for rambling all over your comment box) shuga is unmistakably kenyan. whether you may agree how kenya is or not is a whole different issue.

Over at SolidFreshDope’s Blog, she was able to bring  her perspective as  trained peer educator. I do wonder though, for those who found Shuga unpalatable was the issue the fact that it had some love scenes and didn’t show lovers walking into a room and shutting the door all mysterious and coy like or the fact that it showed young people having sex at all? Because, strip away the partying and the making out … does the message still come through, is it relevant? Maybe it is the way in which it came across and the vessel in which it was delivered? This I am curious to know because I want to know how conservative folk reacted to it.

For those who are like, what in the world is she talking about and why is Shuga being misspelled behold the awesomeness of shows being uploaded on the internet:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3



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9 responses to “Shuga …

  1. Was gonna leave a comment, but it became too long and I decided to turn it into a post. Great points you put across. I’m interested in seeing what your comment on my post will be.

  2. boyfulani.

    Shuga is a good try, for starters. Guess they should read such reviews for more insight in future. Heard they are turning it into a serie.

    • i was hoping they would turn it into a series – there were alot of loose ends and it did start a conversation. hopefully the series will be as good and provocative as the 3 episode arc and have more and more people talking about sex, protecting themselves and that everyone is at risk.

  3. Yes, saw and responded to your comment. Now, I hope to see the abstinence post up soon 🙂 I just might do one too, but I’ll wait and see the angle you take 😀 And I do hope they turn shuga into a series.

  4. Your post was really accurate..I am actually talking about the last two posts, and very educative as well, you should tweet them, they could help a few people out there, and open some people’s minds too. You make really interesting points with the way our parents choose to potray the message to us, and our faulty educational system that tries to Sugar coat the message and ends up confusing the people they set out to educate.
    Good job jmmk

    • thanks for the props. it’s a subject i’m very passionate about since i know that there are many out there who are still ignorant about some aspects of sex. i have had to give age-mates “the talk” and tell them that some of those sex myths that float around are just rumours. its kinda depressing, these are sexually active people in their twenties and yet the information blanks are astounding.

      the sugar coating thing is right – conservative society or no its better for these things to be discussed openly with the right facts and with people who know what they are talking about. god forbid that someones first contact with frank sex talk is a historical romance novel or some smooth talking person wanting to take advantage of them. or worse yet, someone as ignorant as they are.

  5. Shuga is both a great story and production, although I have watched only one episode.
    I also read sisbigbone’s post and i agree with the realistic/unrealistic parts, and that is where i have a problem. As much as the show is about the spread of HIV/AIDS, it seems to me like every character’s life is revolved with sex. All. For me that makes it less entertaining.
    However, the message is effectively conveyed.

    • hmm, i do see where you are coming from. if it were made into a series im guessing that they would have to show other aspects of the lives f young kenyans and not just the sexual side of it. otherwise it would become to monotonous and predictable – and not to mention lazy. easy is writing a story just about sex – much harder would be to show the intricacies of the lives of different characters and how they interract and intersect.

      thanks for your input and for dropping by 😀

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