Flying to Uganda to pick up an award is a pretty exciting thing to do. And when the award has been created especially for a project that your team has spent months of incredibly hard work on, it’s even better.
The Africa Edutainment Awards is all about ‘rewarding nobility’. And the organisers were so excited to have MTV Shuga be a part of the event, they created a brand new award for us: ‘Best Overall Edutainment Award’.
Around 20 awards were given out to people working on inspiring projects – from anti-corruption, to fashion, to HIV prevention. Local artists brought their swag and performed on stage, as well as talking about issues they felt passionate about.
Barbara Kemigisa gave a hugely touching speech about living with HIV and her mission to educate others to protect themselves. Overcoming abuse as a child, and her family’s rejection of her since declaring her HIV status, Barbara does some amazing work in her local community, and personally vows that “my virus stops with me”.
Sensen, a local rapper and fashion designer, talked about his impatience with corruption in Uganda and then went on to rap about HIV. The Swahili lyrics were a little lost on me, but the crowd loved him.
Taking place on World AIDS Day, the event was largely focused on HIV. And this is what MTV’s Shuga: Love, Sex, Money is all about. It’s a 360 degree campaign with a TV series, radio series, huge online presence, and on the ground ambassadors. Shuga: Love, Sex, Money has aired on 120 broadcasters in 65 countries, with around 120 million viewers and listeners.
Set in Nairobi, and featuring some of Africa’s hottest talent, the series follows the loves and lives of a group of ambitious students in Nairobi, against the backdrop of the HIV epidemic.
There were certainly Shuga fans in the room, and all the artists that performed throughout the night approached me afterward to find out how they could get involved in Shuga in the future.
Some other notable award winners from the evening were:
- Sensen, fashion designer and music artist, who won the Fashion Award
- Barabara Kemigisa: Local Leadership Award
- Capital FM : Best HIV Radio Program Award
- NTV: Best HIV TV Program Award
And the Lifetime Achievement Award went to Kenyan Prime Minister, Raila Odinga.
Definitely a cool bunch of people to be receiving awards alongside. Now, how to get this large, heavy, metal award in my suitcase…