The MTV Staying Alive Foundation (MTV SAF) is set to celebrate a major milestone as it honours the MTV Shuga Peer Educators at a star-studded benefit event on Thursday 3 December. MTV SAF is a media movement that believes in young people and for over 20 years’ has empowered young people through game-changing content that has proven to have a positive impact on their health and social behaviour. The benefit will raise funds to support the newly registered South African arm of the Foundation and the Peer Educator program. Tickets for the MTV Staying Alive Foundation Virtual Benefit Event will go on sale this week with big names, including the award-winning Master KG & Nomcebo confirmed to bring their voices to this incredible movement, with a performance of ‘Jerusalema’.
In a country with the highest rate of HIV infection in the world, MTV SAF has worked tirelessly to educate and empower youth with the tools and information they need to take care of their sexual health and education. MTV SAF has been doing the ground work in partnership with its peer educators who have had a wide-reaching impact on the young people the initiative has touched. To date, MTV Shuga Peer Educators in South Africa and across the continent have reached over 200,000 young people with sexuality education related to HIV testing, prevention, adherence to treatment, stigma, disclosure, contraceptives, gender-based violence, and family planning to name a few initiatives to combat the spread of HIV and unplanned pregnancy.
South African born Academy Award-winning actress Charlize Theron and her organisation, the Charlize Theron Africa Outreach Project (CTAOP), will join forces with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation to recognise the incredible work of young peer educators across South Africa. Charlize, who is set to honour the Peer Educator of the Year, with an award at the benefit commented:
“On behalf of my foundation CTAOP, I’m excited to spotlight the incredible Peer Educator Volunteers who work with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation. CTAOP decided to partner with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation because of this ground-breaking Peer Education program which has trained hundreds of young people across the continent to openly address issues such as safe sex, healthy relationships, and gender and sexual equality. These peer educators work directly in their own communities speaking to young people on their own terms and I am thrilled to honour the Peer Educator of the Year.”
The benefit event will be hosted by MTV Shuga actress and MTV SAF board member Stephanie Ndlovu alongside her husband actor Hungani Ndlovu and co-founder of the Ndlovu Foundation which is an NPO that focuses on youth empowerment and helping youth find their purpose.
The benefit will celebrate the launch of MTV Staying Alive’s South African arm of the Foundation, and focus a light on MTV SAF’s flagship campaign MTV Shuga: Down South and the impact it has had on creating healthier futures for SA youth, alongside the impactful work of the initiatives’ incredible Peer Educators, young and passionate community leaders who are working hard to secure better health and wellness within our communities.
“We’re proud of our legacy in South Africa, and celebrating our official South African launch on December 3rd with a ground-breaking digital benefit, which guests will be able to enjoy from the comfort and safety of their own homes. We’ll be joined by some incredible guests as we honour this milestone and the impact our flagship local campaign MTV Shuga: Down South has had on creating healthier futures for SA youth. We will recognise the work of our incredible volunteer Peer Educators. While the accolade goes to one individual, our heartfelt thanks go out to every single MTV SHUGA Peer Educator. Together they have fundamentally changed the lives of more than 200,000 young people across South Africa and beyond.” – Georgia Arnold, Executive Director, MTV Staying Alive Foundation
South African superstar Master KG, who was recently honoured as the Best African Act at the “2020 MTV EMAs”, will be joined by songstress Nomcebo. The duo has gained worldwide popularity as a result of their hit song “Jerusalema” which is credited for uniting people far and wide during the pandemic.
“I am really excited to be celebrating this major milestone alongside my sister Nomcebo. As artists, we have a responsibility to shine a light on the amazing work that MTV Staying Alive is doing. I am honoured to bring my voice to this powerful movement,”- Jerusalema hitmaker Master KG.
The MTV Staying Alive Foundation in partnership with MTV and ViacomCBS Networks Africa have pioneered content and programming that is able to influence and drive actionable change on issues such as HIV, sexual health, and gender-based violence, and gender equality. In South Africa, MTV Shuga: Down South is an award-winning youth drama series that has shifted youth perceptions and lifted stigmas that plagued HIV. As the world faced uncertainty surrounding the COVID pandemic, the organisations banded together to produce the self-shot MTV Shuga Alone Together digital series that informed and educated viewers ways on how they can navigate their lives and stay safe during the pandemic.
“We are so honoured to have worked with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation over the years to engage and educate viewers through thought provoking and entertaining content. Authentic storytelling has the power to drive meaningful impact and we are inspired to share the progress that has been achieved. I would like to congratulate the foundation on this incredible milestone and look forward to celebrating the Peer Educators who have worked tirelessly to positive change.” – Monde Twala, Senior Vice President and General Manager of ViacomCBS Networks Africa and MTV Staying Foundation Board Member
In addition to hosting the benefit the Foundation is set to auction art pieces fromKrisjan Rossouw, bespoke garments from Sindiso Khumalo and Stephen Van Eeden, and luxurious getaways in Paris and Cape Town to raise funds for continued.