Sweet like Shuga!
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One component of my To-watch list I never really get to check out is Shuga. Shuga is a soap opera by MTV Networks Africa in association with the MTV Staying Alive Foundation and other partners to create awareness about HIV, AIDS and responsible sexual behaviour. It airs in seasons and episodes so it would be around for a while. As soon as I got the news that the second season of Shuga Naija had been released, I could not wait a moment to get watching.
Shuga Naija is the adapted Nigerian version that tells the story of Sophie and Princess among others. Princess, Sophie’s younger sister, visited Sophie on campus in town after securing permission from their parents in the village. Sophie, having many immoral habits to hide, was not very pleased to have her younger sister on campus so she sent her away rashly. However, Princess was too happy about being in the city to leave. She wanted to experience life in the city and realise her dream of becoming a supermodel. Things started looking up after she met Solomon, the elderly man from whom Sophie narrowly escaped being infected with HIV. Like her sister, Princess made unguided decisions but fell out of luck. By the time Sophie found out, it was too late. Princess had already been infected.
Being infected with HIV/AIDS is not necessarily a death sentence but it can be prevented. One way to do this is being sexually upright and cultivating responsible sexual behaviours. As youths at a stage in life where youthful exuberance is common, it is easy to get carried away. Here are my Shuga-inspired suggestions for staying sexually responsible and avoiding one major cause of HIV/AIDS:
a. Love your family: This means listen to them and try to do what is best for yourself and them. I understand that many people go through a lot in their families so I have to say to always examine the motives behind their actions towards you. For some reason, what they say may not sound right but it is important to always ask yourself the reason why they are saying it. Also, be careful not to get too familiar with family members and make the common mistake of belittling their ambitions.
b. Keep the right friends: Friends are really the support network thathelps us wade through life successfully. If you do not have the right ones, you are sinking for sure! Try to keep the ones that are willing to learn the right things and have the habits you are interested in cultivating and keeping.
c. Be the one: Everybody wants that super awesome friend-that water that makes blood feel less thick. So how about we all begin trying to be that person we want to see in others? Look out for your family and friends, seek their welfare like a real fan, listen to them, and be valuable to them.
d. ABSTAIN: It is difficult to leave sexual activity until marriage and the situation has necessitated the spread of the ‘Use a condom’ message. Nonetheless, it remains the safest thing to do. Abstaining and taking to others about it does not prove you naive. It shows you are in control of your decisions and that you have an uncommon level of maturity. If you are young and abstaining, you are a model youth!