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“I cried when they put me in prison uniform” Tems talks about the difficult time she was jailed in Uganda(video)

 

Tems has recalled the time she was jailed for two days in Uganda. 

The singer was arrested alongside Omah Lay and Donawon when they went to perform in Uganda shortly after covid curfew was lifted in the country. 

Speaking during an interview with radio show host Angie Martinez, Tems explained that they didn’t exactly break any rules but their arrest was a set up from a local artist who promised to deal with them. 

She said the show organisers said they had a permit to hold the show and people were already going out because the covid restrictions had been lifted. 

After the show, Tems said she was having lunch with her manager in her hotel room when they were picked up by Ugandan police.

The Nigerian singer said she spent two nights in prison and she thought she wasn’t going to come out because she had no phone and no communication with the outside world to know what efforts were being made to free her. She said she already started to settle in and felt perhaps God kept her there for a reason. 

Tems said, “I thought I wasn’t gonna come out. I thought I was seeing it for a reason like maybe I was meant to help the people. I was settling in because I adapted real quick and as I was walking in I started to cry because they gave me my uniform and it stunk because they don’t wash it. It was a small room and there was nothing, there’s just the floor they give you blankets and tissues and you’re just on the floor, no bed and I did it for two days. I didn’t even know I was going to get out, I didn’t have any ears on the ground nobody told me anything. Outside everyone was like ‘free Tems, free Omah lay’ but inside I was just hopeful, waiting.”

Tems disclosed that the women she bonded with in the prisons were practically locked up for the most trivial things, includiing some whose husbands locked them up. She added that some of the women had their children with them in jail.

She said to Martinez, “Once I walked in everyone turned and looked at me and whispering and I was like ‘what have I done? I can’t cry’ and I just started winking, that was my way of adapting. I must show these people that I’m confident so I started being extra winking and saying hi and they were laughing.”

On the night of December 12, 2020, Omah Lay and Tems performed at The Big Brunch, which was held at Speke Resort, Wavamunno Road, Kampala, Uganda. After their performance, they were charged to court by the Uganda police for flouting COVID-19 guidelines after lockdown.

Watch the interview below.

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