Tems, the Grammy award-winning vocalist, has recounted her time in Uganda where she was detained for taking part in an unauthorized performance. Allegedly, the event breached Uganda’s COVID-19 regulations at the time.

In December 2020, the artist was apprehended by Ugandan authorities, along with Omah Lay, for their involvement in a gathering held at Ddungu Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala City.

During a recent interview, the ‘Me and U’ star recounted the circumstances leading to her arrest and her subsequent two-day detention. She maintained her stance that she and Omah Lay did not violate any COVID-19 guidelines, suggesting it was a setup.

“We didn’t violate the COVID-19 regulations. It felt like a setup,” Tems explained to Angie Martinez of Power 105.1 FM, New York.

Recalling her time in detention, she expressed;

I spent two nights in jail. I thought I wouldn’t make it out. I believed there was a purpose behind my experience, perhaps to assist those in prison. It was intense, I won’t deny it. I adapted quickly, but as I walked in, I burst into tears because the uniform they gave me reeked as if it hadn’t been washed.
Upon entering, everyone turned to look at me and whispered, and I thought, ‘What have I done? I can’t break down,’ so I started winking to adapt. I had to demonstrate my confidence, so I began being overly friendly and winking, and they started to laugh.”

Tems – Singer

Following a substantial outcry from Nigerians on social media, the duo was eventually released from custody.

In 2021, Tems shared how she connected with women and children while spending time in prison.

Story: Christy Dung

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