Tems Recalls Life-Changing Experience In Ugandan Prison With No Bed Or Food 


Tems spent two nights in a Ugandan prison in 2020 following her arrest for flouting COVID-19 social distancing regulations. 

Nigerian singing sensation Tems has opened up about the time she was locked up in a Ugandan prison, revealing she believes it was a setup. 

The “WAIT FOR U” hitmaker was arrested in Uganda alongside fellow Nigerian artist Omah Lay back in 2020 after performing at a concert, despite COVID-19 social distancing regulations. However, Tems claims she believed the organizer had all the necessary permits and her detention “was a setup.” 

Nonetheless, she was hauled off to prison, where she spent two nights with no connection to the outside world.  

“That was so scary,” Tems explained during an interview with Angie Martinez. “I spent two nights in prison. I thought I wasn’t gonna come out.” 

Tems said she began crying soon after entering the prison. The uniform stunk. They don’t wash it,” she told Martinez.  

The Grammy Award winner said the experience was life-changing; “It made me stop caring about so many things,” she admitted before opening up about her fellow inmates.  

“All the women in there, they were there for nothing,” she added, recalling the stories of women who were locked up over petty disputes with husbands and fathers.  

Checkout the clip below and watch the interview at the end of the page.

Tems Went Without Food During Her Time In Prison

Tems said conditions in the jail were appalling, and she was given a blanket but no bed.  

“You’re just on the floor, no bed,” Tems said of her two nights behind bars. “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 people were like ‘free Tems, free Omah Lay’ but inside I was just hopeful, waiting. There’s no calls, you can’t make a phone call.” 

She also revealed that she didn’t eat the rice porridge provided once a day to prisoners and so went without food, only sipping water. She was eventually released after her team met with the Ugandan president.