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“I cried when they gave me prison uniform” – Grammy winner Tems recounts jail term in Uganda (Video)


Award-winning Nigerian superstar, Openiyi Temilade, popularly known as Tems has recounted her experience in Ugandan prison and how she cried when given a uniform.

On the night of December, 12, 2020, Tems was arrested alongside fellow Nigerian singer, Omah Lay, for performing at an unauthorized concert and disobeying COVID-19 protocols. They were both released after spending two days behind bars.

Speaking during an interview with Angie Martinez, she narrated her experience in the small dingy prison starting from when she was picked up from her hotel. For the singer, she thought it was a joke at first but when she got to the prison and was handed her uniform, things became all too real and she cried.

According to the 28-year-old songwriter, she spent two days in the stinking prison, and did not even know when she was coming out.

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Tems noted that the women she bonded with in the prisons were practically locked up for the most trivial things, and some were kept in by guards who were paid to do so. The prison structure was so that the inmates could not make phone calls unless they had money and she had no money.

In her words, “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.”

“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.”

She added, “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”.

Listen to the interview below:

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