Tems, the Grammy-winning singer, has given an account of her ordeal in Uganda; where she was detained for participating in an unauthorised concert.


In December 2020, the singer was arrested by Ugandan police alongside Omah Lay following their involvement in the event held at Ddungu Resort in Munyonyo, Kampala City.

The pair were said to have flouted the COVID-19 protocol in Uganda at that time.

They were, however, released from detention after a wave of heated backlashes from Nigerians on social media.


In 2021, Tems recounted that she sat on the floor bonding with women and children during her time in prison.

But in a recent interview, the songstress narrated how she was arrested and detained for two days.

The ‘Me and U’ hitmaker also maintained that she and Omah Lay did not flout COVID-19 rules, arguing “it was a setup”.

“We did not break the COVID-19 rules. It was basically like a set-up,” Tems told Angie Martinez of Power 105.1 FM, New York.


“We went to Uganda, I had a show there. It was during COVID year but they had opened things up that time. They had just had a rally in Uganda. People were going out. It was not on lockdown. It was the aftermath.

“And the organisers said they had the permit, they sent us the permit. Everything was cool. But there was this particular artiste. I am not sure now what his role was but he was just busy threatening Nigerian artistes that they should not come. And after the show, the police came. They were not in uniforms.

“They just knocked on my hotel room. My manager and I were eating lunch or dinner. And they just came and said we should follow them and my manager was like he would go with them.

“So, he went with them. But they came back upstairs to pick me up. So, it was like who called them?


“I spent two nights in prison. I thought I was not gonna come out. I thought maybe I was going through it for a reason. I was like maybe this is for me to help the people in prison. It was crazy, I ain’t gonna lie. 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 do not wash it.

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

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