Home News The Prison Uniform Stunk! – Nigeria’s Tems on two-day prison experience in...

The Prison Uniform Stunk! – Nigeria’s Tems on two-day prison experience in Uganda


Nigerian Grammy Award winner Tems, born Temilade Openiyi, has recounted her ordeal in a Ugandan prison (Kigo) where she was given a dirty uniform that stunk.

Back in 2020, Tems and her colleague, Stanley Omah Didia, a.k.a Omah Lay, were arrested and charged to court and subsequently detained in prison in Uganda, for making an appearance at a concert held in the country at Speke Resort, Kampala, despite COVID-19 social distancing regulations.

However, speaking in a recent interview in New York, US, Tems insisted that they didn’t break COVID-19 rules, claiming she was set up.

The Oscar-nominated singer said she thought she wasn’t going to come out of jail when she was arrested and that she was already settling in as she emphasized that she adapts very quickly.

Tems said, “We didn’t break the [COVID-19] rules. It was basically like a set-up. We went to Uganda, and 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 wasn’t on lockdown. It was the aftermath.

“And the organizers said they had the permit, they sent us the permit. Everything was cool. And went there and there was this particular artist, I’m not sure now what his role was but he was just busy threatening Nigerian artists that they shouldn’t come.

“And after the show, the police came. They weren’t 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? Later, I found out that there was something weird… That was so scary. I spent two nights in prison. I thought I wasn’t 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 adapt real quick.”

Ever since then, Tems doesn’t wish to step back in the +256 following what happened to her on her first visit.