In a recent interview with Angie Martinez on Power 105.1 FM, Nigerian singer Tems shed more light on her experience in the Ugandan prison where she was detained for two days in 2020, alongside Omah Lay, after being charged in court.
Tems revealed that she and Omah Lay were completely cut off from the outside world during their detention and had to rapidly adjust to prison life. She described the harsh conditions, including a small, bare room with no bed, just blankets and tissues on the floor.
“I thought I wasn’t gonna come out,” Tems said. “I was disconnected from the world. I didn’t have my phone. I didn’t have any communication with the outside world. I just started to settle in and felt perhaps God kept me there for a reason.”
Tems also revealed that she was subjected to dehumanizing treatment by prison guards, who she said forced her to kneel to speak to them and only fed her once a day. “I didn’t eat. I just kept sipping water every day,” Tems said. “It was very dehumanizing. I felt like I was not even human. I felt like I was an animal.”
Despite the difficult conditions, Tems said that she found a sense of purpose in her time in prison. She said that she bonded with the other women who were incarcerated and that she felt compelled to help them.
“I realized that I had to do something to help the other women in prison,” Tems said. “I started to teach them how to read and write. I also started to sing with them. It was a way for us to cope with the situation that we were in.”
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