Singer Timaya Opens Up On Battle With Drug Addiction

BY Nii Ogbamey Tetteh February 8, 2024 10:57 PM EDT

Nigerian singer and songwriter Timaya has opened up about his difficulty breaking away from drug addiction and how it impacted his life negatively.

In excerpts from an interview on Beat FM, the Shake Your BumBum hitmaker said his experiment with drugs cost him lots of money and business deals until he finally decided to quit.

“I’m not a saint; I have done drugs. It was a tough fight [breaking away from it]. I am talking about it because I want a lot of young guys to know. I lost a lot of weight…” he said.

Timaya, born Inetimi Alfred Timaya Odon, recalled his encounter with drugs started in 2020 when he was introduced to a substance called “Mauli.”

“I tried it and I was happy and I wanted to keep feeling like that. I was not eating, I was just happy and that was how l lost lots of weight. I was taking like three pills everyday. I got addicted to it and if felt like medication but it was really messing me up,” he said.

He explained that the “happiness” he felt from using drugs was “an illusion” but he eventually decided to stop after he got kicked out from his jobs and contracts.

The 43-year-old also shared his opinion about the just-ended Grammys and said there should be an African Grammy as well, just as there is a Latin Grammy award.

Timaya hails from Odi, Bayelsa State, Nigeria. He is known for combining Nigerian pop with elements of dancehall, hip-hop, soca, and Afro-Caribbean/Dancehall music.

His solo career began in 2005 with the release of the single Dem Mama. He later released His debut album, True Story, and a couple more, like Gift and Grace, De Rebirth, and others.

He has collaborated with many artistes and won many awards, including four Headies Awards, AFRIMMA Awards, one Nigeria Music Award and others. His most recent singles are titled Charger and Tomato, released in 2022 and 2023, respectively.