She’s back: After she was hospitalised, several stories were written about Jackie Chandiru’s health, with rumours stretching to her marriage. Some tabloids even speculated the former Blu*3 singer was suicidal and that her condition would never be rectified. Well, in an exclusive interview, ISAAC SSEJJOMBWE caught up with Jackie and she clears the air on the drug and marriage rumours, and her new song with Chameleone.
Hi Jackie. First things first. While you were away, some perturbing pictures leaked showing you lost weight and had wounds on some parts of your body. How are you feeling now?
I’m ok, fantastic, bright, hot and sexy. Thanks for asking.
So tell me, how did you end up in a rehabilitation centre?
I believe if you end up somewhere, if it is not by air, it is either by water or road transport.
Haha, funny. Come on Jackie, You know what I mean. Okay let me rephrase my question. What was the reason you were in rehab?
All I remember is that after my second surgery, a couple of days later, I was taken somewhere I did not recognise and left there.
Second surgery? What was the first surgery about?
Surgery is pretty confidential, I don’t disclose such information, sorry.
We heard that Mesach and Balaam are among the people who visited and took care of you at Mulago before you were transferred to rehab…
Mesach and Balaam have been good friends since I first started in Blu*3, what they did was put me in the hands of a discreet medical team of surgeons and physicians as many before them were just divulging my medical information, just like some police peeps.
Is it true that you went to rehab because of a serious drug addiction?
Rehab is not about drug addiction; it is also for trauma treatment.
So your admission was nothing related to drugs?
Drug addiction? Exactly what drug was I said to be using?
We heard that you were a pathedine addict.
Yes, it was prescribed for me for constant chest and back pain. I would not put myself in an addict category because that means that one literally cannot live without a specific substance. If I were that, I would be dead by now. I took my medicines whenever the pain would be unbearable. The only problem was that my pain was becoming constant, especially at night. I would often sleep on the floor to ease the pain.
That was terrible. Would you say that was your worst moment in rehab?
My worst moment was when I found out some of the circumstances under which I was taken to that place, including a few lies of course. Besides that, every minute, hour, second was my worst.
What is the experience like in rehab?
Being in rehab is like being in a place where you have no contact with the outside world, can’t speak freely to your loved ones, or can’t get KFC anytime. It is equivalent to prison.
Do you mind telling us the name of the rehabilitation centre you were admitted to?
Why do you keep referring to it as rehab? That sounds inappropriate; it is a hospital, a recovery place.
Pardon me. What is the name of the recovery place you were admitted to?
I am afraid that is information I cannot disclose.
We heard that you were due to receive further treatment in the US. Is this true?
The treatment will not be in the US, but somewhere else.
Where and for how long do you think you will be there?
Should all my paperwork be done, it should take me about two months minimum, as I may undergo more than two surgeries. You will know the place when the right time comes.
Did any of your fellow musicians visit or send you comforting messages while in hospital?
Definitely; Mesach Ssemakula, Lilian (Mbabazi), Spice Diana, Bobi wine, Ray Signature. I read most of their comments about me in the papers when I got home, and I was happy some still cared.
What was your family’s reaction about the whole issue?
My family has been very supportive. You see, nearly every media house was scrambling for a front page of my pictures and a story with their own theories of what might have happened to me. This angered me terribly because nobody bothered to look for me and actually ask or see exactly what was wrong, they simply wrote or yapped on radio about what they did not know. My family kept me grounded and strong all this time.
Up to now.
What is Jackie up to lately?
I am just being me for now. Soon, I will be releasing my music and being a wife.
Wife? But the tabloids said your husband walked out on you and that he is now engaged to a Sudanese model.
Yeah, I read about that too. My husband and I were very upset! I was raised not just as any woman, but as one who keeps the principles of marriage. If it was not about privacy, I would show you all the messages my husband and I exchanged throughout this time and you would see that we have never been divorced.
Yes, my husband dated the ‘model’, but that is his past and my husband does not rekindle the past. In fact, we, Mr and Mrs Vliet take the phrase “till death do us part” very seriously.
So the model’s existence is more than just a rumour?
Let me set the record straight. The supposed model is married to someone else and has been since. The courts of law and Church of Uganda can never grant a marriage if one of the parties is still married elsewhere, meaning there had to be proof from Holland with signed papers from the authorities to prove my husband’s single status to allow our union.
Where does your music career stand right now? Should we expect some new tracks?
Definitely, I am still the singer you knew and with my husband’s permission I will continue doing just that. You will be hearing something new from me this week, starting with a song I did with Chameleone, called Discover Me (Adule).
You say with your husband’s permission. Is he in charge of your music career now?
Oh no, I said with his permission because surely as a married woman I cannot just be swinging or wining my goodies anyhow. They belong to someone so I need permission first. That is just how I was brought up and taught, especially when it comes to marriage.
Are you planning anything like a show to celebrate your comeback?
Yes, I will be staging a concert after my full recovery. I do not think I have to make a ‘comeback’ as you put it, I never left.
So after all this passes, are there things you would change about your life, friends, lifestyle?
I believe all this came to pass and yes I have changed a lot about me, starting with my number of course. Lol.
Before all this happened, we realised that you and Cindy had become a little distant yet you broke out from the same group (Blu*3). What really happened between you two?
Well, as for Cindy, we had our issues when we were younger; she knows what she did at the expense of my reputation. However, for me that is in the past because I have and will always believe the truth can never be hidden (it is just like a pregnancy, it always comes out). I am a grown woman and have no interest in feuds as they are time-consuming. I have no problem with her, however, if she still has a problem with me, then forgive me for not knowing that we are not friends.
How about Alaka? What led to the end of your long relationship?
Every couple has its ups and downs; we had ours then, just like any other couple. That is all I can say.
What will you never forget about your hospital experience?
Hospital hardened me a lot; the emotional damage I got there just hearing rumours was way beyond. A lot was written about me, 80 per cent false. My husband, my family and I faced these shameful stories quietly for months but I thank God I healed and I got a second chance, that is why I came out harder, stronger and different.
Any lessons you would like to share?
Sometimes the price you pay just to be able to innocently sleep painlessly is too high and should never be endured, no matter what.
Lastly, what advice would you give someone in the same situation as you?
I would tell them that there is no situation that lasts forever.
The rumours that broke her
Wow, I cannot say it is just one but I will list what totally drained me;
- That I was thrown out of my house because of rent
- That I could not afford my own treatment
- That I was left by my husband
- That I was found unconscious by bouncers in my house
- That I was in bad shape at Mulago
- That I was suicidal
- That I was on cocaine and heroine (I did not even know there is heroine or cocaine in Uganda)
- That my husband left me and that he is a liar, married in 28 countries and used expensive cars to lure me.
- That I was drugged and molested by my husband and his friends, as for that one, all I can say is heartbroken women always use the media to try and taint me (evident also from certain stories in my past as you all know) but if you have been heartbroken, it is not the end of the world. Take it like a man, put your tail between your legs and slowly walk away and accept defeat. It is pure sinful to come up with rotten stories just because you do not want to accept it is ‘game over’ and if he really wanted it, he would have put the ring on your finger. Ask yourself why it ended up on someone else’s. Just like companies, you never find only CEOs. There is one up, then the manager, assistant manager and so on. We are never the same, otherwise we would be doomed.