Tuesday 21 November 2017


Lynne Kelleher

One Direction superstar Niall Horan is left shaken in a new heartbreaking film of his band's visit to Africa when he witnesses children scavenging in a searing, hot dump to survive.

The film, which was released last night on Let's Dance for Comic Relief, shows the Mullingar singer and his bandmate Louis Tomlinson looking visibly shocked at meeting Idris, 12, and Sulle, 15, who are forced to make a living on a rubbish tip.

The boys spend their days finding wires that they burn to extract metal to sell in order to survive instead of going to school to try and escape life in the slums.

The grim-faced pop stars were appalled when the young boys told them about the severe burns they often suffer to their hands along with inhaling toxic smoke.

It is the third of three films released by Comic Relief of the band in Africa.

The five superstars may lead a dream existence in the world's biggest boyband but they all spoke of feeling humbled by their Comic Relief trip to the Ghanaian city of Accra.

In footage from the second film released in recent weeks, Horan is filmed in the corridor of the hospital in the Ghanaian capital urging the public to give their support to the Red Nose Campaign.

"We went to a children's hospital full of babies desperately ill because they missed vital vaccinations that they really needed," he said.

The kind-hearted star was seen gently holding a sick baby girl's hand in the ward before making a plea for help in getting thousands of African babies vital vaccines.

"The baby was so weak and every time she coughed you'd hear her ribs rattling. It is just crazy what is going on here," he said.

The Irish star and his band have jumped into their roles as Comic Relief ambassadors with their official charity single, which is a cover of Blondie's One Way Or Another, hitting the No 1 spot in more than 60 countries.

The band have also donated the clothes they wore in Africa to Comic Relief to sell on ebay as part of the band's #1D4RND campaign.

In the immediate aftermath of their trip last month, Horan took to Twitter to speak about his horror at coming across children scavenging in slums for food.

"I've seen the slums right in front of me! This is no joke! They really need your help! Poverty is real!

"Massive thanks to @rednoseday for taking us to Ghana! It was incredible! Real eye opener! We take so much for granted over here!"

Irish Independent

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