December 21, 2004 14:01


The star has his eyes opened by a trip to Africa...

frontman FRAN HEALY has visited strife-torn Sudan - and says the situation in the country has left him "gobsmacked".

The star travelled to Africa to see the situation for himself on behalf of the Band Aid, reports the BBC. The singer was joined by the charity Save The Children.

Healy said: "I'm gobsmacked at what I saw in Sudan. I was running around thinking 'What can I do?'"

He added: "I was naive before I went - thought Africans were needy and desperate. But they're the strongest people I've ever met who are surviving against all the odds - I don't know how they do it."

The star's trip - which he says he is still "digesting" - has left him determined to help the people there as much as he can, using his fame to good effect.

"I'm going to get involved and will go back to see more," he said.
"As a famous person the thing you can do is go to a place and report on it. A singer like myself is able to talk freely and express an opinion.

"There is so much more that can be done. Making a Band Aid record and going to Africa isn't enough for me - I'm going to get more involved."

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