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African choir clothes plea; Young airport arrivals with nothing to declare but their voices.

Byline: KRYSIA DIVER

TRADERS in Coventry are being asked to help kit out 22 children from Africa with clothes for their first trip abroad.

Members of the African Children's Choir, from Uganda and Kenya, will arrive in the city next month as the first stop on an international concert tour.

The youngsters, aged five to 10, will arrive with just the clothes they are wearing.

Organisers of the tour are now appealing to city stores to provide the young singers with new clothes for playing and performing.

Nobby Clarke, who is helping co-ordinate the Coventry concert, said: "This is the first ever trip abroad for these kids and they are going to be goggle-eyed when they touch down in Birmingham Airport.

"Most of the children live in huts and sleep on mats, so even things like beds will be a novelty for them. They have been training in Africa for some time for the concerts and we want to make this trip special for them by providing them with new sets of clothing.

"We would also like as many people as possible to turn up to their Coventry performance, which promises to be very entertaining."

He added that the children would be staying with host families in the city before boarding a plane to continue their tour in the US.

Tour organisers have drawn up a clothes wish-list for the children, including jeans, T-shirts, underwear, pyjamas and Sunday-best attire.

Personal items including toothbrushes and toothpaste, flannels, deodorant and combs would also be appreciated.

The African Children's Choir will perform a range of traditional African music in several languages on Friday, April 12 in St James' Church, Tile Hill Lane, at 7.30pm.

Any traders who would like to help provide the youngsters with clothing should phone Nobby Clarke on 024 7646 7997.

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TRAVELLING LIGHT: Coventry traders are being asked to kit out these kiddies with everything from combs to coats
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Publication:Coventry Evening Telegraph (England)
Date:Mar 28, 2002
Words:322
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