U.S Singer Nichole Scherzinger has worn many hats over the years, from a dancer, singer to TV presenter, to become a household name as the lead singer in the female group Pussycat Dolls.
The 37 year old recently opened up in an interview with the Daily Mail talking about her experience when she visited Nairobi last November.
She talks about how one night she was too traumatized by what she had seen on her tour of the slums that she was unable to sleep alone in her hotel room.
“This trip was unlike any other for me. One night I was so traumatized by what I’d seen that I couldn’t sleep. I asked one of the girls from Unicef, who I’d just met that day, to come and stay in my room with me,” she says.
Her journey to Nairobi was part of a children’s charity initiative by UNICEF that saw her befriending street children in the slums of Dagoretti.
She is honest enough to admit having initial feelings of trepidation and horror on arrival in Dagoretti, western Nairobi.
“They dropped me off outside a slum and I was, like, ‘Wait, I have to get out of the van? And go into that?’” she recalls.
Following the split of the female group, Nichole has in recent years released solo albums as well as returning to what she calls her ‘first love’, musical theatre, winning rave reviews and an Olivier Award nomination for her West End turn as Grizabella in Cats.
Scherzinger, who parted ways with her longtime boyfriend, renowned formula one driver Lewis Hamilton in February last year, was in the slum area to shoot a film as part of charity work with the Unicef.
During an interview with Daily Mail, Nicole recounted how she met street children as young as two years old who moved her to tears.
“I befriended children who sleep on the streets and spend their days in rubbish dumps, scratching a living by collecting bottles and cans, which they sell for recycling, and risking disease, violence and exploitation in the process. These kids have no one in their lives to take care of them. They start – at the age of two, three, four -to fend for themselves on the streets,” she said.
The film that saw the star visit the country is about George, a 12-year-old boy who spends nights on a cold concrete floor within a marketplace, and gets up as early as 5am to collect scrap metal and plastic from dumpsters and garbage piles for selling, making about Sh 40 per day. The movie will be aired next Sunday on UK ITV channel during Soccer Aid, a fundraising celebrity football match.