Ilford teenager takes on Kilimanjaro

HUSSAIN Manawer had the world at his feet when he celebrated new year on the summit of one of the world’s highest mountains.

The 19-year-old made the five day trek up Kilimanjaro in Africa for charity, raising �6,500 in sponsorship money which will go towards the on-going Pakistani Flood Appeal.

But the Westminster university student, of The Drive, Ilford, said the journey to the top was not all plain sailing.

“On the last day we did a 16-hour hike. At one point, the guide told us there was still five hours to go - I felt like giving up.” But adrenaline kicked in as he ventured upwards, in pitch black, guided by nothing but torches.

“I had recorded the voices of my friends and family to keep me going, but my battery kept dying because of the intense cold. “My iPod died too, so I was listening to nothing but the sound of the still, cold air and our feet climbing up.”

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Hussain’s team were the first team of 2011 to reach the summit, getting there in the early hours of the morning.

“We only could stay for about half an hour because the cold was so bad - I had about six layers on.”

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The journey up the mountain took a gruelling five days of eight-hour climbs, but coming down only took three-and-a-half days.

But this is not the first adventure the teenager has had for charity.

“Last year I went to Botswana to help build a village, I was there for 25 days, it was humbling to see how different people live.”

“This year, I want to climb three mountains in the UK in 24 hours - Ben Nevis, in Scotland, Scafell Pike in Cumbria, and Snowdon in Wales.”

In total, Hussain has raised more than �10,000 for charity though his adventures.

Before heading off on his trip on December 26, Hussain asked shops to sponsor him, and was overwhelmed when one - La Gateau, in Cranbrook Road, pledged �100 for him to complete the climb.

“Generosity like that bowls me over, it is what fuelled me on when my confidence was low,” he said.

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