TK makes waves in New Zealand

HARARE - Zimbabwean singer making headlines in New Zealand Takudzwa “T K” Paradza is the fourth-born son of exiled former High Court Judge Justice Benjamin Paradza.

Takudzwa known as TK on the stage has made a career breakthrough after becoming a member of New Zealand’s most-hyped new boyband Titanium.

TK Paradza was born in Redcliff, Kwekwe in the Midlands Province of Zimbabwe 27 ago, where his father was running his private law firm.

TK is leading a six-member group, Titanium, which was put together after a nationwide talent search by the record label, Illegal Musik in collaboration with New Zealand’s second-biggest radio station, The Age.

TK, scored relative success with his single, Mr Liar, which received national radio play in New Zealand but a record deal remained elusive.

The 27-year-old has signed for Warner Brothers New Zealand as a member of Titanium which also has members Zac, Haydn, Andrew, Shaquille and Jordi.

After being put together, Titanium were flown to a luxurious boot camp at a New Zealand resort where they were introduced to their new headphone, wardrobe and fitness sponsors.

The band also did an acoustic cover of Jason Mraz’s I Won’t Give Up. They also recorded their new single Come on Home which is due for release on September 7, together with the video.

TK took the opportunity to pursue a musical career when he relocated to New Zealand with his father Justice Paradza, who was on the run from justice and sought political asylum in New Zealand a decade ago.

 Justice Paradza fled Zimbabwe, reportedly in a haulage truck, together with his family for South Africa in January 2003 after skipping bail following his conviction on corruption charges.

Justice Simpson Mutambanengwe, a retired judge in the Supreme Court of Namibia, convicted Paradza on two counts of attempting to incite Justices Maphios Cheda and George Chiweshe to release a passport belonging to his business partner in a safari-hunting venture, Russell Labuschagne, who was facing murder charges.

The judge was eventually sentenced in absentia to three years in jail for corruption but one year was conditionally suspended.

Paradza had denied the charges claiming that he did not try to influence his colleagues to corruptly release the passport of Labuschange.

Labuschagne was on bail pending trial for the murder of a man he found poaching fish at his safari camp in Binga. He was subsequently convicted and is serving a 15-year jail term for the murder.

Paradza was also arrested in February 2003 in his chambers, a month after he had ordered police to release former Harare MDC mayor, Elias Mudzuri, and 21 others following their arrest in Mabvuku at a ratepayers’ meeting.

Paradza was subsequently freed from prison where he shared a cell with 15 others on bail and asked to surrender his passport.

Another of Paradza’s judgment that went against the wishes of Zanu PF involved his ordering the government to issue a passport to Judith Todd, a veteran human rights and democracy opponent of the late Ian Smith government.

In the other judgments considered not favourable to the government, Paradza overturned a government notice evicting 54 white Zimbabwean farmers from their farms in 2002.

Judge Benjamin Paradza fled Zimbabwe for fear of his life. He fled in 2003, after being subjected to a trial criticised internationally as being trumped up to remove him from office.

He was appointed to the Zimbabwe bench in 2001.

It is, however, unlikely that the New Zealand authorities will deport Paradza’s family back to Zimbabwe after the government had tried to extradate Justice Paradza and his family to face charges of absconding his trial.

The two countries have signed an extradition treaty but since Paradza is claiming he fears for his life if he returns to the country and if covered under international law, it is highly unlikely he would be sent back to face Zimbabwean law thereby affecting TK musical career blooming in New Zealand.

Tk is also studying at the University of New Zealand for marketing and information systems.

Judge, Paradza, was recently admitted to the bar in New Zealand, where he is practising law and is living with his family including TK.

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