From worst to one of the best places in the world

PAUL EASTON
Last updated 05:00 06/11/2010
NEW START: Singer T K Paradza, 25, grew up in Zimbabwe, ranked the worst country on the planet by a new United Nations report.
PHIL REID/Dominion Post
NEW START: Singer T K Paradza, 25, grew up in Zimbabwe, ranked the worst country on the planet by a new United Nations report.

Relevant offers

He has lived in a South Pacific paradise and in one of the toughest countries in the world - and he calls both New Zealand and Zimbabwe home.

Singer T K Paradza, 25, grew up in Zimbabwe, ranked the worst country on the planet by a new United Nations report.

Now he lives in Wellington - and the same UN report rates New Zealand as the third-best place in the world to live.

The Human Development Report 2010, published yesterday, measured wellbeing in countries around the globe, with yardsticks including life expectancy, crime, education and income.

New Zealand climbed 17 places since last year's report, and the ranking comes in the week that Wellington was labelled the fourth coolest city in the world in which to travel by Lonely Planet.

New Zealand was ranked at No 3 out of 169 countries - one behind Australia, and just ahead of the United States. The best country in the world was Norway.

In the worst, troubled Zimbabwe, the average life expectancy is a mere 47 years. HIV is rampant, and cholera and other epidemics claim hundreds of lives.

Despite New Zealand's problems, T K Paradza is delighted to call it home.

Four years ago, he moved to New Zealand with his family for political reasons.

His father, Benjamin, was charged with corruption and perverting the course of justice in a case regarded by independent commentators as a blatant example of the Zimbabwean Government interfering with the judiciary.

After fleeing to New Zealand to set up a new home for his family, he was convicted in his absence.

His son said it was hard adjusting to the green grass that surrounded him in New Zealand, and to the absence of his friends and extended family. "I was 21 when I moved, so I was already building my own life. It took me almost two years to settle down."

He remembers the crime, and the rampant inflation of his home country, though as the son of a judge, he was shielded from the worst of it.

"We were robbed, they came and stole our TV, even our couch. The violence was a main concern. People were so poor and they had to get money from somewhere."

Paradza, a pop and R&B singer, made a CD in Zimbabwe, and is now working to get his career under way in New Zealand.

"I want to take it as far as it can go, to people in Zimbabwe and New Zealand."

Asked which country he considered his home, he said: "They are both my home. I haven't been home in four years, but I still wish to go home and visit my friends and family. At the same time, New Zealand is also my home."

Ad Feedback

- The Dominion Post

Special offers

Featured Promotions

Sponsored Content

Quiz SMALL pointer June 26

Daily trivia fix

Is chess your forte?