With a view to providing a space for artistic individuals to interact, a new creative hub has opened at Newlands Shopping Centre.
Located in the Mon Repos shopping mall, Koovha Creative Hub caters for a wide range of artists including musicians, photographers, visual artists and graphic designers. Koovha director Jimmy Saruchera explains, “We want our top artists to come together, share ideas and freely express themselves through collaboration.”
In setting up the hub, Saruchera worked with a host of different artists. “Everything in our hub is handmade by us. This includes seats, designs, painting and decorations,” he said.
Up-and-coming artist Option Nyahunzvi adorned the walls with beautiful paintings. He is also responsible for painting the tops of logs that are now used as stools in the Hub. Nyahunzvi creatively splashed half the floor with oil paint, giving it a fresh look and artistic feel.
Koovha Creative Hub is furnished with pleasing purple velvet round seats, all a collaborative effort from different artists. Motivational statements such as “It’s easy to imagine but easier to just do. If you can’t do what you imagine then what is imagination to you?” are boldly erected to greet you when you walk in. “We also have a recording studio here so we encourage musicians to engage with us because together we can produce quality products,” said Saruchera.
Apart from what is traditionally regarded as art, the Hub is also home to Koovha craft beer and cider. The liquor, now on sale at Meikles Hotel, Vhukani Café and Maestro, is carefully brewed using natural ingredients. Saruchera says that they took more than a year developing the liquor at their brewery in Tynwald. He explains that, like the name of the Hub itself, the liquor’s name has been adapted from urban vernacular for a cold drink– Koovha – and is brewed with special care to make it perfect.
“While other beverage companies are more interested in producing larger volumes, we give special attention to quality. Our strategy is not to splash it around everywhere but cater for the places we are able to supply while maintaining that quality,” said Saruchera. He said this goes with the idea of doing something local but competitive enough to challenge international standards.
Koovha adds yet another exciting element to Newlands. The shopping centre is undergoing a positive transformation after a period of decline that some shop owners attribute to the Newlands bypass diverting traffic from Enterprise road. The Newlands Facelift project is beautifying the area bit-by-bit, while two new venues, the Grain Bar and Misty’s, make Newlands a good destination for drinks and music in the evenings. The opening of these entertainment spots has provided local artists with more performance opportunities, opening doors to music, poetry and standup comedy.