In a bid to boost the appreciation and profile of organic food and drink in Zimbabwe, Koovha Creative Hub and Gallery will host the first ever edition of ‘Ecofest’ next month in Juliasdale.
Koovha, which is based at Maestro restaurant and gallery in Highlands, will host the festival at their cidery (like a winery for producing cider) in Juliasdale, which is just before Nyanga, on 4 and 5 September. “Festival goers can look forward to enjoying organic cuisine, fine art, craft beer, fresh natural ciders and delicious treats made with indigenous flora in scenic Nyanga,” said Koovha Director Jimmy Saruchera.
Saruchera explained this year’s theme, ‘Purification’: “As a nation, we need to look more to nature for nourishment. We have wonderful natural and organic traditional foods that grow in our forests and backyards. The festival will reintroduce people to a diet – including traditional fruits – that has been long forgotten,” he said. Talking about the new Koovha ciders, Saruchera added that, “Purity is at the centre of what we do. We will introduce people to our new ciders that are brewed from black jack (mutsine), and mushekesheke. The festival is all about consuming food that is pure whilst appreciating what we have as a country.”
The Koovha cidery is a two and half hour’s drive from Harare. Saruchera is encouraging festival goers to be eco-friendly and share a ride. “If you are driving down and have space, or need a ride, contact firstname.lastname@example.org and we’ll help connect you with others travelling there,” he said. There will also be festival minibuses provided to ferry people from Harare to the venue. “Festival minibuses will pick people up at the National Gallery at 8am on Friday 4 September. They return to Harare after leaving the Koovha cidery at 4pm on Saturday 5 September,” said Saruchera. The cost of a return trip on the minibus is $20 and tickets can be purchased at the box office (see below) or online.
Basic accommodation is available at the festival site, while more comfortable and luxurious bookings can be made at a range of hotels and lodges within walking distance from the venue. Saruchera explains, “The general admission ticket ($12) provides access to the festival site as well as the chance to camp on site if you wish. Special rates have been secured for festival goers at nearby hotels and lodges where availability is on a first come first served basis.” Rates range from $40 to $200.
Musical entertainment will be provided by artists that include big names in Harare art circles, among them Tinashe Makura. Visual art will also take centre stage at the festival, with works by Option Nyahunzvi, Ngoni Tsiga and other artists associated with Koovha on display.
Proceeds from the festival will be donated to the Nyanga Research Station. “The station is the key to the future success of local fruit growers and the establishment of nutritional centres of excellence (eco-villages) that educate children and adults on the benefits of indigenous, GMO-free super-foods to healthy, sustainable living,” enthuses Saruchera.
Further information on the festival can be accessed on www.facebook.com/koovhabeer and www.koovha.com. Online tickets are available on www.eventbrite.com at Sonia’s Events, Kiosk 1 Sam Levy’s Village (opposite QV pharmacy).