BY STYLE REPORTER
With the authorities having stuck to the Covid-19 level 2 lockdown for the next two weeks, there seems to be light at the end of the pandemic tunnel, which might in future see popular leisure and recreational centres getting extremely crowded and stuffy.
There is a way to avoid that though, thanks to the arrival of a new kid on the showbiz block — Westview Gardens and Conference Centre (KwaMarisa), a stunning rendezvous for private functions such as weddings, birthday parties and corporate events, as well as other community activities.
Adding to its versatility, this venue would also be home to a number of entertainment performances, from live music shows, drama to fashion shows.
For those seeking authentic and unique beverages drinking experiences, KwaMarisa is the place to be.
Sitting on a 5 000 square metre piece of land in the Rainham area on the outskirts of Harare, the venue that has a myriad of events spaces can accommodate close to 500 people.
The botanical garden gives the ambience to the venue coupled by water features, including fountains and ponds that make the place more inviting.
In the past the best preferences for exchanging nuptials vows used to be public halls and civic centres while those who wanted enjoyment would go to amusement parks and recreational centres.
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However, at the turn of the millennium, aggressive players entered the bridal business, relegating the use of traditional outlets like public halls into oblivion.
Several amusement parks and recreational centres, mostly run by local authorities, have died a natural death.
“It’s work in progress at the venue, but it’s going to be a place that would have several events spaces and the flagship being weddings,” said Johannes Marisa, the developer of the project.
“We will also offer conference facilities, and also host music shows. We will also do braaing as well as cater for those that take beverages of any sort.
“Our long term aim is to have accommodation and have self-help chalets. We have a plethora of attractive sites including water features, fountains and ponds.”
Marisa, a medical doctor and music promoter, said his passion for arts inspired him to embrace live music shows on the venue’s menu.
“I have always supported local music and arts in general. I believe having space for artistes at this venue will go a long way in developing the arts industry in the country,” he said.
“Most upcoming artistes are talented but don’t have resources. I believe if we offer them space to perform or rehearse, we would have contributed to their growth.
“We have a public address system and instruments that they can use at the venue. Our venue is open to all forms of arts, including music, theatre and music shows.”
Famed for taking into his custody an ailing Lazarus Boora, aka Gringo, Marisa said his support for the industry was extended to all artists.
“I don’t mind who wants to be assisted. The venue will take care of all artistes although I have reservations for certain genres,” he said.
Marisa has assisted a number of musicians such as Tendai Dembo, son of late Barura Music founder Leonard Dembo, sungura musician First Farai and Mark Ngwazi.
He said the uniqueness about the venue was its serene location.
“This place is far from the madding crowd. Those doing conferences will not be destructed and some people want their peace and this is the place to be,” he said.
“For those exchanging vows, there are a lot of sites within the venue for photo shooting. Going forward I think we will manage to host two or more weddings at the same time. The place can accommodate those numbers.”
Marisa said new developments will include the construction of children’s play area, car wash and big screen TV.
He said the venue was open for other social gatherings, including birthday and graduating parties.
Marisa described the venue as a hidden gem soon to be discovered.