HIFA kicked off on the 29th of April 2014…and we all knew the next 6 days Harare was to be transformed into an arts haven and marred with an influx of foreigners. For me , it was my first HIFA in 3 years and an exciting one as I was part of the HIFA 2014 media team. The Coca-Cola Green popularly known as the Coke Green or just the Green has a history of being the hub of the popular festival which happens to be the biggest Arts festival in Southern Africa.
The Coca-Cola Green is definitely the life of the festival and one of the must be venues. The venue is branded with the famous beverage’s branding and has plenty on offer from food, drink to performances. This year, the popular venue was home to the impressive and innovative Pariah State. Well I’m no stranger to Pariah State’s Avondale base. Their HIFA bar undeniably was the star of the Coke Green. The Green had some great performances and while I was too busy working to experience all of them. Highlights for me were Jamaram, Jnr Batan, Chef ‘Special, Synik and the late night DJ parties. The Coke Green was perfect for an afternoon chill or a late night party session.
I bumped into so many foreigners who were visiting the country just to attend the renowned festival. Tourists from as far as Sweden and even local tourists from cities such as Bulawayo. The Coke Green is where everyone comes to chill and mingle. Local celebs were spotted in the bustling venue as well as visiting artists. The festival vibe is definitely felt in the Coke Green which is also home to most of the festivals free performances. Access to the venue is fair with just a general admin ticket or a ticket to any other show as well as VIP cards.
Josh from Chef’Special mingles in the Coke Green
There was plenty of food on offer from halaal food to healthy. While I do think prices need to be more competitive and food a little tastier. The food was decent and always appreicated because hunger definitely sets in during festivals. The Rooney’s Green Room which is normally the must be place was definitely out shun by Pariah State. Everyone wanted a piece of Pariah and they definitely pulled out all the stops. The main complaint festive goers had was the need for more performances in the Coke Green as many found themselves waiting for more entertainment quite often. However the long waits were due to the close proximity of other shows which would be disturbed by the loudness of the Coke Green sound system. So it will be interesting to see if this can be changed next year
Zimbabwean rapper Tehn diamond takes in the Coke Green atmosphere
While there is extra room for innovation especially from vendors and stall owners. The Coke Green undoubtedly lived up to its name as the heart and hub of HIFA. The festive ambiance was felt and it was definitely the chill spot of the week. After 6 days of Coke Green fun…I definitely suffered some withdrawal symptoms. Cant wait for the next one..well done to the amazing HIFA team who continuously put on a great show.. #HIFA