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Masho – ዘመናዊ ባላገር

Masho Creatives
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A few months ago, right after graduating from university, three friends came together and decided to start working on “something”. They had no idea what that “something” was at the time, only that it has to be something great! After a few brainstorming sessions and several cups of coffee later, they decided to work on their common passion, which is creativity fueled by cultural values fused with contemporary lifestyle. This shared passion was built on three key pillars: their profound affection for Ethiopia, their admiration for any sort of creativity, and their thirst for continuous growth. Each of the three friends had unique perspectives regarding their shared vision, as they had varying backgrounds primarily in Mechanical Engineering, Civil Engineering, Management, and Business Management. Together, they became Masho Creatives.

Masho Creatives is a startup based in Addis Ababa, inspired by Ethiopia’s breathtaking cultures. What would it be like if a sharp-minded, creative person from the countryside (ባላገር) moves to a metropolitan city like Addis Ababa? What fresh perspective would he bring to the way we live in a highly globalized city, seemingly beyond the point of no return? What magic touches could he apply to remind us that we are Ethiopians after all? Those were the questions that served as a runway for the conception of Masho’s creative direction.

These and other different factors led our path towards products and services focused generally on interior design and decor, and primarily on ceiling lights, table lamps, bedside lamps, and similar items. The very tools that our ancestors used as common households are now being reborn as artistic lighting and interior products by Masho. To mention a few, we have made a range of designs using wooden items that are traditionally used as pillows, spades (መንሻ), baskets (መሶብ/ሰፌድ), antique tej bottles (ብርሌ) and many more. Each of our products are uniquely crafted by our design and production team. To help make our products come to life, we give them distinctive and relatable local names with background stories that could capture the attention of anyone who is interested.

Here at Masho, we are firm believers in the preservation of culture, while always moving forward with modern life. The current lifestyle, especially in urban areas, is being oversaturated with global content that doesn’t always resonate with our local people. How many of us can walk into our house and point towards two or three culturally relevant items? The next time you walk into your living room, bedroom, or even your office, we challenge you to close your eyes and project a mental picture of something that reminds you of our country’s long and proud history, the tools that our ancestors made use of, the items that royals used, the bottles that the common people sipped their tej from, anything and everything in between… Now open your eyes. Does what you see right in front of you look as good as your mental picture? That’s what Masho constantly strives to change.

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© May, 2024 Ketema Journal

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