Some businesses are doing their part to highlight the battle against COVID-19 and each have approached the matter in their strength. That strength in Sabegn is in their motto “Crafted in Ethiopia”. It’s a leather product company that believes in collaboration and empowerment. It’s built around creating a unique customer experience by empowering the community around the production of the products they sell. They share their spaces with creatives, designers and artisans to help reach a diverse market while keeping the creative community going.
After a couple of days of the first Covid-19, Sabegn assessed the true impact of COVID-19 on the Ethoipian creative community and the potential impact on Sabegn. Acknowledging the alarming nature of the pandemic, they decided to get involved in the fight (because that’s what this is) by producing the already scarce face masks and other protective equipment. They wanted to produce these masks for people and partnered with Doctors in Action to design these masks for maximum efficiency for the people on the move.
Hence, Sabegn shot the first bullet by producing the equipment. However, the challenge continued, as people needed to be informed. Evidently information plays a key role and they decided to produce public service announcements and social media challenges under the Debo (Amharic for collaboration) label with Doctors in Action.
In terms of how the creative community’s involvement in this fight, the major things Sabegn suggests is focusing all our efforts where it matters. Giving people something to look forward to, giving hope, giving caution and inspiring people to move their spirits to come out better. Given the grimness of the situation, hope is something that is invaluable. Afterall, beyond the challenges presented here, hope is what pushes anyone to look past the burdens of today. The endgame here is to pass this unkind reality.
For Sabegn, the light at the end of the tunnel is the realization the pandemic will bring. During the pandemic, people will be forced to try new things. It will be an interesting experience. Especially for people that will dabble in arts. Maybe, when this all ends, new creatives, new voices will emerge. Moreover, the world will also change and will give birth to new ideas to navigate the world and mitigate the eventual return to what will be called normal. These ideas will bring new jobs, new activities and new art. Eventually, a more enlightened world that is welcoming of collaborative efforts to solve multisectoral problems with local solutions.