Ker-ezhi Ethiopia

Tour guide books and magazines are one of the means of  introduction and growth of, tourism in a country. Famous guide books like the “Lonely Planet” series provide readers detailed information on a country and,  especially, on specific tourist destinations and places to go to.  Reading these books, magazines etc. allows potential tourists  to familiarize themselves with the places they want to go and visit with the additional information on when and  what to expect. Most tourists carry such books and magazines with them throughout their trip.
Ker-ezhi Ethiopia is one such magazine to hit the town last week. This new tour guide magazine  is accompanied by stunning pictures of the different topographical features of Ethiopia coupled with  colorfully  printed touristic sites (known and relatively unknown) to view. The magazine got its name from one of the numerous spoken languages in Ethiopia, the Gurage language, where the word ‘Ker’ refers to a “sense of wellbeing”, a sort of  prevailing peace while the word ‘Ezhi’ means “to perceive”, conveying the feeling of being part of or observing the prevalence of peace. “When we launched  this magazine our aim was to focus specifically  on tourism and nothing else; even when  accepting advertisements from companies, we only availed ourselves of those that had a direct correlation  with tourism like hotel, lodge and tour- operating company advertisment,” said Zelalem Merawi, Managing Director.
The magazine was officially inaugurated on Saturday, 6th October, at the Raddison Blu Hotel in the presence of the Minister of Tourism and Culture, Amin Abdul Kadir, hotel and lodge owners as well as various tour operators.
Ker-ezhi contains a variety of articles on famous touristic sites but what makes it different is that it also contains interesting articles on places that are not usually considered  tourist destinations. The magazine’s pictures are  exclusive to the magazine and are impressive to look at.
“We didn’t want to just copy the same old pictures of Ethiopia which could be found anywhere; we used  our own professional cameraman  so the perspective on the pictures are completely new and we also included pictures of places that have not yet been published ,” said Zelalem.
The printing of the magazine was done in China. “We wanted to print it here, in Addis, but the printing cost magazine with the level of quality that we wanted were too prohibitive for us, therefore, we decided to do it in China,” Zelalem stated.
The first issue of the magazine is printed in 20,000 copies and has cost over 500,000 birr. Ker-ezhi will be printed every four month and most of the copies will be distributed in Europe and America. “About five thousand copies will be distributed at the London Jazz Festival that will be held in November. Mulatu Astatke will be performing at the festival and we are working with him to ship and distribute the magazine,” said zelalem.
The magazine cannot be compared to tour guide books and magazines like the Lonely Planet, it still has a lot to work on in the way it provides detailed information but the owner promises to produce a better magazine in all areas that the first issue had weaknesses on.
There is also a plan to distribute the magazine as an inflight entertainment magazine for Ethiopian Airlines and possibly other airlines too. The magazine is free and it will be up for grabs in different hotels, cultural centers as well as the AUC and ECA.