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Kumusha Bus is a short, intense intervention that is designed to educate several communities in Africa about the Open Movement. Intended to rollout across Africa, this adaptation of Libre Bus, had its first pilot in Addis Ababa, Ethiopia in June 2014, and an additional Kumusha Bus took place in Ghana in November 2014.
The idea of the bus is to travel through a confined geographical or urban space for 6 days with a maximum of 10 stops at local communities. The pilot project in 2014 aims at completing Kumusha Bus in one country. The Kumusha Bus is designed to educating future users about the benefits of Creative Commons, Open Licences, and Wikipedia and its sister projects.
What Kumusha means
Kumusha is the term used by the Shona people of Zimbabwe to denote the place where you come from. Shona is a Bantu language, native to the Shona people of Zimbabwe and Southern Zambia, and the principal language of Zimbabwe and is also spoken in Zambia, Botswana and Mozambique. The term is also used to identify peoples who speak one of the Shona language dialects: Zezuru, Karanga, Manyika, Ndau and Korekore.
For this project we think "Kumusha" is the most fitting term as it appeals to the project’s participants’ need to claim their own space, take pride in their own heritage and community, and appeals to their sense of belonging. This relates both to their own territory (their place) and to Wikipedia (where Wikipedia becomes an extension or reflection of "their" place).
Communities in countries across Africa possess a wealth of oral, local and indigenous knowledge. This knowledge is not currently recorded for preservation purposes or disseminated amongst their citizens and, for a number of historic reasons and conditions, does not contribute to the global conversations online.
Africa is a large and varied place with myriad cultures and influences, and as such, local knowledge can include, but are not limited to, oral histories, the histories of neighbourhoods and local areas, the histories, legends and cultural values held by praise poets and griots, as well as various forms of cultural expression such as material culture and music.
Current digital media technologies offer the potential to democraticize knowledge, enabling historically marginalised groups the opportunity to publish their own perspectives, and see themselves, history and contemporary experiences reflected on a global knowledge bank.
Recording and sharing this knowledge online has a multitude of benefits for a number of target audiences. The knowledge itself has the potential to create cultural capital for, and pride in, the residents of each community. By using universal global platforms at local levels, the project will lead to a broader understanding of the many different cultural groups inhabiting a country or territory, and a greater understanding of and relevance for their own and others’ histories.
Across Africa there is a dearth of digital media production skills and oral history research. Furthermore it would take a lifetime for one or a team of people to access even part of the information that we are hoping the project will provide.
Kumusha Bus was conceived by Kelsey Weins (Public lead, Creative Commons South Africa) and Isla HaddowFlood (WikiAfrica, at the Africa Centre) in 2013. It is under Creative Commons attribution share-alike licence.
The pilot project is supported in 2014 by Creative Commons in Ethiopia within the frame of Activate Africa (Creative Commons).
Kumusha Bus creates a journey (both physical and theoretical) through a confined geographical area. Along the journey, the members of the bus (made up of aligned open movement advocates) share aspects of the Open Movement with different and diverse types of communities and organisations. Each interventions educates a local community or members of a heritage, educational or media organisation about the benefits of the Open Movement. This is achieved by hosting such interventions as photo bombing, OER (Open Educational Resource) training at a local school, Wikipedia edit-a-thon, citizen journalism, Creative Commons open mic and open movie sessions, etc.
The movements that are covered during each Kumusha Bus will be Wikipedia, Wikimedia Commons, Wiki Data and Open Data, Wiki News, Creative Commons, OSM (Open Street Map), GLAM, Open Data, OER (Open Educational Resource) and OKFN (Open Knowledge Foundation).
Websites and uploads
Games, competitions, OpenStreetMap mapping parties, photography challenges, will be held at each 'stop' to cement experiential learning and ensure direct contributions of individuals at each Kumush Bus activation. Kumusha Bus will be tied to the greater project via a main website, the Kumusha Takes Wiki site [working title], which will be correctly licensed and validated so that it allows for direct links to and from Wikipedia. This site is linked to the specific Open Africa Toolkits website to ensure that training content, tips and recommendations are available to maximize appropriation and engagement with the project.
Local team and training
The first “Kumusha Bus” in Ethiopia was selected from four submissions by Wikipedians in Residence and Wikipedians in Community that attended the #OpenAfrica14 Course in Cape Town, South Africa in February/March 2014. Abel Asrat, Wikipedian in Residence for WikiAfrica Ethiopia will facilitate the Kumusha Bus Tour of Addis Ababa in early June 2014.
Possible extensions of the outcomes:
Where to find us ?
Kumusha Bus Ethiopia Report
Kumusha Bus took place in Addis in the first week of June 2014. As it is a first time it can be stated as a success during the Kumusha Bus week we were able to have representatives and communities from 9 organisations:
Strengths The attending crowd was diverse and most of all interactive, energetic, young and open for new cultures. The Kumusha Venue was a success in terms of wifi connection, venue accessibility to most attendance and transportation. The Kumusha Bus event was not only discussion about Open Source, Wikipedia or CC but we were also discussing on challenges the nation presented in areas of open source, freedom of speech and accessibility to internet and information. During the event people were able to create partnership and build their network and connect the value Open Source can add to their existing work. Challenges Even though the event was a success but I cannot say there weren’t any challenges and weak points in the Kumusha Bus event. The following points are some of the challenges we encountered during the event:
Lessons From the first Kumusha Bus event we were able to highlight the following points as key to host a successful event: