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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 Wiens (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:
Kumusha Bus Ghana Report
The Kumusha Bus 2.0 requests for Letters of Intent went out September 22th. There was a extremely tight turnaround for participants. Two letters of intent were submitted from Ghana and from Uganda. Once accepted participants were asked to submit a video and a detailed project outline. Uganda stepped back and Ghana was the only country to submit all aspects required.
Kumusha Bus is a short, intense intervention that is designed to educate several communities in Africa about the Open Movement. 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. Due to timing factor and lack sponsorship from corporate Ghana Kumusha Bus was held as a residential project and not a moving activity as it was planned.
Ghana Team members
Bus Stop One
Opening ceremony at Momo (Mobile Monday) organized by the Kofi Annan Centre for Excellence for ICT. Mr Sarbrah of Linux Accra gave the keynote address on Open software and mobile web applications. Over 50 participants from the Mobile, Internet, Open and Tech Communities in Ghana.
Bus Stop Two
Raphael Berchie on Radio Univers 105.7 the official radio station for the University of Ghana. Creative Commons and Wikipedia were highlighted during the hour long segment. A caller inquired about how Creative Commons could build closer collaborations with institutions since they have bought into the idea that Open movements had a critical role to play when it comes to learning and education. The host promised to invite Raphael for another time so he could digress more on Creative Commons, its licenses and OER.
Bus Stop Three: Open Fair
In lieu of travelling an Open Fair was held to bring together all the Open Movements in Ghana.
In attendance were representatives from
Each organisation took turns in educating people present and other Open Movements about their project.
Wikimedian-in-Residence Rexford Nyarkho presented on Wikipedia and Wikimedia Commons. Mr Isaac Aggrey of the Ghana Open Data Initiative made a presentation about Open Governance and how it can help transform the fortunes of Africa and how the Open Movements in Ghana can contribute to make this a success. Gideon and James of Mozilla had a Mozilla Makers party for attendees where attendees were exposed to Mozilla and shown how to be creators and not just users. Raphael presented on behalf of Kelsey on Creative Commons
Bus Stop Four: Photo walk
Photowalk To support Wiki Loves Africa, a two hour photo walk was held at one of Ghana’s largest traditional market (Nima Market) with over ten volunteers attending fro from Mozilla Ghana, Wikimedia User Group Ghana, Linux Accra, and Wikimedian-in-Residence
Pictures of indigenous Ghanaian foods, ingredients, utensils food joints etc. The event was followed with an uploads session for the pictures taken during the photowalk and other pictures taken for Wiki Loves Africa.
Bus Stop Five: Open Mic and closing event A variety of local and traditional Ghanaian foods was served to highlight the finale of the Wiki Love Africa event. It also acted as a networking event and a highlight was the open mic where people did poetry recitals and rap performances. Also shown was a video of Wikimania 2014 and a Creative Commons video.
2. Impact Measures & Objectives
3. Lessons Learned
This event was an added bonus timing was always going to be very difficult. The project had to change shape from a multi stop bus to a one location. This took on a more salon event then outreach, preaching to the converted instead of to the new. the Ghana team was unable to secure the donations and Kelsey donated her flight line item to make up the difference. This made it challenging and to remote project manage events and we were unable to document it in the way we had intended. Future events will require at minimum 12 months to secure in country funding.
Comments from Ghana Team on lessons learned. Timing: The timing was a very critical factor that affected this project. In subsequent Kumusha Bus in Ghana it will be advisable to have the project earlier in the year so that it will be very easy to get sponsorship from corporate Ghana. There were grants we could have sourced for this project but the deadlines had long elapsed. I am hoping in subsequent Kumusha Bus teams should be selected earlier so they can proceed on looking for funding earlier.
Again the timing should factor in the Academic Calendar of Ghana. Kumusha Bus Ghana was held at a time when most Institutions were within their Revision Week. This made it difficult to even secure venues on the various campuses
4. Community & Audience
While the intention of the Kumusha Bus is to teach new members of the population about the Open Movement the Kumusha Bus Ghana instead brought together team members from across Ghana which was a first for many to meet face to face. Face to face meetings and network opportunities are rare and an opportunity to build relationships that will further entrench the Open Movement across Ghana.