Kumusha Takes Wiki/en
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Kumusha Takes Wiki is a project that aims at activating communities across Africa to create and contribute freely-licensed information, texts, images and media about their communities (villages, townships, suburbs, inner cities, etc).
It uses community journalism to gather community-relevant information on heritage, culture, notable persons, geographical features, among other things. It gives each community an online presence that is 'owned' by the community, provide information that can be pulled into Wikipedia, Wikimedia projects or OpenStreetMap databases, and it adds immeasurably to the understanding of Africa to every human being on the planet (from the people in the village to the person in New York, Mumbai or Milan). This project gives a public voice to communities across Africa, empowering them to share their own histories and, through training, to acquire valuable and transferable skills.
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.
The name of the project, “Kumusha Takes Wiki” rather than “Wiki Takes Kumusha” is not an error: we want to outline the need for appropriation of the project by African people. This project should not be about Wikipedians hunting for African content, but rather be facilitating freely-licensed content created by African people and raising awareness about the benefits of sharing their efforts with others on Wikimedia projects.
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 Takes Wiki was conceived by Florence Devouard and Isla HaddowFlood (WikiAfrica, at the Africa Centre) in 2013. It is under Creative Commons attribution share-alike licence.
Kumusha Takes Wiki activates citizens of a community around a specific geographic area. It requires that the people who hold the knowledge of an area (village, town, peri-urban settlement, inner-city suburb, shanty town, etc) contribute the knowledge of and about that community. The knowledge collected and disseminated will be under open licenses compatible with Wikipedia and the Wikimedia projects. The project makes the project engaging by engendering pride in self and place; community pride is enforced by the recognition that all knowledge - even ‘indigenous’ knowledge - should be given equal weight on easy-to-access digital platforms. The project is designed to maximise the potential for activating the online phenomenon of crowdsourcing – where many digital hands make this project a success.
Websites and uploads
Games, competitions, OpenStreetMap mapping parties, photography challenges, will be held at a local level to drive direct contributions of individuals in communities across Africa. Kumusha takes Wiki involves national calls for communities, specifically schools, libraries, community centers, in two languages - English and French. The knowledge will be contributed either directly to Wikimedia projects (when relevant), or to the Open Street Map platform (for geographical data) or to another digital platform. The platform will be tied to the greater project via a main website, the Kumusha site [working title], which will be correctly licensed and validated so that it allows for direct links to and from Wikipedia. This site will feature training content, tips and recommendations to maximize appropriation and engagement with the project.
Local team and training
“Kumusha takes Wiki” involves a Wikipedian in Community in each country where the project is active. A Wikipedian in Residence is usually a person who facilitates the relationships between Wikipédia and an institution. This model has not worked to-date in Africa. As such the Wikipedian in Residence must take on a much more active community development role, hence our new name proposal: Wikipedian in Community :)
Within Kumusha takes Wiki project, the Wikipedian in Community has the task of facilitating the maximum engagement and community activation and encouraging, supporting participants, holding events for the communities that are activated by the main project, identifying key community players, engaging their participation in the project and ensuring that their communities (around schools, community organisations and cultural centres) are involved in and contributing to the project. The Wikipedian in Community will also ensure that institutions and organisations that hold each community’s culture, heritage and memory (museums, libraries, archives, arts and craft organisations) will be activated and donate their time and information to the project.
The Wikipedian in Community will loosely manage 3 Community Activators. Those Community Activators will be strategically situated people (located in other provinces than the Wikipedian in Community ), who would conduct on-going work and contribution, assisting, driving, soliciting prizes, and help with feedback and evaluation.
Local contributors will be given digital and community building skills enabling active contribution. Local institutions will be asked to donate the community knowledge they hold within their institutions and thus increase their local and global visibility and viability. These online activations will combine the cultural, heritage and contemporary knowledge that resides within individuals and community institutions. It will connect with and expand its reach through both the Africa Centre and Wikipedia’s networks.
The Wikipedians in Community and the local teams of Kumusha Takes Wiki are supported and trained by an international team.
An annual photographic contest will be organised where people nationally are encouraged to contribute photographs of their surroundings to Wikipedia
Local events will be organised to support the creation of local content and they are managed by the Wikipedians in Residence.
Possible extensions of the outcomes:
Where to find us ?
The Kumusha Takes Wiki project has been working on many different things within the two focus countries. Please find the media coverage of activities here. There is also coverage of activities on the WikiUganda blog.
The Kumusha team is happy to welcome Samuel as Wikipedian in Community in Ivory Coast !
He becomes familiar with Internet in 2005, learn computer programming and discover and embraces Open Source. He joins the Wikipedia adventure a few years later, in 2008 as African Hope. Since then, Samuel invested himself in various projects with high social impact in the education and health sector. One of those and probably the most impactful one is Avenue225, a training project which allowed more than 60 young people to be trained to web journalism and help them fully integrate the professional world.
More about Samuel on his personal website: http://samuelguebo.co.
Launch of Wiki Loves Africa photo contest.
Wikipedians in Community arrive in Cape Town
Kumusha Takes Wiki's Wikipedians in Residence have arrived in Cape Town to attend the WikiAfrica Open Movement Course where they will learn about all things Wikipedia, Open Access, Creative Commons and how to activate communities back in their countries. With them are delegates from Ghana, Ethiopia and Malawi.
9th of February 2014
Born in 1988 in Jinja, Uganda, Erina Mukuta spent her first childhood years in a small town called kilembe and later moved to Kampala. Erina is married to Brian Muhame. She graduated with a Bachelor of Science in Surveying from Makerere University. She has since worked with a number of organisations including Ministry of Land Use and Housing, seychelles and Uganda Wildlife Authority as a Land Surveyor and a GIS Analyst respectively. She will join the Wikimedia community under the user name Erinamukuta.
25 January 2014Cyriac Gohi Gbogou.
Born on the 02nd of September 1980 in Kpada (Soubré) village located in the south west of the country and the capital of Ivorian cocoa, Cyriac Gbogou runs for years a part of the African continent with his parents as a student-resident respectively in Senegal, Togo, Mali and Congo-Brazzaville. He finally returned to Côte d'Ivoire in 2001 and decided to pursue graduate studies in computer science. He holds an engineering degree in Computer Science.
You can also follow him on his blog where he speaks freely on topics: www.cyriacgbogou.ci
10 janvier 2014:
25th of November 2013
07th of November 2013