The Kumusha Takes Wiki project is a project to create a suite of knowledge spread and creation across different communities in Africa. The project, supported by the Orange Foundation, is driven by trained Wikipedians in Residence and consists of two stand-alone actions: Kumusha Takes Wiki community activation and Wiki Loves Africa.
The projects use community journalism to gather community-relevant information on a diverse array of topics pertinent to African heritage, culture, notable persons, geographical features, and a great many other things. Each community is accorded an online presence that is ‘owned’ by the community, from which they provide information that can be pulled into Wikipedia, Wikimedia projects or OpenStreetMap databases. This sharing of Africa-relevant knowledge contributes immeasurably to the understanding of Africa by 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.
The undertaking of this project is timely: many communities in countries across Africa possess a wealth of oral, local and indigenous knowledge that is not recorded for preservation purposes or disseminated amongst their citizens. For a number of historic reasons and conditions, this reality surrounding the lack of knowledge-sharing from Africa does not contribute to global conversations online.
The word Kumusha comes from the Shona language of Zimbabwe, denoting the place where one comes from. 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 about facilitating freely-licensed content created by African people and raising awareness about the benefits of sharing their efforts with others on Wikimedia projects.
Both actions intend to activate diverse communities to contribute, edit and validate local information and media (whether environmental, heritage-related or cultural), to support knowledge-sharing via specific websites. The project will be held online and via mobile in both English and French.
Kumusha Takes Wiki was conceived by Florence Devouard and Isla Haddow Flood (WikiAfrica, at the Africa Centre) in 2013. It is under Creative Commons attribution share-alike licence. The project is supported in 2013-2014 by Orange Foundation in Cote d’Ivoire and Uganda within the frame of Activate Africa (Orange Foundation).
Currently, the following people are involved in the implementation of the project:
- Isla HaddowFlood (co-project leader)
- Florence Devouard (co-project leader)
- Moses März (researcher)
- user:Notconfusing : Maximilian Klein (researcher)
- Iolanda Pensa
- Cyriac Gbogou: Côte d’Ivoire
- Erina Mukuta: Uganda
Kumusha Takes Wiki is possible due to the support of:
Wikipedian in Community for Uganda, Erina Mukuta, outlines her plans for Kumusha Take Wiki:
Wikipedian in Community for Cote d’Ivoire, Cyriac Gbogou, outlines his plans for Kumusha Take Wiki: