2021 has been an exciting year for Wiki In Africa. Over 2020 and 2021 we have received organisational funding through the Wikimedia Foundation’s Simple Annual Plan Grant. This security has enabled us to double our core staff team and offer two strategic positions, that are loosely administrative and with tasks that encompass communications, community building and strategy implementation.
First to come on the team is Ceaslause Ogbannaya, as the Wiki In Africa administrative intern. A member of Nigeria’s Igbo Usergroup, Ceslause’s flair and passion for languages has seen most of his year offering Nigerians alternative language experiences in Africa’s Francophone countries, Togo, the Republic of Bénin, Côte d’Ivoire and Senegal. He joined the Wikimedia movement in 2018. His work on behalf of the Igbo Wikimedians User Group encouraged him to get involved in organising Wikipedia events.
Ceslause was first attracted to the Wikimedia projects through the novelty of Africa being the focus subject of a global platform. As he says:
“It was quite personal to know Wikipedia values inputs from Africa through a project like Wiki Loves Africa, organized by Wiki In Africa. This gesture has encouraged me to be more involved, and I can say the same for other African Wikimedians and Wiki Loves Africa participants.”
Candy Khohliwe joined the core team in May as the Wiki Loves Women administrative intern. Her journey in Wikimedia began in 2011 when she was the 2nd place winner in the Setswana Wikipedia Challenge. Since then she has been a focal member for the volunteer group in Botswana and has been involved in a range of Wiki projects, including Wiki Loves Africa and Art + Feminism. Candy is a tech enthusiast and an advocate for open access knowledge for all hence she is passionate about being a driving force to help build her community through sharing her knowledge through Wikipedia.
For Candy, “Wiki In Africa has played a great role in my journey as a Wikimedian. I have made a lot of friends who share the same vision and drive about creating and sharing more content about Africa.”
Similarly she is excited to see where her work on the Wiki Loves Women project will take her: “I have the opportunity to make a great impact, not just in my community but across the continent learning and sharing knowledge.”
Ceslause has found the process of transitioning from a participant of Wiki In Africa projects to an organiser rewarding.
“I’m still short of words to describe how I felt the day I received the news that I was the selected candidate after the interview process. I had perused the Wiki In Africa website before applying for the internship position, and was so amazed at the various impactful projects they do, like WikiChalenge, Nos Jardins, Wiki Loves Africa, Wiki Loves Women, WIkiundi, etc.. I wanted so much to be part of that! Imagine coming from Igbo Wikimedians User Group to be part of a pan-African team like Wiki In Africa…it’s a bigger playground and a bigger opportunity to learn more!”
As Ceslause pointed out there are a lot of projects to be involved in! Two months in and he remains excited over what has has been involved in so far and he hopes to achieve as an integral part of the team in 2021:
“With the journey so far, my engagement as Communications, Database, Community support, and WikiAfrica Hour host has opened my eyes to an amazing skill set I didn’t know I could develop. I hope to develop more amazing skills as I discharge my duties at Wiki In Africa.”
Candy is hoping that her position will help to serve those who do not yet have a voice.
“What I hope to achieve in my position is to empower underrepresented communities in Africa, such as women, to be leaders and have a voice on platforms like Wikipedia.”
We are excited to have them on board, and we hope you will seek them out in the projects throughout the year.