There are currently 800 Setswana articles online and the group would like to increase the content
In a historic turn of events, a volunteer user group styled Wikimedia Community Usergroup is to launch the first-ever Setswana Wikipedia. Slated for 28 September 2022 (today) at the University of Botswana’s Library Auditorium, the launch is themed, “The Evolution of Open Source and Power of Localisation.”
“We will talk about the power of localisation and contributing for open source knowlegde and how we can embrace our language in online spaces,” Project Coordinator, Candy Khohliwe, told Time Out in an interview.
“We do have Wikipedia in Setswana and it has close to 800 articles and our aim is to increase the content writing more on our Botswana story.”
Who is featured?
The free access launch will feature great speakers such as Thapelo Otlogetswe, Louisa April, Tshepo-Jamillah Moyo, Dikunwane Mompati and speakers from the Gaborone Breakfast Toastmasters Club.
Said Khohliwe: “The speakers will talk about how they have impacted their communities with the work they do. Therefore, people should come learn and network with the diverse speakers who will take to the stage.”
Setswana Wikipedia’s importance
Khohliwe said the launch is important because it indicated having pride in the local language after exiting the colonisation phase. She emphasised that it was important for people to embrace their language so they do not lose their identity.
“It’s important to write our own stories in our language,” Khohliwe asserted. “We should give the world first-hand information about Botswana and not wait for other people to do it on our behalf and later scrutinise the content.”
Who is Wikimedia?
Wikimedia Community is a charitable organisation and volunteer Usergroup that aims to promote Wikimedia sister projects as well as create awareness and content in English and Setswana languages on their projects.
“We are a community that runs a number of projects to try to edit content about Botswana,” Khohliwe added.