Igbo Wikipedia Training Ends In Awka, With Call On Igbos To Writetheir Stories

By Izunna OkaforĀ 
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A two-day workshop and training on how to edit, contribute and publish articles on Wikipedia has come to an end, with call on Ndi Igbo to wake up and write their stories by themselves, than to have them written by someone else.

The training, known as Awka Igbo Wikipedia Training, which held over the week at the Anambra State Central E-Library, Awka, drew participation of both media practitioners, librarians, teachers/lecturers, writers, active and retired civil servants, youths, among others.

Speaking at the event, the Coordinator of Igbo Wikimedian User Group in Anambra State, Mrs. Onyinye Onuoha said the training was aimed teaching and guiding the participants on how to contribute to Wikipedia, by way of editing, creating, translating and publishing articles or other contents on Wikipedia, with special focus on Igbo language contents.

She revealed that Wikipedia which was launched in 2001 is a free internet-based encyclopaedia that provides free knowledge, information, learning space, etc, to millions of readers across the globe, through its various platforms and projects, such as Wikipedia, Wikitionary, Wikibooks, wikiquote, Wikinews, Wikiversity, Wikispecies, Wikivoyages, Wikisource, Wikimedia Commons, and Wikidata.

She noted that Wikipedia currently has over 50 million articles in over 320 languages and about 345,812 active users, out of which English Wikipedia has about 6,279,316 articles, and about 142,929 active users; while Igbo Wikipedia has just about 2,104, and about 41 active users; hence the need for the Igbo Wikipedia Training, which aims to train more hands on editing, creating, translating and publishing articles or other contents on Wikipedia in Igbo language.

She said: "The number of contents in Igbo language is like that because the Whites cannot leave their language and stories and be writing our own for us. So, it is we, Ndi Igbo that will write our stories by ourselves. So I urge everyone to take advantage of this training. Let's write our stories by ourselves."

In their separate remarks, some of the facilitators of the event, Dr. Nkem Osuigwe, who is a also a former Director of the Anambra State Library Board; and Librarian Ngozi Osuchukwu, who is also a lecturer, decried the poor condition of Igbo language today, and urged the participants to put everything they were taught into good use and practice it regularly, in order to contribute to saving and promoting the Igbo language, Igbo culture and Igbo heritage to the world.

On her own part, one of the participants at the training, who is also the Director, Anambra State Library Board, Dr. Nkechi Udeze who appreciated the organisers of the workshop, also urged them to host periodically host such training again at close intervals, so as to glue and keep the knowledge afresh on the participants' mind and memory at all times, for maximum impact and the realistic actualisation of the aim of the training.

Among other highlights, the workshop featured practical training of the participants on how to join Wikipedia, as well as how to translate, edit and publish contents on Wikipedia, in Igbo language.