Kudzaishe Muhamba–Arts Reporter
The Wiki Loves Africa, in conjunction with Zimbabwe Library Association, has launched the Homes and Habitats 2022 Project to promote local content creation.
Wiki Loves Africa is an annual contest where anyone across Africa can contribute media that relates to that year’s theme to Wikimedia Commons for use on Wikipedia and other project websites of the Wikimedia Foundation.
The media content entered should be photographs, video and audio that illustrate the theme for that year.
The project, which is running under the theme ‘Home and Habitat’, calls for the submission of visual representations of home and habitat.
Speaking at the launch, Wiki Loves Mashonaland representative Mrs Morleen Bortman said the theme celebrates the diversity and unique spaces and places both humans and animals alike consider home.
“Those places of safety and peace where people and animals can relax, recover, rest, reconnect with family and community, and where they can fully express themselves, their tastes, their identity and heritage,” she said
Mrs Bortman said there were millions of subjects one can read about on Wikipedia.
“Of all those subjects, the ones that relate to Africa have the least coverage,” she said. “This is due to a number of reasons, but some are linked to the fact that many people do not know that they can have their knowledge and cultures reflected on Wikipedia by donating their images, videos and audio to Wikipedia.”
Speaking at the event, the president of Zimbabwe Library Association, Mr Macdonald Nhakura, said the richness, diversity and beauty of Africa deserved to be visually celebrated on Wikipedia.
“Librarians are trained veteran knowledge managers who are custodians of various forms of information in their different categories which includes databases of pictures,” he said.
“They know how to identify, classify, store, preserve and disseminate information to various constituencies in highly effective and efficient manner.
“Every organisation should employ a librarian who keeps institutional memories and is able to preserve it for future posterity.”
The Zimbabwe Association of Photographers chairperson, Mr Bornwell Choga, and his team of 30 certified photographers was spearheading the project and had agreed to tour Zimbabwe and capture photographs of homes of any living creature on earth and under the sea in their various disciplines.