Sunday 23 September 2018

Chabota at Wikimania 2018 in Cape Town South Africa

Katherine and Isaac
It my first time I was travelling out of the country, all thanks to the South African Wikimedia Chapter. Flying in big iron bird was a wonderful experience it being my first time flying in the airbus a320 felt normal. Wikimania Is the biggest gathering of Wikimedians (contributors of Wikimedia Foundation Projects). The theme for Wikimania 2018 was “Bridging the Knowledge Gaps: the Ubuntu Way Forward”.

Morning of 17th July 2018 my filght was at 12 and i was ready by 08:30 my cousin Peter Kapisa came to take to me to the Airpot I was so happy i could feel it in my bonesand the clod leaving my body still i could belive that i was going out of the country. Before we could get far dad called to tell me that wait for him and so we did the time he got to where we were i moved into his car and so we went to airport while in the car he satred to give me safety tips which came in handy longstory short I landed safely in Cape Town but my bag didnt come so i had to check with airline and the told me that it wasnt cleared at customs and so i had to wait till 22hrs or the following day. With that in mind i called bob from South Africa to find out how my movement will be like from the airport he told me to get an uber and i didnt have uber in the phone so i had to get a regular taxi which was R250 the taxi driver was very frendly his name was Voyo. Got the hotel checked got to my room and my roommate from Tanzania Iddy had already gotten there and was about to sleep i got in the room we had a chat until mid night.


We went to main hotel Southern Sun Cape Sun Hotel we where at the Stay easy at stay easy hotel. when we got the main hotel myself Iddy and Carolyne got ourselves regestered while that side Carolyne learnt that she was supposed to at the other hotel the pre-conference under whose know knowledge and so after our registration me and iddy wanted to go into the hack thon but we decided to find out what was happning at the hotel when we got there we where to told it was invitation only and so Iddy checked his mail box and found that we where in the right place the orgniers there told us that we had to stay untill the day for together with the two days to come and we agreed to that. As we got in the room we where told to join and group when I got to my group i found people in deep covervastion and i was wondering what is going here but it didn't take too long for me to be on the same page with everyone. At the end of the day we had to write so points that we where going to look at the next and i did write something not know what i was geeting myself into.


Sherry, Isaac, Iddy and Amy
On day two we had recap of what we talked about the previous day and the note i wrote as one of the points to look at was picked and so i had to give feedback on the point i made and it sould be a talking point. In our group we had good chat and we two action plans Create local communities/forum to gather views on access to internet infrastructure and community knowledge and also Create local communities/forum to gather views on access to internet infrastructure and community knowledge.

After everyone had signed up fo the action plans the last remarks where made and the  pre-conference was closed. We had a meet later and we to see fish at the Aquariums and also for the closing party at the same time.


Wikimania 2018 was then offically opened.
That eveing of day 3 i had a chat with Woubzena Jifar who is the Rapid Grants Program Officer, Community Resources for the foundation  in one of our chats she was willing to help me set up something for the foundation in Zambia she then later introduced me to Asaf and later that night we visited Two Oceans Aquarium for the opening party. It was really amazing and the memories of the beauty I saw that night, I will forever cherish we had a Walk through the exhibits and view sea life while sampling local street foods. This is the time i had a chat with Amy from Indonesia we who i met at the pre-conference had multiple chats together and i remember that i spent most of the time with her as shared our experience to each other and i had a number of chats with Erina Muhame from Uganda Dhani from indonesia Ananya Mondal from India. From time the conference offically started i lost track of time time cause i was too busy connecting with new friends. I spent most of my time talking to people or should i say managment the people behind the wikimedia foundation.


On day 4 I attended more talks and presentations starting with Africa's Wikipedias one of the major challenges that was discussed during the conference was the misrepresentation of Africa and women on Wikipedia. This really opened up my mind that i have a lot of work todo since other countries like South Africa, Indonesia, Nigeria just to metion a feww would organize projects to help improve and add content not only on big Wikis like the English Wikipedia but on their local Wikis as well i saw that am not the only who is facing such problems and so for Zambian articles to well represented i had to do something as soon as i got home this my goal number one to open up my fellow Zambians with to grow together and we bilud each other and after lunch i attended A Gentle Introduction to Wikidata for Absolute Beginners + Wikidata Query Tutorial - part2 which was presented by Asaf this was just me wanting to get more info on what is Wikidata. Later that night i met with Asaf Bartov who was busy with the hardware donation program we had a long chat i told about my way of editting using my phone as we where talking he introducted me to the Wikimedia hardware donation program he recommended that i apply for one to reduce the work load i had due to the fact that i was using my phone to edit wiki, to create and so on. 


On the last day Myself and Iddy with McKensie Mack went to the beach for some site seeing just to enjoy the beauty of Cape Town its sad we didnt have time to go to Table Mountain. The moment we got back to the hotel we went and picked up our tickets for the closing ceremony upon collecting Asaf sent me a mail that a laptop (chrome book) was available and so when i met him he told me to apply for documentation and i did fast forward during the closing ceremony Asaf metionted my name as the Zambian wikipedian and also anounced that the laptop is ready and if anyone see me should teel me to go pick it up i was at the back moved by what was happening i couldnt belive any of these events. So after that i went to meet Asaf and he gave me the laptop (Chromebook) and even introduced to the gentleman that donated it. Then we went to the closing party well Wiki sure do knows how to through a party we had fan there.

What more can I add, you have see it all or should i say read it all. I had a really good time at Wikimania and I am so grateful to all the friends especially Bobby Shabangu for openong my eyes and the South African wikimedia chapter for making it possible for me to attend this even, not forgetting Iddy my roommate who made me laugh very funny and crazy guy. Making it to this year’s Wikimania gave me an experience of a lifetime and a stepping stone for me to be able to become an affilate member of the foundation and all I can say is thank you to God and the Wikimedia Foundation for such an opportunity.