• Friday, March 01, 2024
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Yoruba ‘Wikimedians’ host first storytelling event in Nigeria

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In a bid to foster free access to knowledge in the Yoruba language, the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, an affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation dedicated to hosting Wikipedia, has initiated Nigeria’s inaugural storytelling event.

The initiative forms a crucial component of their Yoruba Oral Traditions project, aimed at cataloging and conserving Yoruba oral heritage.

The event unfolded at the esteemed Tunde Odunlade Art Gallery in Ibadan, drawing the participation of 15 accomplished storytellers and attracting an audience of approximately 40 attendees eager to immerse themselves in the rich narratives.

Notable luminaries in attendance included Ààrẹ Òpìtàn Ìbàdàn (Chief historian of Ìbàdàn), Laji Abbas, and Bukola Adeleke R. Adégbolá, renowned for her work “Àlàáfin Ajaka.”

Among the distinguished storytellers were Tolu Fagbure, veteran actor and comedian Pa. Ayo Ogunsina (fondly known as Papalolo), Faniyi Ifadare Eleripin, Baba Tunde Odunlade (renowned print and textile artist), veteran radio presenter Omisope Olaniyi, Akintola Omobolaji Florence, Bakare Saheed Olawale (jagunmolu èdè), and Adeyemo Ibrahim Ọjọ́, among others.

The programme, meticulously directed by veteran documentary filmmaker Tunde Oladimeji, garnered acclaim as a groundbreaking event in Nigeria’s cultural landscape.

Oladimeji hailed the event as “unprecedented” within the country.

President of the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, Mikaeel Sodiq Adesina, underscored the organization’s commitment to narrowing the Yoruba knowledge gap through Wikimedia initiatives.

Adesina emphasised the profound impact of storytelling in enriching Wikimedia projects, stating, “Storytelling significantly contributes to knowledge-sharing on Wikimedia projects and serves as a powerful tool to make information more engaging and accessible.”

Reflecting on the day’s achievements, Adesina expressed pride, stating, “It facilitates a broader audience’s understanding of complex topics, and we are proud of what we have done here today, and we want to sustain that effort.”

Participants lauded the organising team for their dedication and effort in ensuring the success of the event. They expressed heartfelt gratitude for providing a platform to showcase their talents and contribute to the preservation of Yoruba cultural heritage.