It was quite an honor to be requested to host open data day. My planned event for that week canceled at the last minute. So this request couldn’t have come at a better time. But that morning, the world seemed to be conspiring against me. Well ,apparently when ones is driving, they are not supposed to leave the hand brake up. This caused my brakes to fail, and i had one of those moments where you see your life flashing before your eyes. Luck must have been on my side , because i saw a parking spot and directed the car to that side and put it in parking. This left me standing in front of my car , filled with smoke and my heart pounding faster that lightening. My husband came to the rescue and the day was saved.
I rushed off to the venue , where i was the first to arrive . This gave me time to collect myself from the wreck i had become. By the time people started streaming in , i was over my incidence and my face was beaming with a smile. We started by watching a video by Jimmy wales. Which gave a brief description about Wikipedia, Wikimedia, and other matters relating to Wikipedia. After that i gave a brief summary about Wikipedia and was able to interact with the audience to get their opinions about what was said.
I showed the audience how to create accounts,User pages, and how to edit an article. So we then divided ourselves into groups of two. Each group decided on whether to create or expand an existing article. This seemed to be the most interesting part of the event. I was quite impressed how practical editing is more efficient than lecturing people about how to edit. I felt like it was a job well done for me and the audience. We concluded by giving t-shirts to our new Wikipedians.
This event is in my top ten events , i loved the energy of the people and the enthusiasm. The event ended with us interacting with each other and exchanging contacts. For a day that started the way it did, this was a good ending.
Monday 8th September was a warm day after so many cold ones in this long rainy season. As i was corrected in the last club meeting its not book club but reader’s writer’s club (my bad ).For a meeting starting at about 5:30pm , people started streaming in at about 6:00pm. Which was the time we started off with me as the first speaker. Following up on our first activation, i made a small introduction for the new people who were not around. We had expanded on the list of writers in Uganda and this week we wanted to add a section about the reader’s writer’s club on the Femrite page.
After my introduction, the session almost turned into a Q & A. This was a more curious lot but i was glad to answer the questions because it showed people wanted to know more. The group was skeptical about contributing to the page about the book club. This was because they thought older members of Femrite would know more or have better contributions. In my opinion , what they had to contribute was good enough and could be expanded on later.
I felt i dint really achieve my goal with this activation. I think it was because , i was faced with new faces and could not start off from where we had progressed. Never the less , the more the merrier
The writers book club is there every Monday at Femrite offices . I arrived thirty minutes early for my activation , which gave me time to interact with the writers at Femrite. The meeting started with a challenge, we had to write something creative on a piece of paper. Which would be shared with the group and critiqued. I decided to write a poem about my new found role ‘mummy’. My reviews were not so bad for an amateur.
After critiquing each others pieces, we had tea while i made my presentation about ‘Kumusha Takes Wiki’. I basically gave an introduction about the project and wikipedia. Since most people didn’t have their laptops we decided to create the list of writers instead of creating accounts on Wikipedia.
Their was an already existing list on the ‘List of African writers page’, which we expanded to include other notable writers. We debated about what constitutes a writer or a notable writer. Is it a Published writer? Is it a writer whose books are on a shelf somewhere like a library? how about writer of anthologies? We had various opinions and we didn’t agree on a conclusion but most people thought it had to be a published writer. I was just the referee in this debate and i also couldn’t decide which was which.
People proposed notable writers who were not documented. Due to limited time we just wrote the names and in our future activation we will be able to create articles for these writers on Wikipedia.
Fifteen minutes late for my activation i was literally running not to keep my Poets waiting. I had to be late not after my baby pulled a first one on me. She decided it was potty time right before we left the house, lets just say it ended up in a bath and a change of clothes for both mother and child. When i got there , i wondered why i rushed in the first place. Everyone seemed to take their time to get there on that cold day.We waited for other poets to arrive before we could proceed.
We dived straight in to article creation. we agreed as a group to create a page for the Lantern meet of Poets as they are a notable group of artists in Uganda. I have said it before and i will say it again, the poets gave me a run for my money. We decide on the sections of the articles initially. And then everyone contributed content to the different sections. It was interesting to see that even among the poets , people viewed some of the content differently. We debated on what should and should not be included in the article, the differences between meets , recitals and presentations. We discussed the different philosophies in the Lantern Meet of Poets . I should tell you, the discussion left my head spinning.
The whole session was a lesson to me. I must have learnt the most from this experience. I heard the Genesis of the lantern meet of poets and how they have managed to keep growing. I sense a great love in this group, a genuine concern for the art of poetry and literature in Uganda. I Must say am really impressed with the Lantern Meet of Poets.