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Empowering Heritage: Yoruba Wikimedians’ Annual Storytelling Event Unveiled in Ibadan

In a groundbreaking initiative, the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, an affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation responsible for hosting Wikipedia, has inaugurated the inaugural storytelling event in Nigeria. This event, held in Ibadan, marks a significant step in promoting free access to knowledge in the Yoruba language, aligning with the group’s Yoruba Oral Traditions project, dedicated to documenting and preserving the rich oral heritage.

Celebrating Yoruba Culture in Ibadan

The event witnessed the enthusiastic participation of 15 accomplished storytellers, captivating an audience of approximately 40 individuals eager to immerse themselves in the Yoruba cultural narrative. Esteemed historians, including Ààrẹ Òpìtàn Ìbàdàn, the Chief historian of Ìbàdàn, Laji Abbas, and Bukola Adégbolá, the author of ‘Àlàáfin Ajaka,’ added profound insights to the storytelling session.

Notable figures such as Tolu Fagbure, veteran actor and comedian Pa. Ayo Ogunsina (Papalolo), Faniyi Eleripin, Baba Tunde Odunlade, accomplished print and textile artist Omisope Olaniyi, veteran radio presenter Akintola Florence, Bakare Olawale, Jagunmolu Edè, and Adeyemo Ọjọ́ were among the diverse storytellers who graced the occasion.

A Unique Blend of Tradition and Modernity

Tunde Oladimeji, a veteran documentary filmmaker who directed the program, hailed the event as “one of its kind in Nigeria.” The fusion of traditional storytelling with modern media showcases the group’s commitment to preserving heritage in an engaging and accessible manner.

Mikaeel Adesina, the President of the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, emphasized the group’s mission to bridge the Yoruba knowledge gap through Wikimedia projects. Adesina stated, “Storytelling significantly contributes to knowledge-sharing on Wikimedia projects and serves as a powerful tool to make information more engaging and accessible. We are proud of what we have done here today and aim to sustain that effort.”

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A Grateful Community

Participants expressed heartfelt gratitude to the organizing team for their dedication and hard work, acknowledging the event’s success in providing a platform for showcasing their talents.

In conclusion, the Yoruba Wikimedians’ Annual Storytelling Event stands as a beacon for cultural preservation and knowledge dissemination, showcasing the rich tapestry of Yoruba heritage through the art of storytelling.

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