Yarning for articles native to people and traditions of Africa, in late 2012, Bobby Shabangu began to edit both SiSwati and English Wikipedia. “I discovered that if I don’t edit, no one will edit,” he says. “[I wanted] to activate people into talking about Wikipedia and the work they do and everything…that’s actually how I got involved with the whole thing.”
Today, Bobby volunteers with the Jo’burgpedia project, which aims to improve Wikipedia’s coverage of the city of Johannesburg. The project works with institutions in the city to host editing events for students. He also encourages the students who attend the events to edit in their native languages. He is also deeply involved with the South African Wikimedia chapter that promotes local awareness of the projects and their proper academic use, encourage translation efforts into local languages and support the creation of local free knowledge and media, which he says is growing stronger now more than ever.
His Topic: Wikipedia & Africa’s Role