Hello I’m Muddyb. I’m Wikipedian based in Dar es Salaam, Tanzania. I’ve joined Wikipedia on 18th August, 2007. I have contributed on Wikipedia for ten years consecutively. And I’m the only Tanzanian who still doing so for the past ten years. Most of my articles are about music and films, I, however, sometimes write about politics and other matters found on my communities. Though I’m not too keen on politics that’s why I like to write about music and films – mostly from USA, Europe, Africa and some from my country.
Why am I volunteering on Wikipedia?
First of all, I like to write and let people know what’s happening in my country and around the world using my native language. In order to be able to do so, I needed a platform where I can share the music knowledge with the Swahili-speaking people around the world – so found English Wikipedia on Google, sometimes later saw the article about Tanzania it is also available on Swahili and from there I joined and start writing some articles. With a huge and astonishing help from Kipala, I’ve managed to create articles, templates, and so many things in a very short period of time since I joined Wikipedia. Kipala was there for me, possibly he saw something in me that’s why he was very close to me. I dare to say Kipala is my mentor on Swahili Wikipedia. I never stopped appreciating his help, and he’s done a tremendous job to make me who I am today.
My first article was “Doroth Kipeja” – producer and director of films and music videos from Tanzania. She is the owner of Tripod Media Production. An early video producers from Tanzania. It was Kipeja’s company (Tripod Media), 2 Eyez Production, Wananchi Video Production, Royal Production and Lil Din Production who evolved the music videos tech at that time. Second was a member of parliament from Tanzania – Zitto Kabwe. And then I have switched back to what I like to write the most (music and films). Also I wrote some articles about TV series characters, cities and towns, education and religions from all over the world.
Tanzania cities, towns and wards
This was a period whereby I have dedicated whole of my time to write about Tanzania. With help from Kipala, we’ve managed to write cities and wards of Tanzania. Started from 18th December 2008 to 2009. Kipala was covering templates creation from all administrative posts and my part was to create the article. So it was two men job per se. This wards creation job kept us together almost three or four months.
Turkish cities, towns, districts and wards
Not that far since I started writing about TZ cities. Few days later, I started writing about Turkish cities due to some promise I kept to a friend. This was an unbelievable job to have been done by someone from Africa. I think no one have done that so far. In return, the Turkish friend was writing about Tanzanian cities towns at his best. I did not ask to do the same, but he did what he could at that time. I was taking articles from English Wikipedia and translate them into Kiswahili. He was doing the same taking English Wikipedia’s article and translate them into Turkish. This was among of the best memorable time of my participation in Wikipedia. Exchanging ideas and knowledge on one’s country and other things. To make this possible, had some back-up from Mr. Accountable who at that time seemed to be interested to help me creating the Turkish towns and cities. Mr. Accountable is no longer active on the Swahili Wikipedia since 30 March, 2011. We did some remarkable job together.
Relationship with other editors on the SWWP
No doubt that I have grown a tremendous relationship with Kipala. First as my mentor, second as my teacher. Kipala is a lot to me (there is now way I can express my feelings to him). Since ten years ago, he has never stopped contact me in any way. Despite the fact that there was a time he was not contributing regularly on Wikipedia, yet he’s reaching me through email and keep me appraised about this whereabouts which is totally strange for someone like Kipala and me. First of all, we do not share a common interest, yet the chemistry is way beyond – can’t explain it how. We’ve maintained this superb relationship for so long. Kipala is from Germany but he has lived in Tanzania and Kenya from 80s to 2005. Since then he’s just visiting the countries and get back to his home country.
With Oliver Stegen (Baba Tabita)
A second German editor found on Swahili Wikipedia. Well, professional is a linguistic. One of the best at Swahili grammar and English as well. We do not share quite attachment but we’ve had our time together as fellow contributor on the Swahili Wikipedia. And also he was a co-founding member of Kenyan Chapter during the period of 2009-2010. A chapter which did not live long enough to bear the fruits. I went to ask for his help on some languages technicality for several times and he’s proved himself worth at it. Another Wikipedia editor who I do not share a common interest with.
The Dutch scientish who helps creating some science articles. Mostly about the birds – he’s totally awesome at it. We do not contact regularly, but it happens sometimes.
With Riccardo Riccioni
Riccardo is Italian Catholic Padre who’s living in Morogoro, Tanzania. He has joined SWWP sometimes in 2008. By then, I was very close with him. TAUGHT him some techniques and other things so that he could contribute on the swwp. Currently we do not have contact each other quite often, but he is a long-standing Wikipedia editor on religious articles so far.
A short-lived contributor from the USA. We’ve made our time together to clear out some errors found on some templates. He was the best..
Another short-lived contributor from Germany. He was good, but some minor misunderstandings with fellow contributor led him to leave Swahili Wikipedia for good. Missed him already! We’ve grown some heavy attachment with the guy, I tried to pull him back did not work out fine.
Articles most contributed
Back in 2007, it was not easy to write music and politics articles from my home country. The information at that time was not a small thing. You can’t find most of the story over the internet. Unlikely these days, so many blogs and sites talks about music and politics. It’s easy to find some information about music and politics, but before 2010, things were very complicated. This was the major reasons to write about American stuff. Well, I have grown-up seeing the American films and music back in the 1990s. So it was easy for me to locate some articles and write them down quickly.
Currently mojo over the Tanzanian articles
Again I have grown-up some feelings of patriotism over articles about my home country. Recently, I’ve created a number of articles about politics, music and films of Tanzania. Currently, I’m conducting a research on Tanzanian hip hop from 1980s to early 2000s. I’ve met a few of hip-hop and break-dancing pioneers who did an unbelievable jobs back in the 1980s and early 90s. It will take time to collect all the information, but I will the English Wikipedia’s Tanzanian hip hop article as base of research. Although some texts are not true, but I will remove them once I have a true texts from the original hip hop acts of Tanzania.
What have I benefited from contributing Wikipedia?
Well, first of all, it’s not easy for an African to volunteer anything for over ten years. I’m proud to myself! The following are the benefits I’ve gained from Wikipedia:
- My Swahili grammar’s ability has increased tenfold from previous state.
- Improvements of my English. I was not that good by then, but at least now I can try write out something since the major means of communication on Wikimedia projects is English – so had to do whatever it takes to understand and reply the messages across the wiki users and stuff.
- Knowledge, I’ve gathered a plenty of knowledge, not only from the first world, but also from Africa and here in my country. Poeple wrote some stuff that never knew them before. At least now I can read them on either Swahili or English Wikipedia.
- Making some friends, Oliver Stegen, Kipala, Jon Herald Soby, Moongate Climber (Italian Wikipedia editor who wrote about muziki wa dansi in all Wikipedia). I met with Jon three times. First in 2011, second in 2012/2013 and third in 2016 – sometime in December. I have met Kipala three times, first in 2008, secondly in 2015 and third in 2017 where he was conducting a major training on Daruser group at Buni-Hub, Makumbusho, Dar es Salaam. I met Oliver one time.. I don’t recall which year, but we had some quality time together. Possibly 2010.
- Wikipedia as a major tools of information, if I do not find the information I’m looking for on Wikipedia, I won’t bother looking it anywhere else.
NB: This year marks 10 years of my involvement on Wikipedia!