Swahili Wikipedia reaches 44,000+ articles

Hello guys!

Been a while since my last post. And also I have never posted anything regarding a number of the articles that increasing exponentially every day in our Wikipedia. This effort is mainly done by one man hand, or both Riccardo and Kipala, but especially Riccardo. I did not know how he did it until I met Kipala who shared with me the entire concept behind the “Riccardo’s doing” on the Swahili Wikipedia. Kipala opens up to me that “Riccardo” is following up the list of articles from Cebuano  Wikipedia. Thereafter, he’s making himself a list of a particularly articles ready to import on the Swahili Wikipedia.

Cebuano is among of the biggest Wikipedia in terms of articles and not the size of the words. Rumor has it there was a guy who created a bot that doing all the heavy-lifting jobs. In contrast with the Swahili Wikipedia, Riccardo is doing it manual and he has managed to increase the number of the articles on the Swahili Wikipedia tremendously. He has been doing so for quite sometime now. I may say, Riccardo and Kipala are among of the tirelessly contributors of all time. With the years going on, Riccardo is becoming more active than ever before. Unlikely most of the Swahili contributors. I was doing great job, but since 2012, things begun to fall. My spare time becomes very narrow, too limited which left me in bad position to contribute regularly on the Swahili Wikipedia.

Kipala has been there since 2005, actually he was the one who took it up to the highest mark back in the days. He found the then SWWP has only 140 articles or less than that and put a remarkable effort to increase a number of articles up to 1,000 mark and made it the biggest Wikipedia in Africa for over five years until the Yoruba when they went nut and start creating a sickening stubs articles with hardly one line or a single sentence which was treated as an article. What a shame! Later, we were surpassed by Afrikaans Wikipedia in both words and a number of the articles. Ever since, we have never been able to outrun the Afrikaans Wikipedia. With Riccardo’s speed, I hope soon or later we’ll outrun it permanently. The current number of the articles on the Afrikaans Wikipedia are ” 52 840” which makes it biggest Wikipedia in Africa in both words size and a number of the articles. The Swahili still holding the second in both words size and a number of the articles as well.

Now see the statistics of three wikipedia;

  1. Afrikaans =  52 840
  2. Swahili =  44,290
  3. Yoruba = 31,699

All of my time when I was highly contributing on the Swahili Wikipedia, my main goal was to surpass both Yoruba and Afrikaans Wikipedia. With the help of Kipala and Mr. Accountable, I was able to surpass both of them. We hold that records for quite sometime until the Afrikaans contributors woke up from the deep sleep and outrun us while we standing trying to catch ourselves a breath. It wasn’t easy. It was tough job. We could be able to surpass them, but how? The Swahili Wikipedia is mainly edited by the people from outside of Africa, if there is, very small number of the natives who contributing on the Swahili.

It was either me or Riccardo, a padre who lives in Morogo, Tanzania. At that time, Kipala was living in German before to take off to the Arab country, where  at that time he was having a limited time to participate on the internet, left me and Riccardo doing the heavy-lifting. Oliver Stegen aka Baba Tabita, he used also to be a very active Wikipedian based in Kenya until recently he moved back to his home country, Germany. He’s good both in Swahili and English. Actually, he is a linguistic, you don;t wanna know the number of the local languages he speaks from Tanzania and Kenya. He is incredibly perfect on language aspect. He also once lived in East Africa for 20 years since 1996-2016. Currently he is on wiki-break due to his personal issue which need his close attention to attend it.

I normally speaks highly of Kipala, because when I joined Wikipedia, Kipala was there for me. He taught me so many things until I became an expert on Wikipedia. Subsequently, I was able to do a lot things, creating new templates, sorting and keep standard format of the Swahili Wikipedia. Seeking for help from Wikimedia tech to update swwp software to cope with other best developed Wikipedia. Engaging myself with META and an IRC channels to solve some problems from the SWWP. My job was not just to create some articles only, but also to look after the site updates. All these ways Kipala showed me how to go through.



I hate to break the news to you, but it is how it is. Baba Tabita is the only contributor on the Swahili Wikipedia to reach 97% of the creation on the main-space. In short, he was able to create so many new articles in a year without touching anywhere else, ie creating categories, templates, user talks and stuff like that. Shockingly, he did that last year 2017. I think when he finished doing that he went directly to the hospital (hahahaha).


Baba TabitaNSCount

Year counts

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Year counts;





Year counts





Year counts







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