In an effort to promote free access to knowledge in the Yoruba language, the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, an affiliate of the Wikimedia Foundation that hosts Wikipedia, has launched the first storytelling event in Nigeria. This is part of their Yoruba Oral Traditions project, designed to document and preserve Yoruba oral traditions.
The event, held at Tunde Odunlade Art Gallery in Ibadan, saw participation from 15 storytellers and attracted around 40 audience members who listened to the storytellers. Notable historians, including Ààrẹ Òpìtàn Ìbàdàn (Chief historian of Ìbàdàn), Laji Abbas, and Bukola Adeleke R. Adégbolá, the author of “Àlàáfin Ajaka,” participated. Other storytellers included Tolu Fagbure, veteran actor and comedian Pa. Ayo Ogunsina (popularly known as Papalolo), Faniyi Ifadare Eleripin, Baba Tunde Odunlade (a highly accomplished print and textile artist), veteran radio presenter Omisope Olaniyi, Akintola Omobolaji Florence, Bakare Saheed Olawale (jagunmolu èdè), Adeyemo Ibrahim Ọjọ́, and several others.
The program was directed by veteran documentary filmmaker Tunde Oladimeji, who described the event as “one of its kind in Nigeria.”
According to the President of the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, Mikaeel Sodiq Adesina, they aim to bridge the Yoruba knowledge gap through Wikimedia projects. He stated, “Storytelling significantly contributes to knowledge-sharing on Wikimedia projects and serves as a powerful tool to make information more engaging and accessible”
It facilitate a broader audience’s understanding of complex topics and are proud of what we have done here today and we want to sustain that effort.” Mikaeel added.
The participants expressed their heartfelt gratitude to the organizing team for the hard work that went into making the event a success and for providing a platform for them to showcase their talents.