South Africa celebrates Wikipedia 15 this week


[Johannesburg, South Africa] This week Wikipedia, the world’s largest encyclopedia turns 15 years old. South African editors and contributors will meet in Johannesburg and Cape Town to join a global series of events led by the Wikimedia Foundation.

In South Africa, Wikimedia ZA and NETucation, a leading Internet safety training company, have combined their resources to organise an edit-a-thon event in Johannesburg on Saturday, January 16th and in picnic in Cape Town on Friday, January 15th.

Ramon Thomas Wikipedia editor from South Africa“Wikipedia is not only valuable because of the free information it provides, it also allows South Africans to tell our stories to the world,” says Ramon Thomas, founder of NETucation, who first used the Internet in 1993 in Port Elizabeth. “The most valuable contributions I’ve made is to expand articles about people and places I know very well across South Africa.” Since 2006 he started to edit in English and Afrikaans Wikipedia.

Before 2001, an encyclopedia would cost thousands of Rands, trees, water and ink, and it was really really hard to carry around. Today Wikipedia provides millions of referenced articles, photos, illustrations, sources, and word definitions right at your fingertips. The volunteers who have been creating this amazing work for 15 years don’t charge anything for it. They want to share all the world’s knowledge with every person alive today.

I discovered that if I don’t edit, no one will edit,” says Bobby Shabangu, a member of the Wikimedia ZA board of directors. “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.” Since late 2012, he began to edit both the Swati and English Wikipedia.

Event Details:

Cape Town


Venue: De Waal Park, Oranjezicht
Date: Friday, January 15
Time: 16:00 to 19:00
Venue: Nino’s Rosebank, The Zone>
Date: Saturday, January 16
Time: 09h00 to 12h00


— ENDS —

Media Contacts:

Wikimedia ZA


Bobby Shabangu

Mobile: 072-0679 593



Ramon J. Thomas

Mobile: 062 218 3503



About Wikimedia ZA

Wikimedia South Africa Wikipedia 15 organised by Ramon Thomas

The WikiProject South Africa is a collaborative effort to improve coverage on South Africa and the organisation of information and articles on this topic. This WikiProject is part of the WikiProject Africa and aims primarily to help coordinate and improve pages on South Africa, History of South Africa and South Africans. Wikimedia ZA, is national not-for-profit, created to promote the interests of Wikimedia projects within South Africa.

About NETucation

NETucation South Africa logo NETucation provides training on how to be smart and safe, online. We empower teenagers, teachers, parents and professionals for the Internet age. Since 2004 we have delivered over 500 seminars and workshops to Michaelhouse, St Alban’s College, St Mary’s DSG, the Crawford and Curro Schools, etc. We also participate in government and public forums with the Film & Publications Board and Childline South Africa; while publishing ebook like the “Parent’s Guide to MXit” and “Privacy is Possible.”

Leave a Comment