Happy Birthday – To Us!!

It doesn’t seem possible, but Ulwazi is ten years old! A whole decade! Conceptualised by the ex-Head of Information Systems at eThekwini Libraries, Betsie Greyling, Ulwazi was initially run as a library project before joining the Local History Museums family where it now happily resides.

The motivation for starting Ulwazi was threefold:

  • Increase the volume of isiZulu content on the internet;
  • Document previously unrecorded local histories; and
  • Upskill fieldworkers in digital skills and digital media management

We think that the Ulwazi Programme has more than lived up to expectations!

With nearly 2000 published articles, Ulwazi is now larger than the Zulu Wikipedia. Over the years the programme has also trained more than twenty fieldworkers in digital skills and engaged with dozens of learners through joint projects with underserved schools. And that’s not to mention the impact that the programme has had on the broader community who can access the site from the palm of their hand using a smartphone. The programme, which was initially built using the same software as Wikipedia, allows for contributions from the public, partnering with the very people who rely on the content supplied by Ulwazi.

So, what started out as one librarian’s dream, now ten years later is a well established and well respected source of information for anyone interested in aspects of history and culture in the eThekwini Municipality. We are more than proud of where we are, and have thoroughly enjoyed the journey we followed to get here!


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