Since January 17 we were cut off from the rest of the world and prevented our team from doing what they enjoyed most. It was difficult for us to publish articles because we could only publish if we traveled to the nearest French speaking town of our country following the shutdown of internet connection in the North West and South West Regions of Cameroon following a protest which has Christened the Anglophone uprising. Residents of Cameroon’s two English-speaking regions have longstanding grievances against the largely-francophone central government, complaining of economic marginalization and the imposition of French legal and education systems upon them. The Cameroon Anglophone Civil Society Consortium (CACSC) and Southern Cameroons National Council (SCNC), two influential activist groups, responded with a series of strikes and “Operation Ghost Town” — an instruction to all supporters to stay at home as a mode of nonviolent resistance. On January 17, the government banned both groups, holding them responsible for the protests. The CACSC President Nkongho Felix Agbor-Balla and Secretary General Dr. Fontem Neba were arrested on charges relating to terrorism, according to state media.
However, while we were away, many things happened but we have chosen to celebrate with our readers the one which made us proud. On the 2nd of July, 2016, we embarked on a journey to discover Ngoketunjia Division https://ngoketunjiaonline.wordpress.com/2016/07/02/discover-ngoketunjia-division-with-us. because we could not be reporting exclusively about Ngoketunjia Division whereas there were no comprehensive articles about the thirteen autonomous villages that make up Ngoketunjia Division. Our articles comprised of the History, traditional heritage, population, way of life, inheritance, tourism, Present and Past Fons, Business activities, Main occupation, road network and politics among others. Our articles were published on the worlds largest encyclopedia “Wikipedia” and we are presently working to have all the articles on our weblog.
Following the publishing of our articles on Wikipedia, we were recognized and awarded a symbolic gadget to encourage us in our contribution to local development. Though it was our first experience writing an encyclopedic article, among over two thousands experienced Wikipedians, we still managed to find ourselves recognized among less than ten (10) who received recognitions for their efforts, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Wikipedia:Wikivillages_of_Cameroon.
Following the reception of the news, we effectively received our gadget on the 17th of January 2017. We would have loved to receive the best recognition as we have as objective to stop at nothing but the best. However we had many shortcomings top of which was Wikipedia’s editorial criteria which saw most of our materials deleted by other users for lack of respect of rules (poor reference). The editorial criteria reads in part, “adopting a neutral encyclopedia tone, generating a synthesis of of already existing work, avoiding plagiarism, and referencing all sources”. From the above citation, it was very difficult for us to lay hands on existing works containing the history, way of life, tourism etc of our villages. Most materials we had were through interviews with traditional authorities and elites but interviews are primary sources of information and thus not a valid reference on Wikipedia. Found in a local community, access to internet was another problem as we had access only to low speed internet connection (2G). Despite the difficulties, we still managed to do something that was deemed worth appreciating on a global stage.
On this very happy note, we wish to thank Agripo and all our readers promising to use the gadget for the purpose it is intended.
By Mbah Isofa