Oral knowledge as a form of human communication involves the oral reception, preservation, and transmission of cultural content from one generation to the next. Folktales, ballads, chants, prose, and poetry may all be transmitted orally or musically. In this method, a culture can pass down oral history, oral literature, oral law, and other types of information to future generations without the need for writing systems or even in conjunction with them.
Today, there needs to be more freely licensed oral knowledge in audiovisual forms that can be used for teaching, research, reference materials, or other educational purposes.
Between 2020 and 2022, the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria and the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group, with the support of the Wikimedia Foundation, which owns Wikipedia, produced 100 Nigerian oral histories and 20 audiovisual recordings of Yoruba Indigenous work to support learning, teaching, and other educational purposes.
On January 18, 2023, the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria and the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group collaborated to donate these materials to the Department of Linguistics and African Languages at the University of Ibadan.
The event was held at the Department of Linguistics and African Languages at the University of Ibadan. It was attended by the Dean, Faculty of Arts, Professor O.A. Oyesile; the Head of the Department, Linguistics and African Languages, Professor Oye Taiwo; and the Head of the Department, History, Professor Rasheed Olaniyi. Others included Professor Phillips Ogundeji, Professor Wole Oyetade, Professor Herbert Igboanusi, Professor Duro Adeleke, and other members of the academic staff.
The Head of the Department of Linguistics and African Languages, Professor Oye Taiwo, welcomed everyone to the event and introduced the faculty members to the donors, the Wikimedia User Group Nigeria, and the Yoruba Wikimedians User Group delegates, led by Olaniyan Olushola and Mikaeel Sodiq, respectively.
According to the Dean, Professor O.A. Oyesile “The work is most appreciated, especially because it creates new sources of knowledge and contributes to cultural revival. The work is not only useful for academia but also useful for indigenous cultures generally. The university is open to more collaboration between the town and the gown. It is my hope that the department will utilize this opportunity very well.”
Professor Phillips Ogundeji, a member of the Nigerian Academy of Letters and a senior faculty member, said, “This type of collaboration is what we really need; we are happy that this is happening during our own time.”
Professor Herbert Igboanusi, a language expert, said in his remarks, “Initially, I was skeptical about the quality of works on Wikipedia and often discouraged my students from citing Wikipedia as a reference or using its contents in their works. Now, I can see that the standards have improved.”
Professor Duro Adeleke described the donation as “laudable.” According to him, the donated audiovisual materials would not only be useful for the Department of Linguistics and African Languages but also for the Department of History, the Department of Communication and Language Arts, and Religious Studies.
Wikimedia User Group Nigeria and Yoruba Wikimedians User Group delegates thanked the Dean, Faculty of Arts, and Department of Linguistics and African Languages, and other members of the academic staff for their collaborations.
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