Wikimedia UG Nigeria is all set to announce the winners of the maiden edition of the Nigeria Wikimedia Community Distinguished Awards

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The Nigeria Wikimedia Community Distinguished Award was conceptualized in 2023 by the Wikimedia Usergroup Nigeria, a registered Wikimedia affiliate since 2015, to recognize and honor distinguished community members who have made remarkable contributions in 2023 that affect the Wikimedia space in Nigeria.

The awards are an excellent opportunity to showcase the achievements of Nigerian Wikimedia contributors. It will highlight the contributions of those who have worked tirelessly to improve the quality and accessibility of information on Wikimedia projects. This event will inspire new members to join the Nigeria Wikimedia community and participate in creating and sharing knowledge.

By recognizing the contributions of community members, the award will encourage others to take up the mantle and become community heroes themselves.

We intend to honor exceptional community members across seven award categories. These categories include the Best New Contributor Award, Best Indigenous Language Contributor Award, Editor of the Year Award, Community Builder Award, Torchbearer Award, Best Active Network/Fan Club Award, and Lifetime Achievement Award (non-voting category).

The unveiling of the winner of the “Lifetime Achievement Award” category will be the major highlight of the event. This is the most prestigious award of the day, reserved for two veteran contributors, both Nigerian and non-Nigerian, who have made outstanding contributions over an extended period of time in the Wikimedia movement. It pays tribute to the lifetime commitment of the award recipient to the Wikimedia movement and their tireless efforts towards promoting knowledge sharing and open access to information while demonstrating exceptional leadership, creativity, and dedication to the cause.
The Lifetime Achievement Award is not just an accolade but also a symbol of the recipient’s legacy in the Wikimedia movement. It reminds us that their work will continue to inspire future generations of Wikimedians, and their unwavering dedication to the movement will continue to shape the Nigerian Wikimedia community for years to come.

The nomination process began on December 14th, 2023, with a nomination form that allowed various community members to nominate deserving individuals for each category, ensuring that everyone had an equal opportunity to nominate their preferred candidates, which lasted for a week. Over 100 participants used the form to nominate their most preferred colleagues.

The nomination form used to gather nominations.

After the nomination round, the selection committee carefully evaluated all the nominations and selected 36 candidates/choices from the most-ranked names in the nomination form. The committee ensured that the nominees were deserving and met the criteria for each category. And then we unveiled the names and profiles for each award category:

  • Best New Contributor Award Category

This award recognizes the most promising new contributor who joined in 2023 and has made significant contributions to Wikipedia and its sister projects.

  • Best Indigenous Language Contributor

This award recognizes the outstanding contributions made by an individual towards promoting and preserving indigenous languages on the Wikimedia projects in Nigeria. The winner of this award must have demonstrated a deep commitment to creating and improving articles in a local language Wikipedia, as well as supporting other contributors in the development of indigenous language content on the Wikimedia projects.

  • Editor of the Year Award

This award recognizes the most active and dedicated contributions made by an individual towards advancing the quality of content across the Wikimedia projects in Nigeria in the year 2023. The winner of this award must have demonstrated an unwavering commitment to improving articles, creating new content, and the development of high-quality content on the Wikimedia projects with edit counts to show for it.

  • Community Builder Award

This award recognizes the individuals who have invested time and effort in building the Wikimedia community in Nigeria, promoting the initiative, supporting and organizing projects that support the growth of the community in the year 2023. 
This award aims to acknowledge the critical role of community builders in creating a welcoming and inclusive environment that encourages participation and growth.

  • Torch Bearer Award

This award recognizes the contributor who is known for being the most supportive, helpful, and friendly member of the Wikimedia community in Nigeria. The winner of this award should be someone who is always willing to lend a helping hand to other contributors, and who has contributed to creating a positive and welcoming atmosphere in the community for 2023.

  • Best Active Network/Fan club Award

This award recognizes the most active and successful Wikimedia Usergroup Nigeria Network/Fan club  in Nigeria for 2023

Profile of all the nominees in slideshow

On December 23rd, 2023, the committee took the next step in the award process by opening up the voting to only registered members of the Wikimedia Nigeria community. A total of 342 members were eligible to vote and were provided with a direct link to cast their ballot. Each voting link was sent directly to the member’s email addresses, ensuring that only registered members could participate in the voting process.

To guarantee transparency and fairness in the election, the community utilized the Electionbuddy tool. This tool allowed members to vote seamlessly and in an open and transparent manner.

The Secure Electionbuddy portal, where the participants voted

The voting process lasted for a period of 12 days and ended on January 4th, 2024, with several reminders being sent out during this period. A total of 109 community members cast their votes using the ElectionBuddy tool, which ensured a secure, verified, and unbiased process.

And now, the stage is set for the announcement of the winners. We are thrilled to recognize the contributions of these outstanding individuals who have gone above and beyond in their efforts to make a positive impact in their communities.

We invite you all to join us for the award unveiling ceremony on January 20th, 2024, by 6 p.m. GMT+1 via Zoom and celebrate the winners of these prestigious awards.
Register and be part of this celebration of our community’s heroes by using this link here.

Ayokanmi Oyeyemi, Wikimedia UG Nigeria

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