To celebrate International Women’s Day on the 8th March 2018, Wikimedia Sweden and the  in support the Swedish Government’s Feminist Foreign Policy facilitated WikiGap events in collaboration with Swedish Embassy’s around the world. More than 50 countries took part in WikiGap with over 1600 participants and more than 2,000 articles about notable women were added or improved.

Countries across Africa were excited to hold WikiGap events, however not all of these countries have Wikimedia groups or activities to support these events. One such country was Zimbabwe. To make the event happen, Martin Larsen, communications officer at the Swedish Embassy in Harare, liaised with Wiki Loves Women’s Isla Haddow-Flood.

To make the event happen, there was a lot of pre-event activity that involved advice, document compilation and long-distance meetings being held while activities and partnerships built in Harare. Vital local partnerships with the Magamba Network, Gender & Media Connect and Capitalk 100.4FM were approached to support the event. A call was made via social media asking for nominations of notable Zimbabwean women with 70 women of importance being nominated. Groups of interested journalists and writers were invited to take part, and once they had committed, were given initial long-distance training and notes on how to build their articles before the event.

On the 6th March, Isla flew in from Cape Town to Harare to meet with Martin, the team and the writers and prepare for the 8th March event. Wiki Loves Women t-shirts and badges were handed out and last minute guidelines given. There was also an interesting discussion about one woman who had been nominated, but did not want an article about her on Wikipedia.

The 8th March kicked off with a interview with the Swedish Ambassador, Sofia Calltorp, on Capitalk 100.4FM’s breakfast show. Then the teams were up and running the the Magamba Network premises in leafy Belgravia. After an introduction and live cast from the Swedish Ambassador Sofia Calltorp (who was in Bulawayo) and a welcome and spin through the Wiki-universe from Isla, the teams got down to finishing their articles and starting on others.  Some of the women that the teams were writing about (them Isabella Matambanadzo, Ruvheneko and Fadzai Mahere) popped in and we took the opportunity to take stunning profile photos.

In April, the status of the articles are as follows:

Articles are still in the process of being reviewed:

These articles made it into the main article space:

That evening Capitalk 100.4FM’s Donald Mukota discussed the visibility of women on International Women’s day with Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Sofia Calltorp, Isla and Abigal Gamanya, Director at Gender and Media Connect. You can hear and see the full interview in the video below.

Donald Mukota speaks to Swedish Ambassador to Zimbabwe, Ambassador Sofia Calltorp, Isla Haddow Flood-Chairperson of Wiki Media in Africa and Abigal Gamanya Director at Gender and Media Connect#leadingtheconversation

Posted by Capitalk100.4FM on Thursday, 8 March 2018

The event was fun and worthwhile. Work is ongoing on some of the articles and we are hoping to keep the group activated around other WikiAfrica and Wikimedia based events in near future. Thank you to the Embassy of Sweden in Harare for their support and amazing organisation of this event, and for asking us to take part – and thank you to the amazing group of writers who plunged into the Wikiworld with such enthusiasm!

Key links:

Featured pic: Participants at WikiGap in Harare (from left): From left :
Stephanie Kapfunde, Chenai Chair, Trish Chademana, Koliwe Majama, Isla Haddow-Flood, Wisdom Mumera, Sipathisiwe Masuku, Seymour Chinemberi, Siza Mukwedini, Martin Buch Larsen. Front row : Lorraine Gboya, Munya Dodo. Back row w/raised hands: Watmore Makokoba. Photo: Martin Larsen