Of Wikis and Pedias…

Rome was not built in a day


Last month, the East African Institute issued a very discouraging report that indicated 50% of Kenyan youth condone corruption. I am curious about the size of the study for the obvious reason that an inadequate sample can skew the true results of any research. Doubts aside, it is sad to imagine that any promising damsel or lad would think this is the way to Rome. Rome was not built in a day and any different path will simply result in a house of cards.

More creative emphasis needs to be put on an education where ethical dilemmas are simulated helping students (employees / employers in waiting) to be able to anticipate and take appropriate action when faced with real life situations. Good examples also need to be showcased to continuously encourage our growing and ambitious selves that it is possible to excel without greasing palms.

Last month as well, Wikipedia celebrated 15 years of its existence. The tributes that came in were nothing short of beautiful. An 11 year-old talked of Wikipedia being with him since he was 5 and continued to praise it for its resourcefulness. As I rummaged through the ‘special edition’ HTML, I came across its audited financials and was pleasantly shocked by the amount of contributions* that continues to keep this multilingual, web-based, free-content encyclopedia afloat. Here are some numbers…



2005 2009 2010 2014 2015

Contributions ($)

70,491 292,571 6,297,433 14,490,273 49,611,670


* Contributions is the actual cash gifts and payments given towards perpetuating its cause

What these numbers reveal:

  1. Commitment pays. Since 2001 Wikipedia has not wavered in its cause and this is clearly stated in its 1st pillar that it is an encyclopedia AND NOT a soapbox, an advertising platform, a vanity press, an experiment in anarchy or democracy, an indiscriminate collection of information, or a web directory. Reflection: Who am I? What am I really about?
  2. Consistency pays. The only one time Wikipedia did not SHOW UP for work was, when in solidarity with over 100,000 other websites, it joined in the internet blackout protest against the SOPA and PIPA. The enactments of these bills would severely curtail online freedom. In quick response, the U.S. Congress withdrew the unwanted bid. Reflection: What are my obvious strengths and how are these being made inconsistent by my inherent weaknesses? What are my near opportunities and why are unknown threats consistently paralyzing my efforts in pursuing them?
  3. Collaboration pays. Wikipedia financials (click here) continues to reveal its investment in strategic PARTNERSHIPS that has undoubtedly led to the 375 million visitors it boasts of monthly. Core to this are the over 80,000 Wikipedians who keep Wikimedia’s mission of providing free educational content to the world alive. Reflection: Who are my life partners? How are we keeping each other alive?

Real questions. Real lessons. Real life. Here’s to zero-tolerance to corruption. Happy Friday!🌼


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