Commons:Wiki Loves Africa 2023/How to Enter

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How to participate in Wiki Loves Africa

1. Take photos!

This is the fun part! You can enter media (photos, video clips or audio files) that visually or sonically represent the theme. Think of rare and unusual ways of looking at the theme items. Ways we might take for granted around us.

For tips and trick in how to take a good quality image for Commons, take a look at these guidelines:

2. Select the best!

Your media could go onto Wikipedia to illustrate an article. Choose photos and media where the subject matter is clear and in focus. Please do not select dozen of near identical pictures of the same topic!

3. Register on Commons

You have to be registered on Wikimedia Commons to enter the competition and upload a photo or any media. Make sure your email is enabled so that we can contact you if you are a winner! Read Commons:First steps/Account for more information.

4. Enter your photos!

TUTORIAL: How to use the upload wizard to submit a picture

Enter your photographs using this link to go directly to the upload page. Remember to describe the photo and add relevant categories to the image. NOTE: to be eligible for national prizes please make sure you use the dropdown in the upload wizard to select the country the image was taken in.

5. What now?

Now you are registered on Wikipedia, the fun doesn’t stop here!! There are many things you can still do:

  • Find out more about contributing to Commons in this tutorial.
  • Take more amazing photos and enter them!
  • Better describe the images or add your photos to the relevant article on the Wikipedia in your language. Full webinar on the topic
  • If you see that a subject that you are passionate about is not yet on Wikipedia, then you might want to consider writing an article about that subject.
  • There are other photo competitions that contribute to Wikipedia - make sure you enter! Wiki Loves Earth, Wiki Loves Monuments, Wiki Loves Folklore, etc.

How to submit a video to Wikimedia Commons

Whilst participants mostly upload pictures, other files, such as audio and video, are welcome.
For videos, please only submit files in the following formats:

  • .ogg
  • .ogv
  • .webm

Due to complex intellectual property rights issues, Wikimedia Commons can not accept video content that is submitted in any other format.

It is recommended by the Wiki Loves Africa team that you used an off-Wiki conversion tool, such as Handbrake to convert your file to either a .webm format, before uploading the video using the Upload Wizard. It is suggested that you upload video content one video at a time.

For more information, there is a helpful how to guide on how to convert video media into these formats can be found here on Wikimedia.

If you use one of the Wikimedia-based conversion tools, such as Video2commons, then a separate upload process (separate from the upload wizard) is used. If this is the case, you MUST include these two categories when you enter the file details during the process. The two categories are Videos from Wiki Loves Africa 2023 and Images from Wiki Loves Africa 2023 in [your country] otherwise we won't know that you have uploaded them!

A tool can help you to edit videos: VideoCutTool:

VideoCutTool helps users to edit videos in commons and also converts MP4 videos on the user's device to Wikimedia Commons accepted formats. VideoCutTool is also available as a gadget in Wikimedia Commons, You can turn it on from Preferences -> Gadgets -> Check on VideoCutTool -> Save! (i.e WebM/OGV) and upload/re-upload them to Commons on-the-fly [1]. There are several other non open source options as well including Bigasoft and KdenLive.

Other interesting tips

How to choose a license for your picture?

Wikimedia uses Creative Commons licences. Find out more about these licences in this video.

When you upload an image from the contest page, the CC BY SA 4.0 license will be automatically applied. If you want to choose another license, consider reading Commons:First steps/License selection for more insight.

How to upload many images at the same time?

The best tool to do that is Pattypan. Check out Commons:Pattypan. However, this tool has been down for a while and may be unavailable for this year's contest. An alternative tool is OpenRefine.

How to contact the VRTS team to give license permission?

When and how to contact VRTS - full video tutorial in English. Also view on Vimeo.

After you upload a picture, you may be contacted by a commonist who will ask you to submit an VRTS ticket, which is essentially sending an email to document the fact you are the author of this image. There is a tutorial to explain you how to do that: Category:When and how to contact OTRS (video tutorial)

How to join a webinar?

Check out this page for available webinars Wiki Loves Africa 2023/Meetings

How to attribute a picture?

En Français, ce poster peut vous être utile: File:CC CF2 Attribution Poster FR.pdf

How to add categories to your picture?

You might consider reading this page: Commons:Categories

Other things you can do

How to participate to local events?

There are online and in-person events happening in the major cities of countries across Africa.  Please watch the social media channels for news about what is happening near you! Contact the teams!

How to play on ISA?

ISA is a fun, multilingual, mobile-first 'microcontributions' tool, that makes it easy for (groups of inexperienced) people to add structured data to images on Wikimedia Commons.
With ISA, you can choose a pre-defined set of images on Commons and then ask contributors to 'tag' these with multilingual structured metadata. Points are counted for each contribution, and therefore it is possible to organize 'tagging' or microcontributions competitions or challenges with ISA. More info on the ISA Tool.

You may look around and participate to one of the campaigns currently opened:

Additionally, a drive is organized every year (around September-December) to improve the description of all images collected during the previous Wiki Loves Africa. Check out Commons:ISA Tool/Wiki Loves Africa MetaData Weeks.

How to nominate a picture for featured pictures?

Featured picture candidates are images that the community will vote on, to determine whether or not they will be highlighted as some of the finest on Commons. This page lists the candidates to become featured pictures. The picture of the day images are selected from featured pictures. Check out: Commons:Featured picture candidates.

See the list of all pictures uploaded in previous years: Category:Wiki Loves Africa All Images

Insert an image in a Wikipedia article

You may want to find an article without image. You can do that using PetScan.

PetScan may be used to find articles that don't have photos in your preferred language. The steps are highlighted below:

  1. Go to
  2. From Categories tab, you can select your language code (ar, en, fr, pt for example)
  3. Select articles category in this language Wiki. For example the category "Hospitals in Benin" on en:wiki
  4. Click on the "Page Property" tab, then select "Lead image=No".
  5. Click on Do it!.

Once this is done, the list of articles in that category with no photos would be generated.