From now on, MTN users will have free access to Wikipedia, thanks to a group of brave young learners from a township school in Cape Town.

Last year, learners from Sinenjongo High School set up an online petition calling on all the mobile networks in South Africa to provide free access to Wikipedia, as they and many other underprivileged learners around the country, don’t always have airtime or internet to access the service for school projects and information.

MTN decided to heed the learners’ call after being #NekNominated by Five Roses Tea. We know we’ve put up a couple of #NekNomination stories up on our htxt.africa, but this one stands out so much for us because it will have a lasting effect that will be felt long after the craze has died down.

This is more than just a random act of kindness, it has potential to change the quality of education for learners who have so little resources at their disposal. A team of MTN employees created a video similar to the one by the Sinenjongo learners, where they read out a response to their call.

“You recently shared a video asking South African cellular networks to give their customers free access to Wikipedia…We know that many school children in the country don’t have access to free research material, which can make excelling at school so much more difficult. That’s why MTN is proud to be the first South African cellular network to make Wikipedia free.”

Will this inspire Cell C, Vodacom and Telkom Mobile to do the same? We certainly hope so.