Nairobi, KENYA: Former president Mwai Kibaki was the top trending personality of the year after rumors about his health and demise, while Embakasi East legislator Babu Owino, was the second trending personality after he dominated news headlines for various reasons after his election to the August house.
This year’s most trending searches reveal that Kenyans turned to Google to search more about the 2017 General Election.
According to Google Africa head of Communications and Public Affairs for East and Francophone Africa Dorothy Ooko, Searches related to the elections occupied six positions on the list of ten top trending general searches as Kenyans keenly followed events surrounding the elections.
“When Kenyans weren’t keeping up to date with the local political scene, they sought to find out more about prominent figures and global events. From Mwai Kibaki, Janet Kanini, Robert Mugabe, Joseph Nkaissery, Chris Msando to Jimmy Wanjigi, Kenyans demonstrated an interest in these individuals who made news headlines in 2017. Questions on Catalonia’s independence, the tragic Hurricane Irma and the Zimbabwe coup also dominated online searches showing Kenyans’ desire to understand global experiences.” She added.
She added that Kenyans were interested in all things sports, from the Africa Cup of Nations, the Mayweather Vs McGregor boxing match to the Confederations Cup, the nation’s love for sports was at an all-time high despite the political tension experienced throughout the year.
Top on the list of all the general trending searches was IEBC results because, in a year largely characterized by electioneering events, Kenyans went online to search for events around the general elections such as; NASA Coalition and its flag bearer, the Jubilee Party and the presidential results were amongst the top trending search items around the Kenya Elections.
Therefore the phrase Tibim morphed into a political slogan and was also among the trending searches.
“The word traces its origin to Embakasi East MP, Babu Owino who first used it during a political rally. He later said “Tibim is Greek word meaning revolution, political revolution”. She said.
Gambia also attracted the attention of Kenyans online emerging the second most trending search after the country held her first parliamentary elections since the new president, Adama Barrow ascended to power ending Yahya Jammeh’s 22-year rule.
Ezra Chiloba, CEO of IEBC also made to the trending list after August 8th elections and pressure from the opposition side to resign
Kenyans love for football was demonstrated by searches for sports personalities where Chelsea striker, Álvaro Morata, Manchester United’s Romelu Lukaku and Liverpool winger, Philippe Coutinho were top three trending sports personalities.
On Trending health searches, Guillain Barré (GB) syndrome, a disorder in which the body’s immune system attacks the nerves came in first, followed by “How to lose weight”, “How to lose belly fat” and “How to get pregnant” as Kenyans sought answers to these questions from Google.
Cholera, an acute diarrheal disease that can kill within hours if untreated also trended after the country saw a wave of outbreaks in various parts of the country including Garissa, Tana River and Nairobi Counties.
In the county searches category, IEBC remained top of the trending searches in Kisumu, Mombasa and Eldoret.
Likewise, football dominated the county searches with Chelsea being the top trending team in Mombasa and Eldoret while Arsenal being the favourite in Kisumu county.
In the global scene, Hurricane Irma was the top trending search item while Matt Lauer, the former Today Show host became the trending personality after faced allegations of sexual harassment of his female colleagues at NBC.
The year also saw internet users across the world search for “how to make slime”.The process of making slime has been described as fun, therapeutic and stress relieving, a supposed reason for the internet obsession around it.
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information of every day which is a top web property in all major global markets.