Tech giant Google has released its list of top searches that Kenyans made on its platform in 2020.
The top trending search was the US election, while coronavirus came in second place. Globally and in other African countries like Nigeria and South Africa, coronavirus topped the list with the US election coming second.
Rounding up the top 10 searches were queries about re-opening dates for schools after conflicting reports on when students would resume in-person classes.
Kirinyaga Governor Anne Waiguru’s impeachment was also a top search topic this year, coming in at number four. The London marathon, New Year’s Day and Jerusalema, a song by South African artistes Master KG and Nomcebo, followed.
Kenyans also went online to search for information on the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI), the locust invasion and Kakamega Primary School following a deadly stampede in February that left more than 10 children dead.
During the unveiling of the list yesterday, Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Africa, said that the search list not only reveals the most popular trends from the past 12 months, but also gives insight into the biggest events in news, politics, sports and entertainment.
“Besides the general searches, we have categorised the rest in different categories depending on what Kenyans searched most across the year. For instance, in the sports category, the English Premier League and UEFA Champions League were the two most popular searches while foodies wanted to know how to bake a cake using a jiko, cook mandazi, marinate chicken and cook broccoli, ” she offers.
But which people were Kenyans most curious about this year? According to Google, Miguna Miguna, Babu Owino, Raphael Tuju, and Mutahi Kagwe were the top most searched Kenyans.
Teenager Joan Kubai, daughter of city tycoon Peter Kubai, who broke the internet with a tour of her family’s mansion, was the fourth most searched person of interest this year.
Globally, Joe Biden, Kim Jong-Un, Kamala Harris and John Magufuli were among the top ten trending global personality searches.
Under health, the searches were mostly related to coronavirus. The virus, quarantine and dexamethasone, a drug that was tested in the UK and found to have benefits for critically ill patients, were the three top health-related searches. Many also wanted to know how to prevent coronavirus and boost immunity.
Another dominant search on health was “how to get pregnant” and “how to get a baby boy.”
Chess, taxes and loans
The release of The Queen’s Gambit, a series on Netflix, this month saw many Kenyans go online in a bid to learn how to play chess.
On the “How to” section, others were searching how to file nil tax returns, open pdf files, check their NHIF status and register a company in Kenya. With the economic crisis brought on by the pandemic that has seen many individuals lose their source of livelihood or work from home, some wanted a guide on how to check their CRB status and plant onions.
According to the report, Kenyans also made many tech-related searches. “How to fill TSC Tpad online” was the most searched tech item. Others included how to create a website, create a YouTube channel and establish an email account.
Some Kenyans have turned to online freelancing jobs, leading to ‘how to create a PayPal account’ – a global money transfer platform that allows you to receive and send money – appearing among the top trends.