Year in Search: What Kenyans ‘Googled’ in 2021
As we are counting a few days before the year comes to an end, Google has released Kenya’s Year in Search Lists; a summary of an annual look into the year’s top trending searches and queries that had the highest traffic in 2021.
The lists range from global stories to local top 10 lists of trending topics across sports, music, lifestyle, personalities, news, and more, on “how-to” and “What is?” queries’.
Sharon Machira, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager in Kenya, says that Search can help you explore and discover a world of information.
“There are many ways to explore the year through the lens of Google Search”, she begins. “ Google’s 2021 Year in Search Lists compiles the moments, people, topics, events, and places that captured Kenyans’ attention during the year. Search is a useful tool to help people find answers to the biggest questions facing society.”
Over the years, the English Premier League (EPL) has topped the general trending searches and it still retains the position this year.
Kenyans’ love for football dominated the trends with search queries on football clubs in the English Premier League, Serie A, UEFA Champions League, Europa League, and La Liga. People searched to know the league standings, fixtures, and results of their favourite football clubs.
Top trending personality
The second trending query was Uganda elections, that was won by President Yoweri Museveni amid fierce competition from his opponent, Bobi Wine. Kiambaa by-election results, was the third trending search query of the year.
The election was a close contest between the ruling Jubilee Party and the newly formed UDA party. Fourth in the list of general trending searches was IEBC (Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission) probably due to the Commission’s activities as they prepare for next year’s General Election.
The fifth trending query was Kazi Mtaani, an initiative announced by President Uhuru Kenyatta as a measure to cushion the most vulnerable youth in the informal settlements from the effects of COVID-19 pandemic.
The objective is aimed at providing a form of social protection for workers whose prospects for daily or casual work were adversely affected by the containment policies put in place to limit the spread of Covid-19.
Other trending queries were the BBI ruling, KDF recruitment, SGR Booking, Pandora Papers and the tenth trending search query was Afghanistan.
In the local trending personalities, Mukhisa Kituyi was the top trending search personality. The former secretary general for the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development (UNCTAD) declared his intention to vie for the presidency. He was also accused of assault and reported to the police in Mombasa.
In second position was retired President Mwai Kibaki who celebrated his 90th birthday last November, with Martha Koome in the third position after she was appointed Kenya’s first female Chief Justice. Eliud Kipchoge’s name search came fourth as he won a gold medal in the Tokyo Olympics marathon.
Other local personalities who emerged in the list in numerical order are Deputy President William Ruto, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, former Attorney General Charles Njonjo, Dagoretti South MP Simba Arati, Africa’s fastest man in men’s 100m race Ferdinand Omanyala, and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.
In the trending Global Personalities category, Bobi Wine, Uganda’s opposition leader was the top trending personality, followed by Joe Biden, who was elected as the 46th US President. Sports journalist Fabrizio Romano, who specialises in football transfers was the third trending personality.
Other global personalities included Uganda’s President Yoweri Museveni, Alibaba Founder Jack Ma, US Vice President Kamala Harris, British model Naomi Campbell, Tanzania’s President Samia Suluhu, former President of South Africa Jacob Zuma, and American poet Amanda Gorman.
Covid-19 Registry was the top trending search query in the health category followed by AstraZeneca Vaccine.
Chanjo Kenya, which is the Ministry of Health’s Covid-19 Vaccination Portal, was the third trending search health query followed by the Moderna Vaccine. KMTC (Kenya Medical Training College), was the fifth trending search query.
This was due to rising interest in nursing employment opportunities for Kenyans in the United Kingdom. Kenyans also searched for information on Colonoscopy, a non-surgical procedure where a fiber optic camera is used to inspect the health of the large intestines and part of the small intestines.
Signs of Covid-19 was the seventh trending search query in health followed by Bipolar Disorder, a condition associated with episodes of mood swings ranging from depressive lows to manic highs. Glaucoma, a condition of increased pressure within the eyeball, causing gradual loss of sight was the ninth trending search query in health followed by Autism, a neurodevelopmental disorder that includes problems with communication and social behavior.
In the“how to” trending category, “How to find true love” topped the trending search queries while “how to check KCPE and KCSE results came second and third respectively. Kenyans also searched how to register for NHIF via MPESA. Other queries were “how to apply for Kazi Mtaani”, “how to write an application letter”, “how to write a CV” and how to buy tokens.
The top trending lyrics reveal Kenyans’ appetite for Tanzanian and Nigerian songs where search for Tanzanian songstress Zuchu’s hit song ‘Sukari’ lyrics came first followed by lyrics from Nigeria’s Joseph Akinwale Akinfenwa-Donus aka’ Joeboy’s hit song ‘Alcohol’ and another Tanzania Bongo artist Diamond Platinumz whose ‘Naanzaje’ hit attracted the third highest number of searches.
Other hit songs whose lyrics were sought were Ndovu ni Kuu by Kenya’s Boutross Munene and Khaligraph Jones. At position five was Baikoko by Diamond Platinumz.