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Jacob Juma tops Kenya search topics in 2016

By Frankline Sunday | Published Thu, December 15th 2016 at 00:00, Updated December 15th 2016 at 09:08 GMT +3
Jacob Juma

Slain businessman Jacob Juma and former first lady the late Lucy Kibaki were among the most searched personalities in this year, Google has revealed.

Other top search queries this year included "what is devolution", "how to gain weight in one day" and "how to calculate safe days", even as Kenyans online closely followed major global events like the Rio Olympics and the US elections.

The Euro 2016 football tournament was the most searched query by Kenyans this year followed by US president-elect Donald Trump as Kenyans kept themselves up to speed on the historic US elections.

Mr Trump ran his campaign on an anti-immigration platform, promising to review the US immigration policy and roll back the gains made by his predecessor president Barack Obama, who traced his roots to Kenya.

Curiosity around Trump among Kenyans online was muted most of the year but spiked from October 9 and peaked during the US election week before falling sharply in the beginning of this month.

Mombasa recorded almost twice as much queries about the US president-elect as Nairobi, with interest in America's next first lady Melania Trump recording a 1,750 per cent surge in public interest.

The 2016 Rio Olympics, Jacob Juma, Hilary Clinton and Muhammad Ali rounded up the list of top-five search queries in the country in 2016.

Google is the largest search engine in the world, processing 40,000 search queries each second and this year the firm's index of top globally searched queries has been dominated by events in the US and Britain.

Pokemon Go, iPhone 7, Donald Trump, the musician Prince and the US Powerball were the five most-searched items globally.

Jacob Juma's mysterious shooting in May seemed to have dominated queries to the search engine with most Kenyans seeking to know the cause of his death, burial, wealth and Twitter activity respectively.

The slain businessman's funeral and association with Deputy President William Ruto also ranked in the list of most searched queries by Kenyans on Google.

The demise of Kenya's former first lady the late Lucy Kibaki in April marked the final chapter of a complicated legacy for the country's most iconic first lady.

Rumours about her health had been swirling all over social media for the better part of the last year after the former first lady dropped off public limelight and news that she had passed on in a London hospital following an undisclosed illness further fuelled the rumour mill.

Kenyans online further seemed to be obsessed with staying in shape in 2016 with "lose weight fast" and "get a flat stomach" topping the list of "how to" searches typed by Kenyans into the search engine.

Other top "how to" searches include "calculate my pregnancy", "stop smelly feet" and "calculate my safe days". The query "how to gain weight in one day" also emerged in the top 10 health queries by Kenyans this year.

Kenyans online were also keen on alternative sources of information with "how to create a blog" emerging the second most trending "how to" query.

Other "how to" searches include "keep natural hair soft", "save money" and "bleach skin professionally" indicating the obsessions with skin-lightening is growing in the country.

The war in Syria did not go unnoticed in Kenya with "What is happening in Aleppo" emerging the top most "What is" search queries by internet users in the country followed by "What is going on in Ethiopia".

What is devolution, candidiasis, nausea, halitosis and pdf were the other top ranking "what is" queries.

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