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Google Trends: Kenya’s 2021 hot topics

By Winfrey Owino | Dec 26th 2021 | 3 min read
By Winfrey Owino | December 26th 2021

At the strike of midnight on December 31, 2020, President Uhuru Kenyatta termed 2021 as the year of rebuilding, and ‘a year of limitless opportunity’.

“We cannot reverse our losses but we can only rebuild what we had in 2019,” President Uhuru stated in his New Year’s Nation Address.

With days left to the end of 2021, the country has gained, lost and in some instances created historic moments.

For instance, at the beginning of the year, all learners resumed physical learning after a nine-month break as a result of the Covid-19 Pandemic. Towards the middle of the year, the treasury signaled economic recovery and towards the end, the President vacated the dusk-dawn curfew.

Despite learning to live with the virus, health experts have warned of future mutations and the emergence of more variants of the Coronavirus which has so far been witnessed globally while the push for vaccination intensified.

Throughout the year, a number of Trends came up on social media ranging from politics, economy, lifestyle, celebrities, sports, and entertainment.

According to Google Trends, the most-searched trends of the year, in general, were the English Premier League Table and updates, Uganda elections, Kiambaa By-elections, the IEBC, Kazi Mtaani Application, BBI Ruling, KDF Recruitment 2021, Standard-Gauge Railway (SGR) Booking, Pandora Papers, and Afghanistan.

Google Trends is a website by Google that analyses the popularity of top search queries in Google Search across various regions and languages.

In a normal situation, when a topic is trending, it gets noticed by so many people. In an effort to establish the facts surrounding the said topic, they rush to google to find out more details.

The analysis names 2022 Presidential aspirant Mukhisa Kituyi as the leading trending local personality on the internet.

In June, a video of the presidential hopeful in a compromising situation with a woman allegedly while on vacation in Mombasa emerged online and elicited mixed reactions. The video made rounds on various social media platforms and became the subject of discussion.

However, during an interview months later, Kituyi downplayed the video, saying he won’t be derailed by “non-issues”.

Other local public personalities who were on the top trends were former President Mwai Kibaki, Kenya’s first female Chief Justice Martha Koome, Marathon record holder Eliud Kipchoge, Deputy President William Ruto, Machakos Governor Alfred Mutua, former Attorney General Charles Njonjo, Dagoretti North MP Simba Arati, fastest Kenyan sprinter Ferdinand Omanyala, and Gatundu South MP Moses Kuria.

In the last 12 months, a number of deaths and losses have occurred and according to Google, the top trending loss was the demise of Tanzania’s President John Magufuli.

The death of Magufuli was announced on March 17, about two weeks after he was last seen in public. Prior to the announcement, he had been trending on various social media platforms with speculation of his death dominating the internet.

Other top trending deaths in Kenya this year were businessman Chris Kirubi, American Rapper DMX, Nigerian Evangelist TB Joshua, veteran politician Jakoyo Midiwo, Queen Elizabeth’s husband Prince Philip, former MPs Simeon Nyachae, and Kalembe Ndile.

In the health sector, vaccination dominated almost all the trends. Starting with the Covid-19 Registry, which according to Google, was the leading trend throughout the year in Health.

The Covid-19 Registry is a self-service portal by the Ministry of Health for all Kenya residents to aid in the Covid-19 vaccination process.

Other health terms that were sought for most in 2021 were AstraZeneca vaccine, Chanjo Kenya, Moderna Vaccine and the Kenya Medical Training College (KMTC).

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