Pregnancy, taxes, tragedy top Google searches in Kenya

Monday, December 30th, 2019 08:00 |
Bob Collymore. Photo/File

The search engine listed trendy topics for Kenyans in 2019, saying it is a reflection of societal mood and disposition

A report released by Google yesterday shows that pregnancy tips featured among top Kenyan searches this year.

The report on top trends for 2019 indicated that besides finding out how to get pregnant, Kenyans also wanted to know how to get a baby boy. 

Dorothy Ooko, Head of Communications and Public Affairs for Google Africa, says Year in Search showcases people, topics, events and places that captured the world’s attention and reflects where the heart of the society is.

“Such information means it’s getting harder for Kenyans to get a baby despite the fact that it seems to be obvious how to get one,” she noted.

It also highlights that the Internet is a preferred source of such information in a country that considers sex a taboo.

Gladys Nyachieo, a sociologist at Multimedia University, says sex and other related content seems to be supreme because of emphasis African culture places on having a family. 

‘It’s a biological urge to have sex, have kids, and that’s why it will always trend in the searches. In this day and age, the Internet makes it easier for people to have access to information on how to do things,” she says.

Other topics under the ‘how to’ search included  “how to file tax returns” which topped the list following imposition of tougher penalties by Kenya Revenue  Authority for those who failed to submit returns on time.  Second on this list was “How to apply for a passport”, a popular query arising after the digitisation of the passport applications process. 

Kenyans also wanted to know Form One selections for 2020, after it emerged that several top students were not posted in national high schools of their choice. Huduma Number also trended following the government’s mass registration exercise.

Likoni Ferry tragedy made the list as Kenyans followed the story of Miriam Kigenda and her daughter, Amanda Mutheu, who lost their lives after their vehicle plunged into the Indian Ocean. 

With the intrigues of the Building Bridges Initiative (BBI) report, it was a no brainer that it made the top list as Kenyans tried to interrogate the ‘baby’ of the handshake between President Uhuru Kenyatta and opposition leader Raila Odinga. 

With the country losing many personalities in the year, the search reflected the sombre mood, with people looking for information about the late Safaricom CEO Bob Collymore, musician John DeMathew, the late Bomet Governor Joyce Laboso and the late Kibra MP Ken Okoth.

On a positive note, the second trending person was Eliud Kipchoge who became a popular search after breaking the sub-two hour marathon distance at the INEOS 159 Challenge in Vienna, Austria.  

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