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2020 - Top 10 Google Searches in Zimbabwe and what they mean

by Edzai Zvobwo
16 Dec 2020 at 09:51hrs | Views
Google lists the most searched topics and queries by country, category, period in time and channel through its Google Trends offering. Looking at the Zimbabwean trends, one can have a snapshot of what were the prevailing themes in the country in any given period of time.

Google Trends is a search trends feature that shows how frequently a given search term is entered into Google's search engine relative to the site's total search volume over a given period of time. Google Trends can be used for comparative keyword research and to discover event-triggered spikes in keyword search volume.

Google Trends provides keyword-related data including search volume index and geographical information about search engine users.

The tool allows you to compare the popularity of search terms and trends. With a number of different features, it allows you to gain an understanding of the hottest search trends of the moment along with those developing in popularity over time.

The lists below show the Top 10 search queries on five Google-provided channels for the period starting January 2020 until 16 December 2020. The lists are dynamic and will have changed by the time you read this post. The channels under consideration for this post are:
Web Search
1.    coronavirus
2.    covid 19
3.    corona virus
4.    coronavirus zimbabwe
5.    coronavirus update
6.    us elections
7.    weather tomorrow
8.    ginimbi
9.    goojara

The Zimbabwean web searches were dominated by  queries to understand and get updates around the COVID-19 pandemic hence the top 5 queries were all corona virus related. This pandemic had a devastating effect on people's way of life thus it is was expected to dominate the queries.
The US elections were dramatic with Donald J. Trump losing to Joe Biden. There was a lot of drama associated with the election thus it is not surprising that it ranks highly on the queries list. I bet Zimbabweans looked with keen interest as Trump threw allegations of vote rigging, something Zimbos are accustomed to.

People always check the weather in planning for the next day, so "weather tomorrow" just had to be part of the list.
The horrific death of socialite, Genius "Ginimbi" Kadungure sent shockwaves across the world. He was equally loved and loathed no wonder his death was well covered in all circles of life. Even conspiracy theories about how he made his money surfaced at the time of his passing.  May His Soul Rest in Peace . He was the most searched person in Zimbabwe for 2020.   

With the pandemic in full swing, Zimbabweans resorted to indoor hobbies and activities. One of the favourite past-times of a modern person is being glued to a screen watching movies. Goojara was the most searched platform for movie entertainment. The fact that it is a "free" service must have had a hand it its popularity. Clearly Zimbabweans did not "Netflix and Chill".

Lastly, Zimbabweans resorted to the low-data use news platform called OperaNews to get their daily dosage of updates.

Image Search
1.    latest football news
2.    inspirational quotes
3.    covid 19
4.    tik tok
5.    birthday wishes
6.    good night
7.    nature
8.    passion java
9.    epl
10.    good morning

For Image Search, the winner was football. Zimbabweans looked for the latest football news. This is surprising considering that most football leagues were not operating for the better part of the year. I guess this sport is truly the people's sport, whether being played or not.
In dark times, it is crucial that we remain resolute and look within and without for courage and inspiration. With the problems that 2020 came with, Zimbabweans cannot be faulted for their "inspirational quotes" search queries.

Covid 19 featured on this list as expected.
The new global craze is Tik Tok. This offering by the company ByteDance has taken the world by storm, it has sent shockwaves across the social media sphere such that older social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter are running around to try and emulate its functionality. Some have even gone down the route of employing the good old tricks of involving government help in banning the application. Time will tell, who the real winner of the social media battle is.

I guess people could not attend birthdays in person so they resorted to sending virtual birthday gifts. For the gifts to be meaningful, one had to be thoughtful about it hence the need to search the length and breadth of the internet for a suitable one.

It is intriguing that "good night", "good morning" and "nature" were on the highest image searches for 2020. I have no explanation for these ones. If you know, please feel free to comment.

The flamboyance of Ginimbi's nemesis Passion Java did not go unnoticed. He was the most searched person in Zimbabwe via Image search. I guess people wanted to see his extravagant lifestyle. I didn't knowthat being a Prohet was that profitable, even if churches are non-profit organisations. Like Ginimbi, Passion Java has a lot of admirers and haters. Famed journalist, Hopewell Chin'ono is well-known for labelling people like Passion Java and Ginimbi as a cancer in the Zimbabwean society and they practice unproductive and extractive entrepreneurship that does not benefit society in its quest for freedom and true independence. A lot of ghetto youths differed in opinion to the seasoned journalist.

News Search
1.    coronavirus
2.    Chelsea news
3.    Facebook login
4.    John mangudya latest news
5.    China
6.    Bulawayo 24

It is quite interesting that Zimbabwean news searches could not make up 10 queries. I am at a loss of words, maybe some out there has an explanation.
As has been the theme throughout the different Google channels, COVID-19 and football have been permanent entrants into the most searched lists.
There was a lot of chopping and changing of monetary and fiscal policies thus it comes as no surprise that the man at the centre of the country financial affairs John Mangudya, was the most googled person in News Search. The changes were so frequent that Zimbabweans, searched for the latest news in order to keep up.

China, the origin of the coronavirus was well searched under news. Its business dealings with the Mnangagwa-led government meant Zimbabwean citizens had to keep a keen eye on what China was doing in 2020 as it had a direct effect on the health of the country in every sphere of life.
Bulaway 24 was the biggest online source for Zimbabwean news. It is the only publication that made the Top 10 list.

Google Shopping
There were no entries for Google Shopping. This might be as a result of the absence of the service in Zimbabwe.
YouTube Search
1.    African movies 2020
2.    Wadiwa wepamoyo
3.    John vuli gate
4.    Hello mwari
5.    Action movies 2020
6.    Pop smoke
7.    Zimdancehall 2020
8.    Latest African movies 2020
9.    Jah prayzah munyaradzi
10.    Amapiano 2020

The YouTube Search list shows that Zimbabweans mainly use the platform for entertainment purposes. All 10 top queries were entertainment related with the top one being a search for African movies. The rest is afro-pop music highlighting the general taste of citizens.

I hope that these lists have given you a snapshot of Zimbabwe in 2020 informed by Google searches across their five channels. My interpretations are not written in stone, please comment with your explanations of why people were searching what they were searching. What does this all mean?

Data Source:
Disclaimer: This data was extracted at 07:20 AM on the 16th of December 2020 and may have changed by the time you have a look at it.

Source - Edzai Zvobwo