FOOTBALLERS and hip-hop artists are the most popular people googled in Africa, this according to data provided to TIME by Google in 2015.
But it’s not all about homegrown talent - the most popular were in fact international football players like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo, and controversial international artists, such as Chris Brown and Nicki Minaj or, in North Africa, Lebanese singer Elissa.
Cameroon and Togo were the only countries that googled their homegrown players the most - Samuel Eto’o, a Cameroonian footballer and the most decorated African player of all time and in Togo, Sheyi Emmanuel Adebayor, who is currently being linked with a move to Crystal Palace.
There were a few countries where the most googled people were local talent. In Ghana, hip hop artist Michael Owusu Addo - known by his stage name Sarkodie - is a bit of a headline grabber and social media veteran.
But what made these individuals popular could also be linked to controversy over the last year. Ugandans most popular person search was for Desire Luzinda, a Ugandan pop singer. However, it could be her personal life and promise of what they could find by searching her name that kept people looking - in November 2014, Luzinda was involved in a scandal when she alleged that her former boyfriend started to circulate her nude pictures for revenge.
Similarly, in Algeria last year, singer Ahmed Khelifati Mohamed, better known by his stage name Cheb Mami, was fined 200,000 Euros for plagiarism - copying, at least in part, the lyrics of several songs written by songwriter Rabah Zerradine, who performs under the name Cheb Rabah. A factor which could’ve contributed to the large number of searches.
Away from the drama
Not all African countries were all about drama and entertainment though.
Despite being the home of Nollywood, Muhammadu Buhari, Nigeria’s president is the most searched person. In Burundi and Rwanda, their leaders - who were both in the limelight because of their intentions to run for a third term - are the biggest searches.
In Tanzania, Edward Lowassa, President John Magufuli’s main opponent in the 2015 presidential elections was the most searched while in Kenya, Obama’s visit to his father’s country kept him in the top position for most searched person.