2017 has been a long year, but in a lot of ways it has also been a short year. On the international scene you had the fury of an improbably elected U.S. President Donald Trump setting the diplomatic world on fire, while domestically Nigerians witnessed everything from rumors that our own President Muhammadu Buhari might be dead, then the Monkeypox outbreak in the east, to the fuel scarcity that more or less ruined Christmas for many.
So we scoured all the major events and happenings of the year, looking for what Nigerians were looking for on the internet. Breaking our findings down into five major categories – People, Events/Stories, Movies/TV Series, Questions, and Songs – we give you 10 the of highest trending searches Nigerians trawled through on Google.
The late Yoruba actress and daughter of highlife legend Victor Olaiya was the most searched person in Google for 2017. Having had a cardiac arrest in Canada, Moji died on May 17. She was 42 years old. She’d only had her second child in Canada in March, so news of her death was taken particularly hard by her colleagues in the Yoruba film industry as well as by her fans around the world.
Evans the Kidnapper
Nigeria’s most wanted kidnapper, Chukwudi Dumem Onuamadkie (popularly known as ‘Evans’), was captured June 10 by the Police after a dramatic gun battle at his Magodo, Lagos, mansion. 36 year old Evans, an Anambra native, was as notorious as he was wealthy, reportedly owning vast properties in Lagos (where he operated) and Accra, Ghana. Evans’ gang stood out in the kidnap-for-ransom racket, a big criminal enterprise in Nigeria, as they were able to extract millions of dollars from the families of the abducted. So when news broke that he and his gang had been captured by the authorities, it was received with both relief and morbid interest. His reign of terror, it seemed, had come to an end. But not before media stories across the nation made us thoroughly familiar with the man and his many misdeeds.
Yes, the perennial ASUU strike has become a feature of the country’s state-funded university system. It seems not a single year rolls by without the requisite academic staff union walkout. 2017 was no different than other years. This year saw it all: the threats, the warnings, the action, the mediation with the Federal Government, the suspension, and the mixed reactions from students saddled with higher tuition fees, and management still dissatisfied with funding levels. Weeks and months of backs and forths, of anticipations and compromises, turned 2017’s version of the ASUU Strike into a noteworthy event.
Everybody saw the pictures – images of a young boy covered from head to feet with blistering pustules making the rounds across media. At first people didn’t know what to make of it, that is until health authorities confirmed that there was an outbreak of monkeypox in Bayelsa state, one of at least 11 cases of the disease identified after an “11-year-old boy… presented symptoms in September,” Newsweek reported. The Nigeria Center for Disease Control (NCDC) said in October that an additional 32 people were being monitored for the virus. The story was a big trender in the 3rd quarter of 2017, with thousands of Google searches and hundreds of news articles dedicated to what had been, until the outbreak, a rather obscure disease.
Fast and Furious 8 & Wonder Woman
This one’s a two-fer. With a predilection for spectacle, is it any wonder that urban Nigerians were excited with the release of two major Hollywood blockbusters – one a franchise favorite (with big draws Dwayne “The Rock” Johnson and Vin Diesel), the other the cinematic reboot of a comic book staple (with Israeli bombshell Gal Gadot). All major cinema chains across Nigerian cities exhibited both movies, not discounting the millions of online downloads that have made both movies regulars on the laptop/smart phone hard drives of your average movie collector.
Is Buhari Dead?
Obviously not. But it’s easy to forget now that a better part of the year was spent in endless speculation by some Nigerians on the health, or lack thereof, of the President, who was on an extended medical leave in the United Kingdom. And despite numerous assurances from the President’s press office, aides, cabinet members and associates that all was well, Nigerians were ill at ease. For a while Vice President Yemi Osinbajo was actually designated Acting President when, for all intents and purposes, the President was “out of service”. Thankfully, he recovered; but by the time he made his way back to the country rumors had turned into “Fake News”, to a point where those who had earnestly bought into the conspiracy were shocked to see the President back on his feet.
How to check Jamb results
Results of JAMB’s Unified Tertiary Matriculation Examination (UTME) for the 1,648,429 candidates that wrote the May 13 exams were released in batches. So the big question was, for those who had just taken the test, how to check their grades. Of course, the JAMB website had an easy step-by-step guide for doing exactly that. Then again, why go through all that trouble when you’re just a Google query away to hundreds of websites and news articles dedicated to helping the clueless candidate navigate the exact what’s and how’s of it. Hence, the search query.
Olamide – ‘Wo’
Davido – ‘Fia’
It would be an understatement to note that two of Nigeria’s biggest music performers and recording artists, ‘Olamide’ (Olamide ‘Baddo’ Adedeji) and ‘Davido’ (David Adedeji Adeleke) had an exceptionally good year. The multiple award-winning, best-selling hip hop and afro-pop stars concluded an auspicious year on an even higher note; with their singles ‘Wo’ and ‘Fia’ respectively topping the charts, dominating club rotations, online downloads and YouTube video views. Their production output and dominance of the local music scene was such that the two have become almost creatively indistinguishable, having collaborated in each other’s projects, yet still managing to be inimitable artistes in their own right. When it came to the top music searches of 2017, it isn’t surprising that the ubiquitous duo came up aces.