It’s been a busy week for South Africans, as they waited to find out whether Jacob Zuma would resign or be pushed out by parliament. Ultimately, they got their answer on Wednesday, 14 February 2018, when they were also looking for Valentine’s Day tips. At the same time, news broke of the passing of Zimbabwe’s most prominent opposition leader – Morgan Tsvangirai.
Jacob Zuma was the name on everyone’s lips this week. For most of the past seven days, they were unsure of whether he would resign willingly, be pushed out by parliament, or take more drastic action. Ultimately, he chose the first option, announcing his resignation late on Wednesday night. The search peak, however, came on Tuesday, when the term “Zuma” saw more than 500 000 searches. This after the ANC National Executive Committee announced that it would recall him.
South Africans also learned about the death of Zimbabwe’s opposition leader Morgan Tsvangirai, resulting in more than 100 000 searches for his name. For a long time, Tsvangirai was former Zimbabwean president Robert Mugabe’s most formidable opponent and, in 2008, came close to unseating him. Ultimately, however, cancer caught up with the veteran politician. He was 65.
Interestingly, given that South Africa only has one athlete competing, the Winter Olympics have generated some serious search interest, with more than 200 000 searches occurring on Friday.
On a less serious note, several Valentine’s Day-related searches trended throughout the week. “Valentine’s Day Quotes” saw more than 50 000 searches on Wednesday and “Valentine’s Day” did the same on Tuesday, along with “Happy Valentines Day My Love” and “Valentine Messages.”
Finally, illustrating South Africa’s love of football, “Real Madrid” saw more than 100 000 searches on Tuesday, following their victory over PSG.
Other terms that trended included “Duduzane Zuma” (50 000+ searches), “Nedbank Cup Results” (50 000+ searches), and “Ash Wednesday” (20 000+ searches).
Search trends in South Africa tend to be news and sports-driven. People search for things they hear or see on the news, and sports search terms trend several times a week, on average, every week.