The biggest trends in South Africa in 2015

Google has released its ‘Zeigeist’ for 2015, showing which terms and topics were the biggest trends in South Africa over the past 12 months.

While President Jacob Zuma dominated discussions over social media during the year, South Africans turned to the world’s biggest Internet company for more pressing issues:

Load shedding was the biggest trending topic in the country in 2015, after the dreaded blackout left South Africans in the dark for more than half the year.

Other searches which topped the trends include, xenophobia, the Cricket World Cup, as well as various celebrities such as August Alsina, Lamar Odom, Caitlyn Jenner and Jeremy Clarkson.

Murdered musician, Flabba, was the top trending South African in 2015, and actor Simba Mhere, who died in a car accident, was the second most searched South African.

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South Africa Trending: Overall Searches

  1. Load shedding
  2. August Alsina
  3. Xenophobia
  4. Cricket World Cup
  5. Lamar Odom
  6. Caitlyn Jenner
  7. Adele Hello
  8. Flabba
  9. BMW i8
  10. Jeremy Clarkson


Trending South African

  1. Flabba
  2. Simba Mhere
  3. Cassper Nyovest
  4. Pastor Zondo
  5. Collins Chabane
  6. Pulane Lenkoe
  7. Senzo Meyiwa
  8. Itumeleng Khune
  9. Saba Mbixane
  10. Jackie Selebi


Trending Current Affairs

  1. Load shedding
  2. Xenophobia
  3. Charlie Charlie
  4. Charlie Hebdo
  5. Ashley Madison
  6. Collins Chabane
  7. Boko Haram
  8. Isis
  9. Nepal Earthquake
  10. SONA

As part of its Zeirgeist, Google also provides some insight into ‘phrase searches’ – specifically queries on how to do things, or to find out what things are.

These were the most searched “how to” and “what is” topics in 2015:

How To…

  1. How to cast
  2. How to apologise
  3. How to e-wallet
  4. How to kick
  5. How to smoke
  6. How to treat
  7. How to paint
  8. How to prank
  9. How to quickscope
  10. How to bat

What Is…

  1. What is xenophobia
  2. What is ebola
  3. What is occupation
  4. What is isis
  5. What is constipation
  6. What is shrub
  7. What is rpl
  8. What is meth
  9. What is polyamory
  10. What is submissive

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The biggest trends in South Africa in 2015