The interest of Nigerians in entertainment and sports-related topics was prominent as Google released the 2021 ‘year in search results, which reflect the most searched terms, topics, and questions for the year.
The list had several categories which ranged from musicians and athletes to recipes and most asked questions. The focus is however on the most searched topics overall which reflects the topics that really captured Nigerians attention.
Nigerians love for sports was evident as 6 of the top topics were sports-related while the remaining four were about celebrities and people. So without further ado, let’s check out the 10 topics that really captured the interest of Nigerians during the year.
The Paralympics was originally scheduled to take place from 25th August to 6th September 2020 in Tokyo, Japan. It was however postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and rescheduled to hold from 24 August to 5 September 2021, still referred to as Tokyo 2020.
Nigeria went to the 2020 Tokyo Paralympics with 22 athletes and won a total of 10 medals. The team finished with four gold, one silver, and five bronze medals. It is first on the trends table because many Nigerians commended the team for making the country proud as they had a better outing than Team Nigeria at the regular Olympic Games.
2. Euro 2020
The Euro 2020 was hosted across 11 cities in Europe in commemoration of the 60th anniversary of the European Championship competition. Like most sports festivals, it was postponed due to the pandemic and eventually held from June 11- July 11 2021.
After competition among 24 national teams, the final match was between Italy and England. The match took place at Wembley Stadium in London. Italy won the match through a penalty shootout after a 1-1 draw.
England players Saka, Sancho and Rashford were victims of racial abuse online after missing penalties in the shoot-out. A mural honouring Rashford was also defaced. The acts were condemned by sports lovers and the players expressed their gratitude for the support they received on their social media accounts.
3. Olympic Games Tokyo 2020
The 2020 Summer Olympics took place in Tokyo. Originally scheduled to take place from 24 July to 9 August 2020, the Games were postponed and eventually held from 23 July to 8 August 2021, because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
Nigeria competed at the Olympics with 55 athletes and won only two medals; a silver in wrestling by Blessing Oborududu and bronze in athletics ( women’s long jump) by Ese Brume. Team Nigeria suffered a blow when star sprinter, Blessing Okagbare was provisionally suspended for doping after testing positive for human growth hormone.
Ten Nigerian athletes were also disqualified from competing at the Olympics because they had not met the minimum doping test requirements for the competition. The disqualified athletes protested on the streets of Tokyo and held up signs claiming Nigerian sports and anti-doping authorities were responsible for them not meeting the testing criteria.
All these incidents piqued the curiosity of many Nigerians and were responsible for their sustained interest.
4. T. B Joshua
The sudden death of Prophet T. B Joshua on June 5, this year was one that surely rocked the Nigerian internet this year. The popular but controversial Nigerian evangelical preacher was also a philanthropist as testified by people online and at the synagogue upon news of his death.
One of the biggest scandals he was involved in was when a guesthouse in the premises of his ministry, Synagogue Church of All Nations (SCOAN) collapsed killing 116 people, most of them South Africans who were on a religious pilgrimage.
Outside Nigeria, he was held in high regard to the extent that in 2009, former Ghanaian president, late John Atta Mills, flew to Nigeria for a thanksgiving service at the Synagogue Church saying that the preacher had accurately predicted his victory at the poll.
The preacher is remembered for his philanthropical acts towards the disabled, indigents and less privileged.
5. La Liga
La Liga, the Spanish top-flight football league suffered an upset after the departure of arguably its best player: Lionel Messi. Messi left F.C Barcelona after playing for the club for 21 years. The player moved to Paris St. Germain after a teary farewell at Camp Nou.
But before then, Atletico Madrid had won the league, making it their 11th title. The presence of the Spanish league on the Nigerians trend table shows that Nigerians have diverse interests in their love for football.
The 2020/21 EPL season was initially scheduled to commence on 8 August 2020 and end on 16 May 2021. But this was delayed until 12 September as a consequence of the postponement of the previous season’s conclusion due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Manchester City won the league in an emphatic fashion, amassing 86 points, a dozen more than closest rivals, Manchester United. The win was their fifth premier league title and third title under the current manager, Pep Guardiola.
The English Premier League is one Nigerians are fascinated with as supporters of the clubs often exchange banter on social media, on news stands, in beer parlours and virtually everywhere.
7. Champions League
If you described the UEFA Champions League as the biggest football event in the world, you won’t be far from the truth. Teams from the top leagues in Europe compete for a chance to be crowned champions of the continent. But only one king could emerge and last season was Chelsea won emerged winners after defeating their English counterparts, Manchester City.
It is unsurprising that the league trended in Nigeria especially as the winning team has a very strong fanbase in the country. It was a spectacular win for the team as they changed coach mid-season; from Frank Lampard to Thomas Tuchel.
Nobody expected them to win the title as a result of the change in administration and tactics but the team pulled it off in about four months. The club’s Nigerian fans distributed freebies and even did thanksgiving in church.
8. Tiwa Savage
Nigerian pop musician, Tiwa Savage made quite a wave this year when a sex tape was leaked online. The artist had earlier mentioned the possibility of a leak as she was been blackmailed. When the tape made its way to the internet, some felt it was a publicity stunt.
The female musician urged her fans to ignore the sex tape and focus on her art. She jokingly referred to the tape while performing at a concert, with an expression that she had moved on.
Reports, however, suggested that the raunchy musical act has lost four endorsement deals due to the leak. These endorsements reportedly include Cadbury, a beverage company, Pampers, a diaper company, Glo a network service and one other company.
With public reactions ranging from disappointment to commendation for being able to speak up about the blackmail, Tiwa herself has ignored the tape and has continued to promote her music and give her fans peeks into her luxury lifestyle on Instagram.
9. Obi Cubana
Obi Cubana was an obscure businessman, known only to those who were in the nightlife business. All that changed when he threw his mother one of the most expensive burial ceremonies the country has seen in a while.
The ceremony was attended by people from all walks of life and saw an excessive show of extravagance and a downpour of money which onlookers fought to grab. He was further thrust into the main light when he started appearing in Instagram skits and granting interviews.
The business mogul was arrested by the Economic and Financial Crimes Commission (EFCC) for alleged money laundering, tax fraud and other illicit financial deals. He was released on bail after 3 days and may be required to visit the EFCC headquarters from time to time until the conclusion of the investigation.
10. Sound Sultan
The death of Lanre Fasasi, popularly known as Sound Sultan was a painful one for the Nigerian music industry. The musician died after a battle with throat cancer in the United States of America.
In the singer’s last post on Instagram, he referenced a song by Patoranking ‘Celebrate Me‘, saying that people should be celebrated while alive instead of pretending to love them when they are gone.
Upon his death, people described the post as a premonition and dropped their condolences. He was regarded as one of the pacesetters of modern hip hop music in Nigeria and was notable for using his music to speak against poverty, corruption, bad governance and societal ills in Nigeria.
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