The electioneering year besides giving birth to new leaders also saw popular personalities emerge.
Kenya’s top 20 internet sensations of 2022 [Pulse Picks]
Pulse Picks features Kenya's top internet trends in 2022 among them personalities such as Peter Salasya and other trends like Shembeteng, Sina Maoni and Pikipiki Ponki.
Thanks to the elections we now have popular figures such as Peter Salasya who besides driving their agendas in the August House continue tickling us.
Besides politicians, social media gave way to creators and trends that took charge in 2022.
Through Twitter, Facebook and TikTok their going humorous nature mostly made them familiar faces to Kenyan audiences. While some continue to enjoy the fame, for others the moment was short-lived and have since been forgotten.
From responding to questions from the media to comedy skits and perfect mimics of public figures, these personalities continue to crack our ribs.
Here are the top internet sensations of 2022.
1. Peter Salasya
From near abject poverty to sitting in the National Assembly, the story of Peter Salasya is that of grass to grace. When he joined the August house he had a poorly built house and used a lent vehicle by former Cabinet Secretary Eugene Wamalwa. Today, Peter Salasya has a decent house built for him by his constituents and recently bought himself his first vehicle which he also learning to drive.
The bachelor MP has been in Kenyans’ timelines in and outside parliament. His reactions after being inducted into the house became an internet sensation. He would go ahead to begin a hunt for a wife and specifically go after Influencer Azziad Nasenya who he threw a shot at indirectly.
Salasya said the influencer should be Kakamega county’s ambassador a proposal to which netizens reacted differently.
Besides the funny times, Salasya has also been trending for other greater reasons. The MP bought over ten school buses for secondary schools in his constituency and has a tournament under his name in his Mumias East as well.
2. Linet ‘Toto’ Chepkorir
The Bomet Woman Representative became a darling for many following her zeal to represent the people of her county in parliament.
The youngest member of parliament earned the name Toto from her county because of her young age and small body.
Unlike many politicians who are vocal, Linet is largely silent but always gets the attention of Kenyans with her actions.
Linet beat seasoned politicians in the county to emerge the eventual winner of the race for Bomet county woman representative. Unlike other politicians who poured in millions in the campaign, the 25-year-old only wooed the electorate with the little resources she had.
On November 6, 2022, Toto unveiled the car which she would use for official duties and took it to be prayed for at a church in Bomet.
The Pulse TikTok influencer year made headlines due to his rib-cracking videos which propelled him to the top log of influencers in the country.
Bena became an Internet sensation after his TikTok video ‘usiniske mapanja’ and ‘pulaia maisha’ went viral.
During the 2022 Pulse Influencer Awards, the TikToker left the audience in stitches as he received the award in his acting persona. He would go ahead to switch to his normal trait leaving the audience in awe.
Benawamalines is slowly cementing his name in the content creation space. He was among the creators that were flown by different brands to the 2022 FIFA World Cup in Qatar.
4. KK Mwenyewe
Zakia Kariuki known popularly as KK Mwenyewe became popular thanks to his good art of mimicking DP Rigathi Gachagua.
His video of ‘freedom has come’ in baggy suits saw him become an internet sensation.
Kariuki a Kisii University student had his videos saw him saw him win the liking of US-based YouTuber Andrew Kibe who mobilized Kenyans in the US and raised over Sh350K to support him.
5. Shawry for nicknames Ivy Chelimo
Ivy Chelimo became popular after coming up with the name Riggy G referring to DP Rigathi Gachagua.
On July 19,2022, Chelimo tweeted, ‘Riggy G amekataa kutaja freedom’ it is from the tweet that Kenyans picked up the name Riggy G instantly which also earned her the nickname ‘Shawry for nick names’
Her creativity saw her secure interviews in different media houses and eventually landed a job at the DP’s office.
6. Kitale dancing nurse
While running her shift at the Kitale Teaching and Referral Hospital, Lukresia Robai warmed netizens' hearts after dancing to a sick child in a ward. The TikToker earned the recognition of many including Trans Nzoia governor George Natembeya who lauded her passion for her job.
Robai had all her tuition fees cleared by the governor and a promise of a job as well after completing her schooling.
Besides recognition from the governor, Robai also landed an ambassadorial deal with a local tours and travel company.
7. FIFA Metro Guy/Man (World Cup)
Abubakar Abbas only job was to direct fans at the FIFA World Cup in Qatar by saying ‘Metro this way’
Abubakar however pulled the attention of fans who loved how he was directing metro users. Fans recorded him and as moments in the stadiums went viral, Abubakar also went viral on the internet with fans repeating his job tag, ‘Metro this way’
The admiration for Abbas saw the Qatar government extend his work Visa from three months to one year and also increased his pay
8. Juliana Cherera ‘Shawry for IEBC’
The Independent Electoral and Boundaries Commission (IEBC) Vice Chairperson become more popular after she led three other IEBC commissioners to refute the August 9 election results.
Cherera who was the face of the four commissioners had a hard time at the commission which after a tribunal was set up to review their conduct which forced her to resign on December 5, 2022.
9. Arap Marindich (Safari Rally)
Meme lovers are familiar with the famous ‘rally driver’ whose face is filled with dust and is topless. Marindich become during the 2022 World Rally Championship thanks to a video he shared on his Facebook as a rally driver.
Marindich in the video is lost and devastated for that reason. Screenshots from the video became global internet sensations.
Marindich’s image became the first Kenyan meme to ever go global.
10. Arap Uria (Football Commentary)
With two mugs acting as headsets and a coil as the microphone, Arap Uria became sensational for his perfect yet hilarious mimicry of English football commentator Peter Drury.
Arap Uria did the lipsyncing so well that you would think he was the man behind the actual voice. His video skits eventually got him recognized by the football channel Supersport where he expressed his wish to one day meet the celebrated English commentator.
Fast forward and during the 2022 FIFA world cup Arap Uria’s dream came true after he met Peter Drury. An excited Uria had a moment with Drury and even had him test his signature tools of trade.
11. Lil Umbwa (meme)
Any internet user has probably come across the rapping dog. Accompanying the dog are its lyrics which internet users have crafted with most of them depicting struggles rappers go through before making it in the industry.
Alongside Lil Umbwa other similar meme from Lil Umbwa are Lil Kuku.
12. Prof George Wajackoyah
The 2022 presidential candidate become popular after he announced that he would run for president and top of his agenda was the legalization of marijuana.
The lawyer who ran under the Roots Party whose slogan is ‘Tingiza Mti’ also became an internet sensation because of his signature durag and a long beard which was an unlikely look for a presidential candidate.
Wajackoyah also trended a better part of the year after cracks emerged within his party, leading to a fallout with his running mate Justina Wamae.
13. PikiPiki Ponkii lawyer
The last three general elections have all ended up in the supreme court after aggrieved parties sought this means to seek justice through election petitions.
Drama is normally witnessed during these hearings and in 2022 supreme court hearing court of the election petition, lawyer Willis Otieno emerged to be the centre of the drama after the Piki Piki Ponki song during the proceedings.
It was even funnier when producer Motif Di Don created a bit for the byte which became an internet sensation.
14. Charlene Ruto
President William Ruto’s daughter Charlene Ruto has become an internet sensation especially towards the close of the year 2022.
Charlene has been active, moving from county to county as she undertook various projects under the Charlene Ruto Foundation.
However, Charlene’s highlight was when she said there existed the office of the first daughter which was new to Kenyans.
She however later clarified that the office of the first daughter is a private entity that is not funded by the Kenyan taxpayer.
The first daughter is however far from done as she continues to tour different parts of the country undertaking different projects under her foundation.
The most populous generation in Kenya right now, Gen Zs have trended in the year for being trendsetters. Dominant on TikTok, the GenZs emerged to be among the first that knew the latest tech gadgets and the latest fashion and style trends.
This group also became an internet sensation because of their entitlement and what others referred to as laziness.
16. Password guy
Just like many other trends that emerged from the 2022 elections password emerged to be one of them.
During an interview with Citizen TV a concerned Kenyan said there was a need for the IEBC officials to give the passwords for the IEBCkits for voting to commence however, one man kept emphasising the term ‘password’ and in a deep Luo accent.
Within no time ‘password’ was trending with Kenyans using the phrase in their conversations.
17. Vic West’s “Kuna Kuna”
This was arguably among the top songs of the year 2022. With everyone jumping on the dance challenge, Brandy Maina became a sensation and has since been in tens of shows thanks to the song where she also featured Sauti Sol's Savara.
18. V-Bee (Vijana Barobaro)
Vijana Baru Baru’s song ‘Sasa Hivi’ created an early valentine's mood for couples out there. The song which has garnered over 1 million views will altered the mood for the year, ending the year on a different note.
19. ‘Sina Maoni’ Man
‘Sina maoni’ has now become a phrase we commonly use thanks to Uasin Gishu man Dennis Ombogo who on August 9 when asked how the voting process said ‘sina maoni’
Ombogo set the mood for the entire election week and although he has not reaped anything from the phrase, his phrase lives in the mouths of Kenyans who use it whenever they have nothing much to say.
You have probably heard a group of a group that speaks a language that you barely understood a word.
Words such as 'Kayombotole' and 'Kuzumbututa' Shembeteng emerged to be among the top trends of the yearn 2022.
Shembeteng emerged to be one of the few trends that took the internet by storm in 2022. A combination of sheng and Swahili, Shembeteng surely made 2022 memorable.
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