Let’s face it, we have all had our fair share of difficult times. But the year 2020 certainly hit us with a bang! Here follows a range of topics that were most popular on Google in 2020.

Top trending searches on Google


It’s pretty obvious that this was the top search of 2020 (and still continues to be). Corona has put us all through the wringer and we’re all pining for the day when we don’t have to wear masks in public anymore.

Level 3 lockdown South Africa

Level 3 was implemented when the number of positive COVID cases in South Africa decreased. COVID seemed to be manageable which is why the rules and regulations, as well as the curfew, became lighter. The alcohol ban was lifted for 4 days per week and social gatherings were allowed again.

Children’s Day

Children’s Day took place on Saturday the 7th of November 2020. The aim of this celebration was to focus on the progress made towards children’s rights. Many celebrated this day with their children by intentionally spending time with them and eventually teaching them about the issues that many children all over the world face.

South African Celebrities

Katlego Maboe & Nikita Murray

In October 2020, social media went crazy after Katlego made headlines when a video went viral after his confession of cheating on his partner, Monique Muller with Nikita Murray. Monique accused Katlego of giving her an STD. South Africans were invested in this story, so much so that they made memes of the situation. Expresso (a local breakfast TV show) temporarily suspended Katlego from his hosting position. Outsurance also removed adverts that he appeared in. However, Nikita’s STD test results came back negative and she was able to patch things up with her husband. Unfortunately, Katlego and his partner split after the fiasco.

Edwin Sodi

In 2020, Edwin Sodi was arrested for his alleged participation in an R255m asbestos audit tender scandal. 

Lerato Kganyago

Presenter, model, and DJ – Lerato Kganyago became a popular topic after announcing her separation from her husband Thami Ndlala – after only being married for two months.

Menzi Ngubane

Assumptions of Menzi Ngubane’s health condition went viral on social media. Many speculated that the former Generations actor was critically ill, however, Menzi’s family released an official statement denying the rumours.

Top trending questions

How to apply for an unemployment grant?

South Africans were pleased when the social relief of distress grant was put in place for those who were unemployed or did not have any form of income due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Each person would receive a total of R350 per month for 6 months.

In order to successfully register for the unemployment grant, applicants needed to provide information such as their Identity Number or Department of Home Affairs Refugee permit number, their Name, and Surname as captured in the Identity Document, their Gender, and Disability, Contact details – Cell phone number and their Residential Address.

What is 5G?

With the lockdown approaching, many had to start working from home. New fibre infrastructures were implemented in more areas so that many could have access to it. And with that, talks of 5G also made headlines. 5G is the fifth-generation technology standard for broadband cellular networks. Its purpose is to deliver a higher multi-Gbps peak data speed which makes it more reliable. Some tinfoil-hat-wearing folks were also convinced that “5G weakens the immune system and therefore leads to COVID-19, the droplets by which the coronavirus travels are spread by 5G airwaves, or the coronavirus pandemic is a cover for the effects of 5G exposure.” (source)

Top trending recipes

Pizza dough recipe, Doughnut recipe, Banana loaf recipe, Pancakes recipe

With lockdown and curfews in place, all restaurants were forced to close down. So when there was a craving for pizza or a sweet treat, heading to the kitchen was the best option. Many people searched the internet for pizza dough -, doughnut -, banana loaf – and pancake recipes. We know that we were certainly also experimenting with new recipes at the time!

Pineapple beer recipe

Of course, when alcohol got banned, those who indulged in the beverage weren’t too happy. Many took their complaints to social media where people sold and purchased alcohol illegally. Demand was high and so were the prices. And out of desperation, many bought overpriced liquor, even if it was just half a bottle. However, there were many who chose to make their own alcohol by means of Pineapple Beer. And because pineapples were in high demand, prices increased dramatically including that of brewing yeast too.

Top trending sports searches

Premier League

Manchester City was crowned Premier League champions (2020-21). It was their 5th Premier League title and 7th English title.

England vs South Africa

In the 3-match series of England vs South Africa, England won 2-1.

Champions League

In 2020, Bayern Munich won the final 1–0. The former Paris Saint-Germain player Kingsley Coman, who was later selected as man of the match, scored a 59th-minute goal that led to the win.

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