Have you ever been so broke that you had to make a decision between buying data bundles from Safaricom or buying food? Me neither, but access to internet has become so critical that I would rather be kicked in the balls than stay without internet. So, what the hell is everyone doing staring at those tiny smartphone screens? For one, we know they are ‘typing amen’ on Facebook sympathy posts or re-tweeting funny jokes on Twitter or sharing memes on WhatsApp. Google, Microsoft, Twitter, and Facebook dominate the top ten ranks by Alexa.com, which is the top tool for ranking websites. Because everyone knows about that, I did not include social media sites in this list. I analyzed the top 200 popular websites in Kenya on the list as of September 2015. Without further ado, here are the things that your friends or those strangers sitting silently next to you in a matatu are probably doing on the internet
9. Kenyans Love Porn
This is not very surprising. Whenever two or three people gather together, the subject of sex is bound to come up. Its no wonder that when alone, most people will turn to looking for X-rated content. We can’s just get enough of seeing people inserting their genitals in each other. In the top 200 websites, there are four porn sites. The most popular site is Xvideos, which comes at no 26. The site gets more than 1.1 million views every month from Kenya. That is higher than The Star or HELB can dream of. Pornhub is the second most popular followed by XNXX and Youporn. All those are foreign sites meaning that aspiring local investors who do not mind being shunned should really consider producing local content. I guess we could call it P*rnpreneurship.
8. Online Shopping is Gaining a Foothold in Kenya
There has recently been an outburst of online stores in Kenya. These sites are selling anything from cars to used underwear. You cannot stay a week without someone sending you a link to shop at his or her store. While most of these are startups, established online stores are a major traffic puller. The top most rated is Jumia, which has managed to fill every ad space on the internet with atrocious adverts. Well, their vivacious marketing strategy seems to be working because they are ranked at number 9, which is one step ahead of The Standard. The second most popular online store is OLX, which comes at number 25. Other popular stores in this category include Pigiame, Kilimall, Cheki.co.ke, Lamudi, and Rupu in that order. SBTJapan, a site that allows customers to import cars directly is also popular in this category, ranking at number 162.
7. Betting and Downloading Music/Movies
Betting is a big deal nowadays. Sportspesa, the lead betting company in Kenya is even sponsoring the national football League. Doubtless, Kenyans will always copy a good idea. Copying from successful people is a survival strategy that is hard wired in our brains. Which is why I am surprised when lecturers try to stop it in exam rooms. After some smart chaps saw what Sportspesa was doing, they started their own betting companies and they are doing well too. Sportspesa is ranked position 22. The next most visited is Elitebetkenya followed by Bet365. The allure of winning the jackpot is just too tempting for many people. Coupled with smart market targeting, these companies are raking dough faster than you can finish reading this sentence.
Downloading movies and music is also high on the agenda of many Kenyans. Illegally, of course. Our love for free stuff can only be matched by our love for cutting corners. You don’t expect Kenyans to pay for things like movies when they have other bills to contend with. The top most rated site in this category is kat.cr, where you can download almost any movie free of charge, illegally. The site is ranked at no 29. Other popular sites include putlocker.is, Mixcrate, Soundcloud, and Tubidy. It is because of such sites that you can purchase the latest series from your mtaani movie guy at Ksh. 50 bob or 25 bob if you carry your own flash disk. It is also the reason I discourage all my friends from being rappers or musicians. You will never sell more than 50 CDs!! Piracy is really an unethical habit that I would loudly condemn, if I were a rich man.