Nigerians and African Nationals Protesting Xenophobia attack in Southe Africa. NAN/File

By Oladipupo Mojeed

Search engine giant, Google, has announced that the xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa topped the most searched items on Google this week.

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The company made the announcement on Thursday.

Taiwo Kola-Ogunlade, Google’s Communications and Public Affairs Manager, Anglophone West Africa, said in Lagos that the search was from Feb. 23 to March 1.

“Relationship between Nigeria and South Africa became slightly strained this week when allegations of xenophobic attacks against Nigerians in South Africa ruled the internet, “he said.

The Google manager said that people’s attention was also caught online by the depreciation of the U.S. dollar against Nigeria’s naira.

“The dollar, after moving up like a rocket going to space, lost speed this week as the Nigerian naira strengthened to N425 per dollar at the parallel market.

“This is being hailed as a relief after remaining at N500 per dollar rate in the last few months.

“Reports are saying this development is a result of the Central Bank of Nigeria’s recent modification to the forex policy,” Kola-Ogunlade said.

‘Late Eric Arubayi’s musical video trending’

He added that release of the video of the song of the late talented singer, Eric Arubayi, also trended on the search engine.

“Although the death of talented singer has continued to shock his friends and fans, the long-awaited video of his song, The Sound, was released during the week,” he said.

“The Sound, was released during the week,” he said.

The spokesperson said the released video was for television broadcast and video-sharing websites such as YouTube.

According to Kola-Ogunlade, the news of the death of Neil Fingleton, the Games of Throne actor, who died at the age of 36, also trended.

He also noted that the seven-foot-seven-inch British actor played the giant Mag-the-Mighty in the popular American fantasy drama television series, “Games of Throne”.

“The actor, a former basketball player, was recognised in 2007 by the Guinness World Record as the tallest man in the U.K,” Kola-Ogunlade said.

‘Ash Wednesday mentioned’

He said that people also searched much about the start of the Lenten season.

“Ash Wednesday which usually welcomes lent took place this week.

“It kicked off 40 days of intense reflections through prayers and fasting observed by many Christians across the world.

“Catholics are known to go to church to be blessed with ashes on their foreheads in the shape of a cross to signify repentance and mortality.”

Kola-Ogunlade said other stories that trended on Google included results on the La Liga Table and European League Draw, and the confession of American top actress, Viola Davis, about her struggle with impostor syndrome.

Google Trends, launched in May 2006, allows one to see how popular search terms and their demography have been overtime on Google.