The Year in Review, 2023: Thabo Bester, Cyan Boujee and Nadia Nakai top the charts

Media personality and popular DJ, Cyan Boujee is in the top 2 of the most searched individuals in the country on Google. Picture: Instagram

Media personality and popular DJ, Cyan Boujee is in the top 2 of the most searched individuals in the country on Google. Picture: Instagram

Published Dec 22, 2023


2023 was a very hectic year. While it flew really fast, headline-making stuff happened, things one would think are a Netflix documentary, but are in fact reality.

The past 12 months have been a roller-coaster, with the public's attention being captured by various terms, people, topics, questions and events.

In South Africa, this Year in Search results provided by search engine Google showed a heightened interest in celebrities, sporting events, special observed days, notable personalities who have passed on, and technology.

Criminal Thabo Bester and his shocker prison escape with all its twists and turns landed him the top spot of the most searched individuals in the country.

Media personality, influencer and popular DJ, Cyan Boujee follows behind Bester, thanks to all her headline-making moments - sex tape leaks, alleged assaults and her social media drama due to her turbulent personal life.

Among celebrities and media personalities who died this year, rapper, producer and businessman Kiernan Forbes, also known as AKA topped the search list for loss.

AKA’s death also resulted in his dear friend Sim Dope, making the list for people searched for in 2023. The realisation that Sim Dope is an actual person and not just a song title, at the late rapper’s memorial service, was one of the biggest culture moments.

Real name Simphiwe Gumede, Sim Dope was AKA’s best childhood friend. The information has always been there but, no one really paid attention until media personality Sizwe Dhlomo brought him onto the stage, at the memorial.

Another South African rapper Costantinos Tsobanoglou, better known as Costa Titch was the second most searched individual in this category. The 28-year-old rapper from Mbombela, Mpumalanga collapsed on stage at the Ultra SA music festival in March.

After conquering the box office worldwide, ‘Barbie’ soared to the top of South Africa's most searched movies and TV shows, followed by the epic biographical thriller film, ‘Oppenheimer’ and the gripping series ‘Shaka Ilembe’ led by Nomzamo Mbatha.

The Rugby World Cup had the country and world in a choke-hold but it came second in the most searched sporting events by South Africans this year, with the Cricket World Cup topping the list.

The Springboks, however, reigned supreme on the most searched athlete lists, with South Africans searching for the Boks; from Bongi Mbonambi, Ox Nche and obviously Siya Kolisi - no wonder his Instagram followers grew.

Here are the full lists of Top Trending Searches by South Africans in 2023:

Top 10 people searched in 2023

Thabo Bester

Cyan Boujee

Nadia Nakai

Dr Nandipha Magudumana

Andrew Tate

Derick Hougaard

Steve Harvey

Sim Dope

Anele Tembe


Top 10 movies and TV shows searched in 2023

‘Barbie’ movie


‘Shaka Ilembe’

‘John Wick 4’

‘Fast X’

‘Queen Charlotte Bridgerton’

‘The last of us’

‘Creed 3’

‘Fatal Seduction’


Top searched Loss in 2023


Costa Titch

Matthew Perry

Tina Turner

Derek Watts

Titanic submarine

Zoleka Mandela

Mangosuthu Buthelezi

Christian Atsu

Eusebius Mckaiser

Olive Barker

Angie Oeh

Top 10 most searched athletes in 2023


Siya Kolisi

Bongi Mbonambi

Faf de Klerk

Eben Etzebeth

Cheslin Kolbe

Ox Nche


Roger Federer


Top 10 sporting events searched in 2023

Cricket World Cup

Rugby World Cup

Inter Miami

Banyana Banyana

Kaizer Chiefs vs Mamelodi Sundowns

Wimbledon 2023

Liverpool vs Man United

Al nassr

Netball world cup

Jake Paul vs Tommy Fury

Top searches related to technology in 2023

DStv stream

iphone 15

Google's 25th birthday

Titanic submarine

Samsung 23

Samsung a14



Top 10 trending holidays searched

When is Father's Day 2023?

When is Mother's Day in 2023?

When is Eid 2023?

When is the Rugby World Cup final?

When is Easter 2023?

When is Ramadaan 2023?

When are schools opening 2023?

When is Diwali 2023?

When is Good Friday 2023?

Top 10 most searched general questions in 2023

How is Celine Dion doing?

How is poetry different to other writing genres?

How is mumps spread?

How is cholera transmitted?

How is profit divided between owners/shareholders/investors?

How is Derek Watts doing?

How is heritage Day celebrated in South Africa essay?

How is Jamie Foxx doing?

How is knowledge created?

How is Ascension Day celebrated?

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