[Updated] Kenya’s top 10+ most followed people on Twitter.
NOTE: This blog post has been updated to show changes over the last few days. It is more or less accurate as of today, the 23rd November 2011 where we now have what I believe are the “true” top 10 individuals followed on Twitter in Kenya, as well as a few more (for good measure?) for a total of 17. Thank you for all who helped make this list more accurate, and comprehensive!
A couple of years ago, I did a list of the leading Twitter individuals and brands in Kenya, in terms of followers and ranking. At the time, Twitter was very much in its early days of gaining widespread adoption in Kenya and you could say that only the most leading brands and people were using it. Fast forward two years later and Twitter has gone mainstream as a social media in Kenya representing a whole range of users across the board.
So, I decided to do some research this week to decide who were the people in Kenya with the most Twitter followers and rank them. I was surprised how much the list had changed and who actually “ruled the roost”. There were a few unexpected surprises about who the top three people were. However, as of this morning, Sunday the 20th November 2011, here are Kenya’s top ten “Twitterati”:
- @yesumob – 55,842 followers: I have to confess that Kenya’s top individual on Twitter was something of a surprise. @yesumob is a twitter account run by Mutinda Kisio. He basically tweets motivational Christian messages everyday of the week and has managed to build his massive Twitter following on this basis.
- @kanyicool – 49,780 followers: Kenya’s second leading individual on Twitter is Julius Kanyi, who lists himself as a recent graduate in ICT. I am not sure how exactly he managed to reach such a significant number of Twitter followers but clearly he is onto something.
- @koinangejeff – 46,147 followers: Jeff Koinange is the award-winning and well known Journalist, as well as a key media personality from K24, the news TV channel based in Nairobi. Jeff has clearly leveraged his local and international credentials to build up a strong Twitter following. I had initially thought he was the most followed individual on Twitter in Kenya but this was in fact not the case.
- (NEW) @majani_– 40,820 followers: This new entry was completely unknown to me until I was alerted of his massive following via Kenyans on Twitter who follow him. Majani bills himself as a Software Engineer, Photographer, part time Dj, lifeguard by day and fire fighter by night. He is followed by many on Twitter due to the many humorous tweets he send out daily.
- @martha_w_karua – 36,857 followers: Martha Karua is clearly of Kenya’s most progressive Politicians when it comes to social media. She has embraced technology and has a very active Twitter account that many people follow based on this high ranking. She is a presidential aspirant for Kenya’s general elections next year and Twitter is one of the platforms she is using to gain momentum with the masses.
- (NEW) @bobcollymore – 31,832 followers: Bob Collymore, the CEO of Safaricom was one of the leading Twitterati in Kenya whom I completely missed because his name did not come up as registered in Kenya listings. However, he has a massive following and is one of the most active corporate leaders in Kenya when it comes to regular tweets and updates.
- (NEW) @wmutunga – 29,894 followers: Dr. Willy Mutunga is one of those whom I missed when first compiling this list, manually no less. Dr. Mutunga recently became Kenya’s Chief Justice after lots of controversy in the media. Clearly, his impeccable credentials as a Human Rights supporter have come to the fore as everyone is watching his tweets as to how he is expected to transform Kenya’s Judiciary.
- (NEW) @mwalimuchurchill – 25,663 followers: Charles Ndambuki, AKA Mwalimu Churchill is one of Kenya’s most popular comedians who has parlayed his humour to become one of Kenya’s leading Radio Presenters, MCs and TV Show hosts. Charles as a result has a formidable following on Twitter in Kenya.
- (NEW) @odinga_raila – 22,774 followers: Raila Amollo Odinga is Kenya’s Prime Minister and I was pleasantly surprised to see him crack the top 10 most followed on Twitter in the country. His tweets are clearly up to date as he provides details of things he is currently doing as well as activities from his many trips in the country and beyond.
- @ukenyatta – 21,226 followers: Uhuru Kenyatta is not only one of Kenya’s Deputy Prime Ministers and the Minister of Finance, he is also a Politician who is very active in using Twitter as a means of maintaining regular dialogue with Kenyans globally. Like Martha Karua, he has clearly embraced social media as a means of enhancing his political agenda.
- (NEW) @kenyanpundit – 19,403 followers: Ory Okolloh, also known as Kenyan Pundit on Twitter has been one of the most active Twitterati in Kenya for years. Ory has established herself as a leading blogger at Mzalendo, a co-founder of Ushahidi and most recently Google’s Policy Lead in Africa.
- @phonesis – 17,913 followers: Morris Gitonga lists himself as a an expert on Multi-Level Marketing (MLM). He has an impressive following Twitter and was at one point the leading individual on Twitter a few years ago.
- @larrymadowo – 17,556 followers: Larry Madowo if a well-known journalist in Kenya who has carved a niche for himself when it comes to business and technology news. He has leveraged his media linkages to catapult himself into one of the leading Twitterati in Kenya.
- @alykhansatchu – 17,055 followers: Aly Khan Satchu has been consistently one of Kenya’s most followed Twitter individuals in Kenya. Aly is undoubtedly the “rockstar” when it comes to investments and the financial markets in Kenya which he tweets religiously on a daily basis, from dawn to dusk.
- @whiteafrican – 16,508 followers: Erik Hersman is easily one of the earliest adopters of Twitter who has built both a local and international following on his tweets on all things technology in Kenya and Africa. Erik is probably best known for his founding role in Ushahidi, the world’s leading open source tool for crowd-sourced information gathering.
- @johnallannamu – 15,892 followers: John Allan Namu is one of Kenya’s leading investigative journalists who has won both local and international accolades for his work. His high Twitter ranking is reflective of the impressive of the following he has grown for his insightful news related tweets.
- (NEW) @mainakageni – 15,830 followers: Maina Kageni is one of Kenya’s premier radio presenters who has been in the industry for over 10 years. He now hosts what is probably Kenya’s leading radio show on Classic FM on most mornings of the week which is probably the reason he has so many followers on Twitter.
So, there you have it – Kenya’s top ten Twitter users in terms of the number of followers they have to-date. I will be following this list up with Kenya’s top ten brands and/or organizations in terms of followers. These lists are being manually compiled but a really good source is this link.