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[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”:

  1. @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.
  2. @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.
  3. @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.
  4. (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.
  5. @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.
  6. (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.
  7. (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.
  8. (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.
  9. (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.
  10. @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.
  11. (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.
  12. @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.
  13. @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.
  14. @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.
  15. @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.
  16. @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.
  17. (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.

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35 Comments

  1. November 20, 2011 at 7:45 am — Reply

    I have been consistently tweeting aviation news since 2008 and I have 16,164 followers. So that put’s me at position 10 🙂

    http://twitter.com/#!/FlyEU

    • November 20, 2011 at 7:51 am — Reply

      @flightafrica I am putting you on the brands list 🙂

  2. kip
    November 20, 2011 at 7:52 am — Reply

    u did missed one @Wisewordzdaily with 30,000+ followers

    • November 20, 2011 at 7:56 am — Reply

      @kip this will be on the brands list. I have it already. It just did not seem to be an individual account?

  3. November 20, 2011 at 7:57 am — Reply

    I always thought Camp Mulla (@campmulla) was the Kenyan entity with the highest following because they had over 17,000 followers when I last checked a couple of months ago. Anyway, they still deserve to be on the list because they have just about 18,900.

    • November 20, 2011 at 8:07 am — Reply

      @nymou I will add Campu Mulla to the brands list.

  4. Kiragu
    November 20, 2011 at 8:19 am — Reply

    Thanks for the list. How about one with ordinary Kenyans and not Media personalities, politicians, companies, celebrities etc.

    • November 21, 2011 at 6:03 am — Reply

      @kiragu great suggestion. I can see a list of “20 Kenyans to follow on Twitter” coming out of this.

  5. November 20, 2011 at 8:26 am — Reply

    Moses – to be honest, picking up twitter followers is a subjective issue. It’s possible to harvest an average of 2000 to 5000 twitter followers a month using robots that target topical twitter users. They do it for social proof.

    Just because people have the followers or use their positions in media to promote their twitter presence doesn’t mean they actually add value to the community on twitter. Some of these folks just copy paste publicly available news articles 140 characters at a time and flood people’s timelines without adding any material value.

    A more useful metric would be to get a sense of people on twitter who exert the most influence by their tweeting. Your number 1 on this post is a good example, but others in your list are also a waste of space. You just have to read their tweets to figure this out.

    • November 21, 2011 at 6:02 am — Reply

      @darius. Good point. Why don’t you do a list for the most influential on twitter in Kenya?

  6. mary
    November 20, 2011 at 8:27 am — Reply

    bob collymore has 29k plus. Is he also a brand?

    • November 21, 2011 at 6:01 am — Reply

      @mary I am adding @bobcollymore in a day or two. Lots of people sending me names I missed. It looks like we will end up having a top 20 list for people at this rate 🙂

  7. November 20, 2011 at 8:29 am — Reply

    Cool. waiting for the brands list

    • November 21, 2011 at 6:00 am — Reply

      @mzeekinoti the brands list goes up in a day or two. Its hard keeping track. Looks like it will be the top 20.

  8. MMK
    November 20, 2011 at 12:42 pm — Reply

    Interesting list.

    Isn’t @yesumob a brand, managed by an individual?

    Check TFF Ratio (Twitter Follower-Friend Ratio). Anything less than 2.0 should not be on the list. Example is @kanyicool has 48,659 followers and following 51,494, a ratio of 0.9. Which means he is a serial follower, expecting to be followed back.

    I would like to see a list of non-celebrities, self made people who have garnered followers not because of their celeb status but because of their witty and informative tweets. Examples: @roomthinker @iddsalim @bankelele @ArcherMishale etc

    • subzero
      November 21, 2011 at 2:54 am — Reply

      now this is exactly what i’d scrolled down here to comment . so i’ll not add anything

  9. bankelele
    November 20, 2011 at 1:14 pm — Reply

    Call me elitist, but anyone following 20,000 people is not engaging or learning from them

  10. November 20, 2011 at 2:56 pm — Reply

    Great post, Moses!

  11. Shiro
    November 20, 2011 at 3:23 pm — Reply

    uhmmm, no.5 should be Dr.Willy Mutunga…check @WMutunga and thank me later 🙂

  12. November 20, 2011 at 3:55 pm — Reply

    Anyone following 20,000 people must be by definition following nobody at all but themselves.

  13. November 21, 2011 at 2:06 pm — Reply

    […] Who are the most followed people on Twitter in Kenya… I knew that Twitter has had its intro in Kenya, but to see the vast numbers of followers on these 10 rather different people, is great and a direct proof of Africa (not just Nairobi, Kenya) is on the digital freeway heading for the future. […]

  14. November 21, 2011 at 8:47 pm — Reply

    This list was not exhaustive enough because their is no differentiation of brands and leading twitter personalities. One good example of influential people of Twitter apart from the usual media bignames are; coldtusker,bankelele,ole-itumbi,thee-kimutai,rose-miss taylor the list is long. Some are just social commentators but one can see that their tweets elicit a flood of responses even though they are not the most followed. Media people are up there because of their proffesions. You don’t except KenyaPower to have more followers than Ntvkenya. Give a survey based on scientific formulas just like twitter does with trending topics. Looking forward to the next survey.

    • November 22, 2011 at 3:13 am — Reply

      @nganga your comments show you have thought this through. Honestly, I do not have the time to do what you are suggesting so perhaps you can draw up a more detailed list? I am sure many would appreciate! 🙂

  15. Jim Wachira
    November 22, 2011 at 6:22 am — Reply

    And you can’t ignore people like the notorious @RobertAlai. Is @KenyaPundit, @WMutunga @BobCollymore @JohnAllanNamu @TerryAnneChebet also brand lists?

    I believe that this post was more of worshiping others than what the reality is

    • November 22, 2011 at 9:57 am — Reply

      @JimWachira everyone is entitled to their own opinion of this list. The truth is there are some missing names in terms of the number of followers. This was unintended due to the fact not all of them show up for “Kenya” via the Twitter API. I have received some good names that are going into the updated list this week. Its going to be the top 20 when I am done with it. Then, I will move over to the “brands” or organizations. Note that the lists will be based purely on the number of followers at this time. Make what you will of it on this basis 🙂

  16. Jack Onyango
    November 23, 2011 at 6:03 pm — Reply

    Some of the people at the top are those enrolled in #teamfollowback and similar arrangements. Do they have real people following them or have they juked the stats by joining lists that allow computers to follow them? Jeff Koinange is the only person at the top with real people only not followback jokers.

    • November 24, 2011 at 4:57 am — Reply

      @jack its possible this list could be “curated” and refined in the future. However, I doubt I will ever get round to making it perfect.

  17. SambumbuJMK
    November 23, 2011 at 7:13 pm — Reply

    Stop hating @Darius @MMK @CareyEaton ,the top 10 listed deserve it,being a celeb, public figure (why are you complaining???),dear haters(celeb,public figures)do not come on a silver plate their have worked for it.

    So,you should be tweeting and be followed,to be listed in the top 10 next year!!!!!

    Great info Moses

  18. November 28, 2011 at 7:43 pm — Reply

    Great list Moses. Didn’t even know the likes like @yesumob. Let me not write much…I’ll be waiting for the next list.

    • November 29, 2011 at 2:05 pm — Reply

      @philos thanks for the feedback. the next list should be done by this weekend hopefully.

  19. December 24, 2011 at 5:09 am — Reply

    In just about a month @koinangejeff has hit 55.5k followers

  20. […] we have some firm favorites here in Kenya. You can look at this for Kenyas top 17 ‘Twitterers’ in November ’11 Jeff Koinange: More followers than the Prime […]

  21. sammy
    April 25, 2014 at 11:13 am — Reply

    HOW CAN ONE GET THIS GUYZ , I WANT TO ADVERTISE MY BUSINESS VIA TWEETER

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