One of the most interesting things about Trump’s election was the discovery that so many people who shouldn’t have voted for him did.
Women voted for a pussy grabber. College educated men and women voted for a deranged tweeter with a love of caps lock. The secret Trump sympathisers in the USA surprised everyone.
So what about the rest of the world?
Do people actually know or care who he is? Do they like him?
We asked a random selection of 300 18 to 35-year-olds living in Kenya whether they knew who Donald Trump was and what they thought of him. 188 people answered. OK, it’s a small number, but it was anonymous and it serves to show what some people really think outside the bubble of American polls and the Facebook echo chamber.
A whopping 76 per cent of the people surveyed said that they thought he would make a good president!
We conducted our research using mSurvey, a new form of mobile technology that provides a direct channel to gather insights from real people across Africa in real time. Our results were interesting to say the least.
First off, 93 per cent of Kenyans surveyed were familiar with the Donald.
So what did they think of him?
Trump isn’t popular among the African American community in the US (to put it mildly) and many Kenyans have a soft spot for Obama because of his Kenyan father. So you’d assume that many Kenyans would be wary of Trump. Not so. A whopping 76 per cent of the people surveyed said that they thought he would make a good president! We asked them why.
Some of the answers were plain wrong: ‘Because he is a democrat and also a brilliant person.’ Others were unapologetically sexist, ‘Because he is man’. One person stated that it was his divine right: ‘I believe that every leadership has God’s approval n God chose him’.
Many showed that Kenyans presumably saw the same qualities in him as his voters did. ‘He says things as they are and I hope he also does the same,’ replied one interviewee. Kenyans liked his direct approach – many called him ‘no nonsense’ and one person said ‘because he means whatever he says. He is a no nonsense person and his leadership skills are best.’
The economy was also a factor for Kenyans – whose economy it’s just been announced is predicted to grow at a slower rate this year. ‘He has a business background,’ replied one of the people surveyed, ‘and commands a network of most american business community despite lacking political background. Natural leader.’
One of the people surveyed answered ‘I like his sanctions especially of chasing illegal immigrants.’
Immigration was also a hot topic for a country which has one of the largest refugee camps in the world. One of the people surveyed answered ‘I like his sanctions especially of chasing illegal immigrants,’ while someone else praised his ‘sense of security’. Someone was persuaded he’d make a good president ‘because he promised to make America great again like protecting the American borders’.
The 26 per cent who were cynical about the Trump presidency voiced similar concerns to many Americans. They argued that his racism, attitude towards women, and the suspicions that Russians had hacked the voting systems made him unfit to lead. ‘Hes a racist, wants to deport Africans and other members who are in America, he harassed some women the other day.’ [sic]
It seems like the Western world is in tailspin about what the Trump future holds but most of our surveyed Kenyans are ready to give the incoming President a chance. They’ll be heading to the polls for their own election in August this year, so perhaps Kenyan candidates need to think about taking a leaf out of The Art of the Deal.
Our survey of 300 people (of which 188 replied) was conducted via mSurvey. Find out more here.