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  • Writer's pictureStephen Osieyo


Updated: Mar 24, 2022


What is in an Asembo-Luo name?

I am named after a great wrestler Ombanyo ka Nyawalo, aka chot-Were, chot-Adhiambo, chot Aoko, chot-nyar-Oduma et al. One day at the Income Tax offices I saw the name Nyawalo on a government door plate and went to harass my uncle that we have a lost relative of Asembo. Mzee Zachariah Omuga then explained to me that the name Nyawalo is not an Ugenya name in origin. That one Umira Kager man married a lady called Nyawalo. Then that Nyawalo was named after this father of Ombanyo who I am named after. This must be centuries ago but thanks to the wealth contained in Luo names, we can zero in on the timing. If Ombanyo died in say 1950 at 60 years of age, then Nyawalo his father must have been born around 1820 in order to sire Ombanyo. This means lady Nyawalo of Asembo was “pulled” by this Kager man in 1700s. So the young John Nyawalo man who did the artwork of Asembo Family tree in Asembo Clan 1 carries the total sum of the diplomatic relationship between Asembo and Ugenya. And there are millions of such consular roles in Luo names. It is the same with a name say like “Ouko” in Ugenya Kager at Ambira, Ugunja. As a Luo your name is not just a vowelling sound like Obamanika, Shakanika, Asembonika, Kokisenika etc. No it has a different role. You cannot just go to a place of worship and pick a Luo name from a book.

On the other side, it is only up to this Sunday that my friend Master Opiyo corrected my delusion that late Senator Dickson Oruko MakaAsembo (a.k.a. DO Makasembo) was not ja Asembo but his father’s name was Asembo so he was actually Dickson Oruko Mc’Asembo of Uyoma or Sakwa (?). In fact you would find it interesting learn of the the consular role that opposition doyen Martin Shikuku son of "Oyondi" played by tracing his family name. It is not easy being a Luo.

This explains why when working with the Relief team at Ngara south west Tanzania near Rwanda, a shop named Mboya interested me very much just as much as Rumba songstress name of Mbilia Mboyo (Bel) interested me. And that is how I ended with Tom Mboya in Asembo. Then you have pop musician Ochieng' Kabaselleh living as wuod-Gem but fondly calls his performing band Ka'Le which much later turns out to be his biological ancestor and the authentic name for Asembo clan.


1. K'Akia,

2. K'Okise

3. K'Onyango

4. Ka'Nyigoro (Alego clan extract)

5. Ka Nyikela,

As I speak there is still a raging battle on the Asembo Clans. One professor claims that Kanyikela was a completely different Luo trek, far removed from Asembo and all Luos. So I will keep off that.


I knew Asembo for prestigious Lwak girls as a young person. Yes, the red uniformed citadel of higher learning. In Bondo modern politics, Asembo is over showed by the power from the palace of Poda Bar Pier Opuk. But that does not mean that Asembo was an innocent bystander. Not by any stretch of imagination. So we will move straight into Asembo Who-is-Who.


For the difficulties in tracking Asembo people’s clans, I have desisted from grouping this indicative who is who by clans. I have just listed the names in not any particular order.

1. Thomas Joseph Odhiambo Mboya (Kanyigoro)- World Trade Unionist, Pan Africanist, Nationalist Freedom fighter, Cabinet Minister and Republican

2. Judge Otieno Odek (K’Onyango)- Judge of the Kenya High Court and Court of Appeal judge until his time of death

3. Hon, Alphonce Okuku (Kanyigoro)- Tom Mboya brother, Former Cabinet minister and MP

4. Hon Rapahel Tuju (Kanyigoro)- Former media mogul, Cabinet Minister and former MP, Rarieda.

5. Bishop and Prelate John Henry Okullu (Kokise)-Musician, Anglican Bishop, activist and opposition doyen both in Uganda and Kenya

6. Grace Ogot (Kayoo)- nurse, author, educationist, politician, cabinet minister, former MP in Gem, novelist (land without thunder, a promised land)

7. Dr Margret Ogolla (Ndwara)- paediatrician, author of several books the river and the Source, I swear by Apollo.

8. Dr Kijaro (Kitambo)- Business man

9. Droughtsman, Odiek Songa (Kabondo)- Business man and popular politician in Sakwa and Rarieda

10. Jack Oyundi Ng’wono (Kokise)- Businessman, Philanthropist and patron of Dero Community Library

11. Oyieng’ DollaBanker at East African Development Bank, Football administrator and victorious chairman of Gor Mahia Football club in 1987

12. Engineer Nicholas Odero Gumbo- Former MP Rarieda, Board Chairman Kenyatta National Hospital

13. Ogola Adoyo Oyier, Board Chairman Kenyatta National Hospital

14. Peter Dawo, HSC (Ko'chieng'), International Soccer star, Continental Gold medallist 1987, Top Goal scorer in Africa 1987, 2-time National league winner with Gor Mahia FC, Ex Player of great Ismailia of Cairo

15. Ambrose Odida Aguna- MCA, West Asembo, West Germany based business man

16. Dieto Charles (Kokise)- Businessman

17. Father Odhiambo Oloo Ombok-

18. Antony Ogosa, Diaspora businessman

19. Paul Awuonda- Business man, Contractor

20. Joshua Frederick Ogolla Adoyo (Kokise)- philanthropist, grassroots football organiser, Nyanam FC, Riat FC, Luo Union FC

21. Late Hon Otieno Kajwang’ (Kanyigoro) - Former MP, Mbita, activist.

22. Moses Otieno Kajwang’ (Kanyigoro)- Senator, Homa Bay

23. Hajulas Ochieng’ Kabaselle (Kokise)- Popular singer, musician and composer

24. Osito Kale (Ka’Kia)- Musicicain, folklorist, dirge, poet

25. Francis Ndiege, (Kanyigoro)- educationist, Tom Mboya sibling

26. Agnes Mbuta (Kanyigoro), -Dodo Singer, composer, entertainer

27. Achieng’ Onura(Kokise)- Leading INGO technocrat

28. Peter Adoyo Oracha- Dean of Students Maseno University

29. Pascal Ndiege (Kanyigoro)- professor, retired, brother to Tom Mboya

30. Reggie Kabaselle(Kokise)- Musician, Business Man

31. Chris Sande (Kokise)- 1988 Olympic Medallist, Former US Professional Boxer, Successful Diaspora business man

32. John Odipo (Kokise)- Famous Educationist based in Ugenya

33. Justice Onyango Otieno- Top Nairobi criminal lawyer, Court of Appeal Judge

34. James Waore Diang'a- Author ( Kenya 1982: The attempted Coup)

35. Juliet Dima- Lawyer/ Solicitor, proprietor of an International Law firm (San Franscisco and Nairobi), philanthropist

36. Shadrack Adem-Top civil servant, Former Permanent Secretary, Community Organiser

37. Odindo Adem- Business man, Hotelier, Transport economist

38. Rapahel Okoth Aliwa- Businessman, Hotelier and Educationist. Proprietor of Okoth Aliwa Academy

39. Moses Awiti- Business man, Nairobi and Naivasha Hotelier, Tourist Industry investor . Proprietor - Come to Africa Safaris

40. Paul Awuonda (K'Onyango)- Business man, conglomerate of businesses in Ramba and Mabinju area.

41. William Odek- Top Civic Manager, Formerly Eldoret Town clerk, Community organiser in resettling Asembo people in commercial land investments in the rift valley.

42. Roseline Odede - Advocate of the High Court, Gender, Advocacy and Environmental Campaigner and Lobbyist

43. Grace Awino Nyombei - Diaspora Community Organiser, philanthropist.

44. John Sibi-Okumu- Poet, Journalist, Francophone Writer, Presenter, Moderator Actor- Director-Playwright best known for his starring role in The Constant Gardener

45. Jonah Hezekiah Oyugi (Kabondo)- Educationist, Former MP Bondo

46. Johanna Owalo- Prelate (Luo Nomiya Church of East Africa).

47. Benson Ogutu Alek Omogi "japuonj"- Educationist.




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