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  • Writer's pictureStephen Osieyo


Updated: Jun 9

Little is told of spying network by ladies of Ugenya into the Kingdom of Mumia of Wanga. Its Mumia who lent his name to the town of Mumias formerly Orego. The Mumia chiefdom used to raid into Luoland aided by “otwe wiye” (Arab slave traders) and capture Ugenyans to be sold on to slavery. Against foreign gunpower Ugenyans were at the mercy of persistent raids. The only recourse was to predict their enemy's raids and forearm oneself.

So Ugenya people married off or encouraged their girls to marry into Wanga people and form espionage network that could pass military “intel” back into Ugenya. In such feedback is told the heroic legend of Ugenya’s Umira Kager girl known as Tingare. Tingare lying in a pool of blood after having given birth overheard Mumia royalty celebrating the arrival of male child as a good sign that the impending nights raid has good omen and good tidings will be guaranteed(more Ugenya captives). Tingare summoned all her strength, while still bleeding and eluded the birth attendants and ran all the way towards old Murumba in present Uholo. As soon as she reached the area now called Tingare she screamed “Omia biiiiiiiiirrrrrrrro, Omia biiro, Omia biro”. And she fell down and died of the loss of blood and exhaustion.

But Ugenya villages had been woken and they readied themselves to slaughter the cowards of Mumia with their Arab masters. Someday I will detail all the Luo heroines, clan by clan.

But I will hasten to add that whether Tingare is her real name or the name born of the tragedy is not clear. I say so because otiangre is the mounds of blood clot. Against the cold rush of the wind in the early hours of the morning the blood formed a clot as soon as they touched the cold wind hence her name which with Bantu flavour turned from otiangre to the legendary Tingare!

Just another true story from Luo women on the front lines.



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