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  • Writer's pictureStephen Osieyo


Updated: Apr 4, 2022


Gem location is a melting pot and being a Massawa there were so many skirmishes and migrating communities always in transit. In addition, several Gem clan rulers towards the end pursued a policy of co-existence in addition to communities who hosted them when they first arrived. Gem clan of the Luos is therefore not as segregated as say Ugenya or Seme.

In general, it is easy to loosely say that Kojuodhi clan are found in North Gem from Ulumbi along the Kisumu-Busia road straddling river Yala up to Mutumbu on the boundaries with Ugenya. This however is not very accurate as the settlement boundary is fazed.

Gem had 3 sons, Anyanga, Kwenda and Ojuodhi (foster son?). Kojuodhi descendants hereby referred simply as Kojuodhi or Ojuodhi clan is menacingly populous and educated. Kojuodhi had only six sons unlike 7 of Kakwenda but they are huge in numbers.

The Kojuodhi sons are Lanyo, Opiya, Ginga, Nyambok, Ogwang’, and Oyoo. Some literature has named the sons of Ojuodhi as Ndolo (Ulolo), Okwiri, Adhaya, Opiyo and Odongo, Achier. I leave this as the challenges of oral literature.

Ojuodhi also had one daughter called Anyango.

Dho- ot

Kojuodhi has Dho–ot sometimes confused with door frames. It is actually a denomination or smallest cell within Luo clans following the father’s lineage but named after women. These fathers were the direct sons of Ojuodhi son of Gem. In short, today, Anyanga, Ojuodhi and Kwenda are clans with sub clans or cells or dho-ot which are named after women married either by the two patriarchs or any of their sons.

Three well known Ojuodhi sub clans are

  • · K’Akwany,

  • · K’Agola and

  • · K’Adhaya.

More than not, a young man or woman will grow up with a pet name of the clan. So if casually in an introduction if you ask them what clan they are they will start with the sub clan of say K’Agola then you will figure out this is a descendant of Kojuodhi. But at the same time the descendants will reserve the bragging rights for Kojuodhi the son of Gem.

The Kojuodhi are populous and their proximity to Yala town centre was an impetus to embrace progress. For example, in matters of the learned, the Gem- Kojuodhi people are so learned that in who is who, it is meaningless to list professors as achievements. It will only draw negative criticism. For this post I have steered clear of academics from Gem Kojuodhi clan.

On the matter of the famous Odero Kang’o (K’Agola), I have also steered clear of the controversy of his title, length of reign and clan as I do not have the resources to pin this story as yet. For example, his appointment letters imply that he ruled for 3 months only yet the court transcripts draw a completely opposite narrative. Common knowledge is stating that he ruled for longer period while other legend point to his hard handed nature and his reputation that he was of a distant Luo cousin clan of the Gem people hence he was never disowned.

The Legend of Ojuodhi Tipo son of is that he lived with Anyange and son Nyakota but apparently is a descendant of Omolo who both Gem and Ugenya descended from and different from Jok’Owiny. Therefore he is a foster son of Gem.

Apparently he had strayed from his homestead in present day Uganda Busoga during his 40 days and nights of fasting in the wilderness with spirits and ended up in this Gem homestead. When his royal regalia gave him away, he then led his hosts to his real home and brought his family along. Such are the vagaries of oral literature.


CMG Argwings Kodhek former MP; Former Cabinet Minister Isaac Omolo Okero; Oki Ooko Ombaka, former MP; Professor B A Ogot; Cabinet minister and educationist Prof Magoha; Ex International Football star and two-time regional Golden Medal holder Peter Ben Omaya Japolo; Ex International Football star Neville Pudo; Music Star Juma Toto.



The clan of the elder son Anyanga is hidden. Anyanga had only one son Nyakota. Obong’o Nyakota lived in the cordillera of Kojuodhi. However, in spiritual observation, a descendant of Anyanga supersedes all sons of Gem. But it is a deep state Gem clan affair that it is hardly disclosed but just observed. Actually it is mostly invoked when they feel spiritually bound to intercede on behalf of Anyanga house. This a subject beyond this blog.



The Kakwenda clan of Gem can also not be tied to West or South Gem. They are concentrated around Akala up to Sawagongo but it would be a fallacy to limit them to only those localities.

Kwenda son of Ragem had 7 sons but in numerical terms Kojuodhi is more populous and has used that number to punch above their weight in producing a who is who.

Dho-ot (Sub Clans)

The Kwenda had six known sons namely, Nyikwaya(Olwa), Rariw(Onyango), Nyiwuor, Wiri, Nyidet (Uwoga), and Thomo. Kwenda also had a daughter Gilo(Nyagilo).

More often than not a Kakwenda person will simply say, I am Kathomo and only the older ones will tie Thomo to Kakwenda.

Generally, the Kakwenda were more martial and generally have a bigger girth than the Kojuodhi. They also partook many daring military manoeuvres. Whether the military exercises had a direct impact on their demography is not clear.

The well-known Ka'Kwenda sub-clans (dho-ot) are:

  • · Aluoch,

  • · Adhasi and

  • · Achar.


Former MP Jakoyo Midiwo (Achar), Professor Wasao; Professor Ogwano Midiwo; Prof John Kokwaro; Prof Othuon Ayando; Prof Joseph Awange; Prof Bertha Ngesa Ochieng’; David Attan, Ex-International boxing star; Ex-International Football star and two-time regional Golden medallist Nahashon Oluoch Lule of Luo Stars and Gor Mahia; Ex-Football star and 9 time regional gold medallist Martin Ochieng Oswayo of Luo Union; Ex International Goalkeeper and 3 time regional gold medal holder, Dan Odhiambo of Luo Union and Gor Mahia; Ex international Football star John Odie; Ex- International and Double Gold medallist David Okello of Gor Mahia FC; Netball star Delilah Mathews and Football Sensation Eric Omonge JaBoma; Musician and Benga sensation Mathews Okatch Biggy; Musician and International Benga King Collela Mzee; Benga sensation Awino Lawi; Retired Rallying driver Obado Okok



Gem 1 and Gem 2 -Massawa War verses underscores all that you need to know about assimilation in this Luo Gem people. Gem is a traffic jam of assimilated clans because in addition to being occupying force the rulers towards the end pursued a policy of inviting outsiders into Gem to coexist but eventually keep them closer them swallow them. Clannism in Gem is not a past time chat like say in Ugenya or Alego. This is evidenced by the fact that in electoral competitions Gem has been represented by members of Assimilated clans fondly referred as Ojwando clans.

There are three types of these settlers: Luos, Highland Nilotes and Bantus. They are not squatters because they got land from Ragem or any of his sons for security or marriage reasons.

River- Lake Nilotes from adjacent Luo land arrivals are; Ndagaria clan of Nyakach, Ojuok and Mur clans of Alego, Ojola clan of Kisumu, Udha (Kaudha) of Sakwa.

Bantus of Luyha land are: Ebusagami from Bunyore, Umuri from Maragoli and Umani, Uwoware, Ulgano and Umuswa all from Kisa.

From Highland Nilotes, there is Nyibuop of Kalenjin who are descendants of arap Buop, a herd's boy who was given a Luo girl as wife (as handling charges). The Kalenjin (descendants of Odongo Pok Boni) descended from Kuku Lubanga and were together in Pubungu South Sudan in 1200 AD together with his brothers Lioleituk Dhiang’ (Plain Nilotes).

The Luo spiritual nickname of Moi Wuod Odongo has nothing to with his being a deputy of Jomo Kenyatta for 12 years as some poorly cultured urbanites have inferred. The 1978 welcoming salute at Kisumu-Kericho boundary by 'wise' Luo elders near Ahero town is a reference that President Moi is a descendant of Odongo Pok Boni the son of Kuku Lubanga or Siri Kuru or Kuku the Great of 1200AD In Pubungu South Sudan.


Former MP Wasonga-Sijeyo (Ndagaria);

MP Elisha Odhiambo (Uman);

Senator Amos Wako (Uman);

Otieno Ambala (Alego- Mur);

Horace Ongili Awiti (Alego);

International super model and activist Orie Rogo Manduli (Kanyibuop);

Dr Kama Rogo (Kanyibuop);

Eminent person Mama Ida Odinga;

Betty Oswee; Global Investment Banker (London), (KaSagam);

Bishop Otieno Wasonga –Sijeyo (Ndagaria);

Professor Washington Omondi (Ugenya)

International Football Star, Jack Shihul;

Ex International Boxer Conjestina Achieng;

Singer crooner H. Ochieng' Kabaselle (Asembo Buaja);

Betty Oswee; Global Investment Banker ( London), (KaSagam);



Impetus to a Culture of rapid progress

Massawa is a boiling pot and is largely occupied by different groups. But Gem have one distinct advantage. Gem had one ruler at a time. And just like Asian economies over Africa, this unitary governance reinforced by siege mentality enabled them to wage victory after victory and at the same time direct all their efforts at a targeted objective. Despite giving Gem clan of Luo land a reputation of violence, the land of Massawa also learned how to keep peace and assimilate other clans to their benefit. Today it is not easy even to interview a person from Gem because most have disengaged from their clans and can hardly identify each other by clan like say Alego, Ugenya or any other neighbouring Luo groups.

It is for this reason that I want to concede and apologise that the list of Who-is-who may contain transposed names.



  • The Kojuodhi sons are Lanyo, Opiya, Ginga, Nyambok, Ogwang’, and Oyoo. Some literature has named the sons of Ojuodhi as Ndolo (Ulolo), Okwiri, Adhaya, Opiyo and Odongo, Achier. I leave this as the challenges of oral literature.

  • Adhaya was not a son but a wife just like Akwany, Agola, etc.

  • Now, Okwiri was nicknamed Ulolo because his eyes had Ololo all the time.

  • Opiyo is Opiya.

  • Former MP Joe Donde is from JakoKWIRI which is Ulolo.

  • Horace Ongili Owiti is from UWOGA in East Gem NOT Alego but he packaged himself as JaKanyikwaya during campaings.

  • Prof. Magoha is adopted in Kojuodhi. His original home is near Marenyo, Jina area but he bought land in Umiru near Ndanu Falls a metres fom Prof. Ogot's home. He is KISA.

  • Now, include first African minister Beniah Apolo Ohaga whose home is in Got Regea but is Ja Ugenya KANYAMUOT. This is the most comprehensive story of GEM.

Wilson Anyango


Here is Genesis of Gem Part 1 Genesis of Gem Clan

Here is Genesis of Gem Part 2 Gem 2: Massawa War Verses


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