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  • Writer's pictureStephen Osieyo


Updated: Jun 9


The genesis, synopsis and compendium of who is who of Gem clan of Luo Nation from 1200 AD to date. Gem clan occupy the middle east of eastern Africa


Verse 1: And so it came to pass that in about 1250 years ago, Sin Kuru also known as Kuku Lubanga and his 12 wives begot some three sons, Lioleituk Dyang’, Odongo Pok Boni and Opiyo Podho Koma.

Verse 2: From the house of Opiyo Podho Koma, Ringruok (1245?) begot Owat (1274?).

Verse 3: And Owat begot Twaifo (1303?).

Verse 4: Twaifo begot Jok I (1332?).

Verse 5: And then it came to pass that Jok I begot 3 sons Nayo (1361?), Omolo (1363?) and Owiny (1366?).

Verse 6: And Nayo begot Jok II (1390?).

Verse 7: Jok II begot Ramogi I (1419?).

Verse 8: And Ramogi I begot Aruwa (1448?) and another son Podho II (1450?) that he named after his ancestor Podho.

Verse 9: And from the house of Podho II came Ramogi II (1469?), Lang’ni (1471?), Okombo (1473?), Omia (1475?), Didang’ (1477?), Miwiru (1479) and Olak (1481).

Verse 10: And so it came to pass that Ramogi II begot, Adhola, Nyaluo (1498?), Ramogi Ajwang’ (1500?) and Mongra (1502?).

Verse 11: And Ramogi Ajwang’ begot Omolo (1529?) and Ochielo (1531?).

Verse 12: And Ochielo begot Ragam (1560?) and step brothers GEM(1562?), two planting seasons later.

Verse 13: and Ugenya (1564?) was born two long rain seasons after Gem

Verse17: And so it came to pass that from the house of Podho brother of Owiny, Gem was also born.

Verse 18: Gem begot a son Kuenda Ramiero and a foster son Ojuodhi Tippo

Verse 19: Ojuodhi begot Lanyo, Opiyo, Ginga, Nyambok, Ogwang’, and Oyoo

Verse 20: Kuenda begot Olwa Nyikwaya, Onyango Rariu, Nyiwuor, Wiri, Nyidet and Thomo.


Fond name: Andare Kuon gi mto. The coining of the pet name is not clear. The reference of staple diet of cornbread and the slimy stew of mto vegetable seems to refer to perseverance. Mto is a green vegetable that when cured with apoth/onyulo produces a slimy stew film of stew that stretches like a thread. Clinical nutritionists have identified the bitter taste of Mto as a beneficial as it helps open up the blood vessels therefore enabling transportation of oxygen and all that pertains to it. The curing is not clear but there is a less quinine-taste like version of Mto fondly known as Nera-Mto (Mto's uncle) which is also cured. I think the same attributes as bitter-leaves from West Africa.

MASSAWA Topology

Gem generally occupy the area known as massawa (central) Luo land. They border cousin Ugenya who incidentally they have never quarrelled with. If anything they held joint raids together into neighbouring clans and tribes.

However, there are clusters of people of Gem not only in all parts of Nyanza province but in Eastern Africa.

Due to their earlier contact with foreigners, Gem clans benefitted from early education especially around the citadel of Higher learning at Yala St Mary’s. That is the origin of their reputation of learned clan.

The unwanted reputation of arrogance and headstrong women is further examined in the compendium which is in part 2


1. Ojuodhi Tipo Clan

2. Kuenda Ramiero clan

3. Ojwando clans

Gem also has Ojwando or immigrants. Those who came to stay with Gem either as workers or slaves. They are not temporary visitors or travellers because they got land from Ragem or any of his sons for security or marriage reasons, specifically for settlement

There are 4 types of these settlers:

1. Other Luo clans: Ndagaria from Nyakach, Mur and Ojuok from Alego, Ojola from Kisumu, Udha from Sakwa and Ojuok from Alego.

2. Bantu Luhya clans ; Ebusagami from Bunyore, Umuri from Maragoli and Umani, Uwoware, Akwenda, Ulgano and Umuswa all from Kisa.

3. Nilotes or Kalenjin: Nyibuop or descendants of arap Buop, a herd's boy who was given a Luo girl as wife. I am not sure whether he was given or he took.

4. Ugenya (Kager). The Kager occupy a strange clan history in Gem because of the genealogy. They are treated with not only same rights but with a reverence by Gem people anywhere in the world. They are legends of not only wilo tong’ (solemn covenants) but also loko pien (wife swapping).

In other words, they are geographically settlers but historically and genealogically they are rightfully occupants in Gem areas.


Apart from Yala St Mary’s the Citadel of higher learning, Gem clan has influenced the happenings of not only Kenya but East Africa.

Even before Independence Gem had a say in the World War 1 and 2 as well as the British King African Rifles military wing.

The list of eminent persons ranges from paramount Chief Odera Akang’o, Argwings Kodhek, educationist Bethwell Ogot to First Lady Ida Odinga.


The settlement, sub clans and famous sons of each sub clan is covered in part 2

Here is Gem Part 2 Gem 2: Massawa War Verses

Here is Gem Part 3 Gem Who Is Who



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Mar 11, 2021

Two sub clan of ojwodhi tipo is missing Okwiri and Agola

Stephen Osieyo
Stephen Osieyo
Mar 11, 2021
Replying to

Thank you very much for reading and for the comments. I am doing a proper FamilyTree and definitely this will be very useful. I will share the tree with you before publishing.

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