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A Brief History of Gem in Siaya County

Gem was founded by a valiant warrior called Ragem son of Podho brother of Owiny.

Ragem had two sons, namely, Ojuodhi Tipo and Kuenda Ramiero.

Ojuodhi had six sons and one daughter. The sons were; Lanyo, Opiya, Ginga, Nyambok, Ogwang’, Oyoo and his daughter called Anyango.

Equally, Kuenda had six sons and one daughter, namely, Nyikwaya (Olwa), Rariu (Onyango), Nyiwuor, Wiri, Nyidet, Thomo and their only sister Gilo (Nyagilo).

Gem also has Ojwando or immigrants. Those who came to stay with him either as workers or slaves. There are three types of these settlers; those from other parts of Luoland, those from Kalenjin and the ones from Luyha land. They are not squatters because they got land from Ragem or any of his sons for security or marriage reasons.

Those from Luoland are; Ndagaria from Nyakach, Mur from Alego, Ojola from Kisumu, Udha from Sakwa and Ojuok from Alego.

Those from Luyha land are; Ebusagami from Bunyore, Umuri from Maragoli and Umani, Uwoware, Ulgano and Umuswa all from Kisa.

From Kalenjin there is Nyibuop who are descendants of Arap Buop, a herd’s boy who was given a Luo girl as wife.

In short, today, Ojuodhi and Kuenda are clans with sub clans which are names of women married either by the two patriarchs or any of their sons..

Three well known Ojuodhi subclans are; Akwany, Agola and Adhaya. Agola is the most successful of all the subclans, it was from this house that Chief Odera Akango sprouted. The same house has produced four Gem MPs beginning with Argwings Kodhek, Omolo Okero, Grace Ogot and Oki Ombaka. Even Siaya women rep comes from Gem Kagola in Ulumbi.

Three well known Kuenda subclans are; Aluoch, Adhasi and Achar. Former Gem MP Jakoyo Midiwo comes from Achar subclam of the bigger Thomo clan staying in Kanyikwaya next to Ndori schools in South Gem.

Ojwando have produced a total of two MPs, namely, Otieno Ambala of Mur clan resident in Gem next to Komuok primary school and Wasonga Sijeyo of Ndagaria clan staying next to Sawagongo High School father of bishop Otieno Wasonga.

Via Wilson Anyango, FB.

About author

Lover of life, food and travel. Fell in love with Kisumu and has never looked back.
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