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Kiswate founder Pius Odhiambo mourns John Muyoma

Kiswate founder Pius Odhiambo mourns John Muyoma

My name is Pius Odhiambo and I am the 4th generation descendant of Muyoma Kochola who was the grandfather of the late John Muyoma Opondo. I am here to give my msg of condolences to the family of the late John Muyoma.

The late John Muyoma Opondo was not just a great man but an institution in his own rights. Fondly known as Awele Kwach, he is  a man of many firsts. As I grow up in this village, John Muyoma was like my father and I enjoyed his company which was characterized by his many exciting stories about his service in the  colonial army abroad.

He told me that he was a soldier in the colonial British army and he worked as a driver in the second world war. His last duty station by the time the second world war was ending  in 1945 was South Africa ( He used to pronounce it as Soth Africa). After the war ended in 1945 he returned home and practised masonry, a skill he used to transform our community. Mzee John Muyoma was trained at Kabete Technical Institute as a mason. He was the chief contractor that built Sega Catholic missions institutions ( Sega catholic church, hospital and the associated schools) and  Ukwala Catholic church among others. He would come to the community and hire laborers to work for him.

Among his laborer’s was my own father Jaduon’g Lucas Madiany who is in the congregation here. In his National ID card it is captured that the late John Muyoma was born in 1923 a fact I reject with absolute certainity. Going by his many stories that he used to tell us, I suspect that Mzee Muyoma might have been born around  1918 when the first world war was just ending making him to live beyond 100 years. I am not sure if there is going to be another descendant of  Muyoma KOchola who will live beyond 100 years like Mzee John Muyoma. Mzee John Muyoma was a sharp man and could name his grandfathers upto the 10th  generation. I tried recalling them and here it goes:-

Nyinga John Muyoma

1. Muyoma KOPondo

2. Opondo ka Muyoma

3.Muyoma KOchola

4. Ochola ka Handulo

5. Handulo Ka Gor

6. Gor KaRiak

7.Riak Ka Umbuglu

8.Umbuglu KOchien’g

9. Ochien’g KaNdolo

John ,Muyoma was a polygamist and I remember vividly how we used to refer to our mothers (Min Oyiengo, Min Ochola, Min Orucha, Nyar Mualo, Achien’g (Min Oduor). Min Orucha died long time ago before I was born. I never saw her. I was later told that the late John Muyoma had other 3 wives during his youthful stage in the stations where he served in the colonial military including South Africa. Going by this it is suspected that there are descendants of Mzee John Muyoma in South Africa. Whether this is true or not I don’t know.

Polygamy was Mr. John Muyoma’s way of life just like it is in other parts of Luo land, Kenya and the rest of the world. As Luos we do not practice polyandry and it is an abomination. Polyandry is a practice where a woman is married to many men at the same time as it is the practice in some parts of the world but here in Luo land our culture and tradition accepts and recognizes polygamy.

The law also recognizes polygamy. I am not a polygamist and I have no intention of becoming one but I wish to state that it is not criminal to be a polygamist. 

Mr. John Muyoma was an avid sportsman, he owned a bicycle, a big music system and a walking stick.

I would watch him ride his bicycle when he is from work and during those days when he is not at work he will sit under the historic OBER tree in this home and listened to his music from his big record player surrounded by his many friends enjoying and drinking his favorite liquor Chang’aa. Through out the village I did not see any other man that owned a big record player like that of Mzee John Muyoma. Mzee John lived his life to the fullest and was among the first in the lineage of Muyoma KOchola to work abroad in South Africa.

Afew of us work in foreign countries, we are not the first and we will not be the last. We are just following the footsteps of Mzee John Muyoma. I challenge the young people in this lineage to keep the spirit of John Muyoma alive by seeking employment opportunities in foreign countries. If by 1945 John Muyoma was working in South Africa, why not you.

Today as we lay Mzee John Muyoma to rest, he is going to the grave with a lot of history. History collected and witnessed over a period of 100 years. History that is witnessed in hospitals, schools and churches that he helped build with his rare skill as at that time. These schools and institutions have remained steadfast and is serving our communities around here. If you talk of Sega Girls High School fondly referred to as Ka Sister, mano tij John Muyoma, Sega Catholic Church mano tij John Muyoma, Sega Girls Primary mano tij,  John Muyoma, Ukwala catholic church, mano tij John Muyoma and the list is endless..

In recognition of Mzee John Muyoma’s achievements at a time when the world was still a sleep  I take this opportunity to request the young generation ( all grandchildren of Muyoma to rename the funeral whatsapp group that was created a couple of weeks ago after John Muyoma’s grandfather MUYOMA KOCHOLA .This will enable the young generation track their history  ( JOKA MUYOMA KOCHOLA).

Rest In Peace Mzee John Muyoma Opondo. We celebrate you with your achievements. Dhi Gi Kwee Awele Kwach Wuod Julliana Nyar Nund Ja Puoyo.

Ka ichopo kono mosna Madiany Piro wuod Adongo, Oduor Madiany, Dismus Opondo, Julliana Nund, Oyugi Petro, Ocholla police, Othieno Asuso, Ocholla Ndulo, Agola Thomas, Oyugi Jamua, Oluoch KOyugi, Annah Oduho, Lijina Miruka, Choli Muyoma, Orucha Muyoma, Lihare Agola Thomas, Omondi Ochola Ndulo, Owino Ocholla , Randa Handulo, Odinga Randa, Maria Madede, Syprose Nyabon’go, Oduor Asuso, Ogungo Ocholla, Okinyo Nyar Lan’go, Nyamuolo Nyar Lihare, Teresia Nyaoro, Ogut Mbira, Oyugi Nyamresa, Nyar Odielo, Nyameda, Martina among others.

.1. An Oyugi KaLucas

2. Lucas Ka Madiany

3. Madiany KaMuyoma

4.Muyoma KOchola

5 Ochola ka Handulo

6. Handulo Ka Gor

7. Gor KaRiak

8.Riak Ka Umbuglu

9.Umbuglu KOchien’g

10. Ochien’g KaNdolo

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