Gem, a small village in Siaya County, is the home of some prominent professors who made a mark in various sectors in the country.
The sudden demise of the former Education Cabinet Secretary George Magoha awakened the sleepy Gem village. Magoha, a national pillar in education, revolutionised education during the rollout of the Competency-Based Curriculum (CBC) in 2017.
Despite opposition, Magoha relentlessly pushed for adopting of the new education system marking an end to the 8-4-4 curriculum.
Besides spearheading the introduction of CBC, Magoha tamed exam malpractices and pushed for increased capitation to schools.
Other professors from Gem include Bethwel Ogot, Madara Ogot, Richard Nyabera and Washington Ambrose Omondi.
Lawyer Argwings Kodhek was also a prominent academician from the region.
Professor Bethuel Allan Ogot was born in Gem and educated at Ambira, Maseno School and later joined Makerere University.
After Makerere university, Ogot went to the School of Oriental and African Studies, University of London, where he majored in history.
During his time at the University of Nairobi, professor Ogot edited Volume V of UNESCO's History of Africa and presided over the committee that oversaw the production of the entire History.
He also served as Chancellor of Moi University.
Professor Washington Omondi specialised in Musicology: History, Form and Analysis of Western Classical Music, General Musical Knowledge, and Advanced Theory of Music.
Omondi is one of the composers of the National Anthem.
The anthem which he composed with five other individuals, was to be played as the Kenyan flag was raised and the Union Jack – the colonial masters' flag - came down, to signify Kenya had been granted independence.
During his last interview, Omondi lamented that top dignitaries had not comprehended the National Anthem.
"A good number did not stand up. Some only murmured; they didn't know the words of the anthem," he stated.
Professor Madara Ogot holds a PhD in Mechanical Engineering from Penn State University, an MBA (Strategic Management) from Rutgers University and a PhD in Business Administration (Strategic Management) from the University of Nairobi.
According to the University of Nairobi, Ogot was published widely in refereed journals, mentored and supervised post-graduate students in Mechanical Engineering.
He is credited for supervising stochastic design optimisation, transportation and engineering education.
Madara is also credited for being the brains behind Strategic Management, focusing on the country's small and medium enterprises.
Richard Nyabera is the youngest brother of the late CS Magoha. He started schooling at Jina Primary School in the then Yala Division and later joined Starehe Boys Centre.
After completing his studies, he proceeded to the State University of New York.
Nyabera shaped different academic policies in the US, where he resided.
Clement Michael George Argwings Kodhek
Clement Michael George Argwings Kodhek was an achiever par excellence. He was an Achiever because he was the first black lawyer in East Africa.
The man who was born in 1923 in Nyawara, Gem, schooled in Yala, Makerere University College and University of South Wales, where he earned a law degree.
Although he is not in the professors' category, Argwings became Kenya’s minister for Foreign Affairs.
Gem's glory in education is credited to Chief Odera Akang'o, who was invited to Uganda during the consecration of Namirembe Cathedral by Bishop JJ Willis.
Returning from the event, the chief started implementing some of the policies he had picked from Uganda.
According to professor Bethwell Ogot, Chief Akang'o compelled students to attend school by caning them. He even summoned parents and forced them to take their kids to school.