As we’re drawing closer to the end of the month, we’re gradually bringing down the curtain on Botwe.
That said, let’s share with you a brief history Mfantsipim school.
The idea of establishing a collegiate school to raise educational standards in the Gold Coast was first mooted in 1865 but it was not until 1876 that The Wesleyan High School was established in Cape Coast with donations from local businessmen and the support of the Methodist Missionary Society in London.
The school was established to train teachers and began with 17 pupils. It was originally planned to be sited at Accra because the British Government had by 1870 decided to move the capital of the Gold Coast from Cape Coast to Accra.
However, local agitation and the urgent need to put the idea into practice after eleven years of debate pressurized the Government to allow the school to begin functioning but on the understanding that it would later be moved to Accra. If that had happened it would not have been called “Mfantsipim” since the name means “a countless number of Fantes”.
Mfantsipim was the first secondary school to be established in the Gold Coast and in 1931 it moved to its present location at Kwabotwe Hill in the northern part of the Town, at the top of Kotokuraba Road, Cape Coast. The school sometimes has been referred to as ‘Kwabotwe’ for that reason.
It has turned out some of the country’s best known public figures in all walks of life, men such as Alex Quaison-Sackey, former President of the General Assembly of UNO, Dr. K A Busia, the first African to occupy a Chair in the Hague and a former Head of State.
It was deemed to be a Grammar School because Latin and Greek were taught but the school also offered carpentry, art and crafts and it has always been known as Mfantsipim School. It was an all boys boarding school although the intake included a small number of “day students”, that is pupils who attended school from home.
By Kwesi Kay (MOBA 1961)
The Edumfa Library