“Mfantsefo Apem”: The Story of the Oldest Secondary School in Ghana.

Established by the Methodist Church on 3rd April 1876, Mfantsipim School is Ghana’s oldest secondary school located in Cape Coast, Ghana.

The all-boys secondary school was started with 17 students,  with 18 year old James Picot as the school’s first Headmaster. With the founding name as the Wesleyan High School, the school became known as High School and Training Instruction, and later Wesleyan Collegiate School, then Richmond College, Mfantsipim had several name changes before John Mensah-Sarbah, a pioneer student of the school who had become a popular lawyer finally coined the name ‘Mfantsipim’.

Sarbah and his friends insisted that the name “Mfantsipim” was not to be broken into syllables to indicate “Mfantsefo Apem” (A thousand Fantes). Sarbah and his friends were more committed about how the school could serve the future education needs of Gold Coast.

For them “Mfantsipim” meant the ‘Soul of the People’ because these young men believed that the “souls of the people of Ghana” would mature in this school. The motto of the school “Dwen Hwe Kan” which literally means “Think and look ahead” was suggested by Mensah Sarbah.

The school did not only have several name changes, it changed locations several times too. From the Mission House to the former Colonial School on Saltpond Road, Acquah’s house, Coussey’s house at the foot of McCarthy Hill, Government buildings near the Isolation hospital, Sea View House, Mount Hope and eventually settled on the hill popularly called the Kwabotwe Hill.

After 145 years of training young boys between the ages of 14 and 18, the award-winning school’s current enrollment is close to 3000 students. Wesley Girls School is Mfantsipim’s sister school while Adisadel College and St. Augustine’s College all located in Cape Coast are recognised as rival schools of Kwabotwe.

Also known as The School, Mfantsipim’s colours are black and red, while old boys are called Mfantsipim Old Boys Association (MOBA).

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This Post Has 4 Comments

  1. Avatar
    Esther Kabu

    Nice one Akorfa ☺️?

    1. Akorfa Akoto
      Akorfa Akoto

      Thank you Esther

  2. Avatar

    That’s a good write. Thanks for the light!

  3. Avatar

    Augusco and Adisco are not recognized as rival schools of Kwabotwe. That will be a sin. Nobody will do that. The two schools look up to Kwabotwe for inspiration.

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