Brighten the corner where you are, defying all odds at Kumasi High School


For most people in Ghana and even around the world, the pride, enthusiasm or love they have for their Senior High Schools (SHS) sometimes transcends the universities they ever attended. More often than not, many students have that sense of belonging to their SHS; and in fact, this has been demonstrated in who takes the bragging rights in major competitions such as the National Science and Maths Quiz (NSMQ), Inter Schools and College Competition (Interco), national debates, robotics competitions, Milo Games, etc.

Some years back in schools in Kumasi, Interco was the major event that brought together all students within the Ashanti Region to compete in major sporting events such as Football, Volleyball, Athletics, Handball, Basketball, Table Tennis, etc. It was always fun because you got the opportunity to meet other colleagues from Opoku Ware, Prempeh College, Yaa Asantewaa, St. Louis, Osei Tweretwie, Osei Tutu, Amass, St. Monica’s, etc. These were moments you would never want to miss as a student.

In the year 2000, even though there were equally good schools in the Ashanti Region, I was filled with much pride when I was offered admission to Kumasi High School (KUHIS) as a Business student. There was drama surrounding my admission but I remain grateful to my late mum, Mrs. Elizabeth Odame-Gyenti (May her soul rest in peace) who fought to secure my admission back in the days. What happened? When the Basic Education Certificate Examination (BECE) results were released and I was offered admission to the school, I recall vividly being number Seven (7) on the admission list. Two days to admission closure, my name was miraculously missing from the list and this became quite worrying. What it meant was that, I had to start all over again looking for ‘fresh admission’.

When all hopes appeared to have been lost, God intervened! My mum vehemently resisted any attempt to drop my name from the admission list, knowing very well that I had gained admission to the school. My story and experience may not be so different from some people who went through same ordeal, but the most important thing is that it doesn’t matter where you start in life, eventually, the end justifies the means.

KUHIS, as an all-male school, is a very good and arguably the best Business school in Kumasi. I recall good tutors like Madam Patience Osei-Effeh, Archimedes, Ps. Patrick Owusu, Mr. Kofi Kyei Mensah (aka Fire), Mrs. Veronica Lumor, Mr. Kwarteng and Boga Gyau of blessed memory – just to mention a few in our time who would not only teach you, but also impart some discipline to students.

For instance, Madam Patience started her teaching appointment in the school in 1998. Within a few years, Kumasi High School had become the best Business school within the Ashanti Region. Her knowledge in accounting was simply amazing to the extent that she became a consultant for some of the major second cycle schools in Ghana.

Record has it that somewhere in 2008, so many business students scored all ‘A’s in the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE). They did better than the famous 1998-year-group who were the toast of town, and showed masterclass. In fact, most of the students described her as an embodiment of the popular Business Accounting book, Frank Wood.

For me personally, I really enjoyed my days in high school than I did at the University of Ghana. I was in Business 1 Class, and a very active member of ‘Shalom Singing Ministry’, with the likes of Akesse Brempong. I also joined the School Volleyball team and eventually became the Senior School Prefect (SP) for 2003 year-group for over 1,800 students, building up the leadership from school. But the juiciest part for me was that I enjoyed certain privileges as a ‘head boy’ of the school in my House 4 (Kyeremateng House) Dormitory. In 2002, I was awarded for the ‘Well Behaved Student’, and this is something I have never forgotten till date.

With all humility and by the grace of God, I was academically good in my Business courses. However, I couldn’t match up to my good friend and course mate – Mr. Afranie Francis, who was always first in class from form 1 to form 3. He gave me a very tough competition, and the more he inspired me (us) to catch up with academics, the more he expanded the marking scheme. One thing I learnt from him was that God is no respecter of ‘big schools and names’, and also that it takes a certain level of effort and grace to succeed.

Believe it or not, every student from Kumasi High School believes in our Latin motto ‘Veritas Vincit Omnia’ which translates ‘Truth conquers’. People associated Kumasi High School with all kinds of strange names. What I know is that we are fearless and determined to chart a path to ensure that truth prevails in everything we do. Some people have misconstrued this boldness and confidence of Kumasi High students to be arrogance. No, we respect and believe that if there is that one thing which can set you free, it’s the truth.

Every Senior High School student, in one way or the other, has stories to tell, looking back years ago. On the occasion of this year’s 9th Speech and Prize Giving Day, I charge every old student of Kumasi Senior High School to take stock of time in school, and continue to support our school where possible.

This year’s activity, slated for 12th November, 2022 at 8:30am, is on the theme ‘Enhancing the Free SHS Policy the role of Stakeholders’. In partnership with the Ghana Education Service, key invited guest include the Asantehene Otumfuo Osei Tutu II (Special Guest of Honour); H.E Nana Addo Dankwah Akufo-Addo, President of the Republic of Ghana (Special Guest of Honour); Abrante3 Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister of Education & Member of Parliament, Bosomtwe (Guest Speaker); and Abrante3 Professor. Francis Agyemang-Yeboah Esq. (immediate Past Vice. Dean, SMS KNUST) as the Chairman. This year’s Prize Giving Day promises to be exciting, and all Mmrante3 in Ghana and abroad are encouraged to come and participate in this event.

KUHIS arguably has one of the best teaching staff in Ghana, and this is a reflection of the quality of students produced year in and year out. The professionalism and dedication in which the tutors have discharged their duties over the years cannot be overlooked and underestimated. They have trained and impacted thousands of students who are occupying significant positions in the society today.

Notable alumni like Mr. Adams Abdul Salam, Member of Parliament for New Edubease Constituency; Dr. Yaw Osei Adutwum, Minister for Education; Collins Owusu Amankwah, Member of Parliament for Manhyia North Constituency; Mr. Samuel Boadu – Former Head Coach of Hearts of Oak; the late Mr. Kwadwo Baah-Wiredu, Member of Parliament for Asante Akim North; Mr. Henry Kwabena Kokofu, Member of Parliament for Bantama Constituency; Mr. Kwabena Antwi Bosiako – journalist at UTV and Peace FM; and various year-group associations, continue to contribute immensely and lift the flag  of KUHIS high.

There has also been a number of achievements for the school. Just recently, the ‘gentlemen’ from the one time best awarded ‘Best African Business School’ reached the semi-finals stage of the NSMQ 2022. They placed 4th in position after they got to the semi-finals in 2012. Although the school has never won the quiz before, it has made tremendous efforts over the past 10 years. For the record, Kumasi High School is the only school with the highest point in the Quarter-finals of the NSMQ.

As the ‘owners’ of Kumasi, you can’t be at the Baba Yara Sports Stadium in Kumasi and wouldn’t like an ‘Abrantee’. The boys continue to be the toast for Milo Championships, Super Zonal and Inter-Colleges Competitions.

The school has a very rich history as it started as a private secondary school in 1962. It started as Kwame Nkrumah Secondary School at Asuoyeboah, a suburb of Kumasi. It was established by one Mr. S. K. Amoah. In 1963 it was moved to occupy its rented premises at Kwadaso. The school was absorbed into the public system during the 1965/66 academic year; and Mr. Albert Appiah, a tutor at Prempeh College was appointed as the first Headmaster of the School. The name of the school was changed to Kumasi High School soon after the 1966 Military Coup, which ousted President Nkrumah’s regime.

The school remained at Kwadaso until 1977 when it was moved to occupy its present site at Gyinyase. In the 1978/79 school year, the school was given permission to run Sixth Form courses in Business, Arts and Science. However, the Sixth Form Course have been phased out with the introduction of the New Educational Reforms. It now runs a three-year Senior Secondary School Programme in General Arts, General Science, Business, Visual Arts and General Agriculture.

Indeed, a lot has happened over the last few years, and there is more to be thankful and grateful for as old students and even for the current students. As previously done by some of the year-groups, we need to continue supporting the ongoing projects on campus, and build capacity and development. As we embark on the 9th Speech and Prize Giving Day. Let’s not forget where we started from as individual leaders.

Let’s be proud of what we got from high school and build on that to help unborn generations. I also entreat all students to brighten the corner where they are, defy all odds and strive for excellence. If it was done for some of us, it can equally be done for you. I leave you with this in Matthew 5: 14-16 – Therefore, when your light seems dim, and you cannot shine, go to the Lord in prayer and ask Him to shine His light on you.

I will be there, come and let’s network!

Long live Kumasi High School, Long live Mmerantee!

>>>Disclaimer: The views expressed are personal views and don’t represent that of the media house or institution with which the writer works.

>>>the writer is a former School Prefect (S.P 2003 year-group), and a banking, finance and investment professional, working with an international bank in Ghana. Contact:  [email protected], Cell: +233 200301110y6

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