Thika High School in Kiambu County was founded in 1951 by the Alliance of Protestant Churches and the Church of Scotland Mission with the aim of providing education for the natives.
The school was initially known as Thogoto Agriculture Teachers Training Centre.
In 1956, the school opened a section to offer secondary education and admitted the first lot of 300 boys in a single stream. Since it was located near Alliance High School, founded by the Presbyterian Church of East Africa, Thika High School was transferred to Thika and was converted into a teacher training college.
The class sat for the Cambridge school certificate and the name of the school was changed from Thogoto to Thika High School.
In 1960, a second stream was registered and a third one fours year later. Later, two Form Four streams offering Science and Arts were introduced. In 1995, the school added the number of streams to four.
Currently, the school boasts 10 streams (Form 1), and nine streams (for the rest of the classes). Julius Muraya is the school’s chief principal.
He is a darling of students and has raised the student population from 700 about six years ago to 1,782.
The most popular sports discipline was handball and in 1994, the school team toured Italy after winning at the national school games where St Francis Mang’u Girls, the sister school, cheered them to victory.
The worst punishment was mopping a footpath and cleaning the field for being late for class or on opening day. The school driver, Levis Kamau commonly known as Stamo or Stamina, has been at the school for 30 years and is celebrated for his accident-free record.
Notable alumni who remember the school motto, “Abundant Life” include Retired Supreme Court judge Jackton Boma Ojwang, Retired judge Emmanuel Okubasu (Court of Appeal), former Kiambu Deputy Governor Gerald Githinji, former Kenya Anti-Corruption Commission
Director Aaron Ringera, Murang’a Governor Irungu Kang’ata, Senior Counsel Paul Muite, Trade CS Moses Kuria and Head of Internal Audit at Standard Group Ken Muoki.
Others are Prof Muthure Macharia, Prof of ENT, University of Nairobi, Solicitor General Ken Ogeto, Francis Wangusi, former Communications Authority of Kenya Director General, Linus Gitahi, former CEO at Nation Media Group, Charles Otieno, Print Editor-Weeklies, Sports and Entertainment at Standard Group, Kamotho Waijango, lawyer and Dr Wanguhu Gitonga, economist.
Students sang “Thika High is a heavy school, other schools are shady”, while going for rugby at Mang’u High School in the school bus nicknamed Landers. Those who recited the anthem include Dr George Njoroge, Equity Group Relations Officer, Dr Martin Mwangi, Scientist, Patrick Abate, Support Engineer at United Nations, Kevin Magotsi, prominent Mombasa businessman and Dr Onentia Oyieng’o, Brown University in USA.
We also have Samuel Mithamo, Pharmacist, Samuel Njoroge; Ag. Director of Legislative & Procedural Services at National Assembly, Dr Njoroge Nduati; Orthopaedic Surgeon and Peter Murege, Certified Public Accountant.
Others who schooled at HAE, as the school was nicknamed, clad in dark grey trousers, white shirts, yellow sweaters, dark brown blazers, are Michael Muchiri, Physics and Mathematics lecturer at Kenya Methodist University, Brian Awuor, KPMG Auditor, David Gitau, Finance Consultant in Nairobi and Josiah Kariuki, Accountant.
Those who retired to Congo, Zaire, Limpopo, Athi, Nile, Senegal, Sabaki, Leakey, Gambia, Nzoia, Galana, Lagos, Orange, Rufiji, Mara, Gambia, Juba and Ruaha dormitories after enjoying rice and green grams for supper served by Nelson Osano, alias Agriculturalist, include Maina Muigua, electric engineer, Ngare Eliud, author, Simon Kamande, of National Museums, Danson Githae, banker and Frank Wambugu, former news anchor, K24.