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Nguviu Gee: Where girls dreaded to wash cows and kneel on murram

Old school

St Angela’s Nguviu Girls High School was founded by the Catholic Church back in 1969. It was then known as St Ursula Boarding Primary, a girls school in Manyatta Constituency, Embu County.

It became St Angela’s Girls when a secondary school wing was established in 1973 with the first cohort of 68 sitting their Kenya Junior Secondary Examination (KJSE) in 1974. The institution was turned into a government school in 1976 with a harambee stream started by local coffee growers a year later.

However, the primary school wing was moved to its current site in 1986, which paved the way for a second, third and fourth stream to be incorporated in 1989 and 1995. Today, the school is an extra county institution and has over 600 girls under principal Esther Koome.

Memorable teachers include Rita Wahome, who taught biology using her body during reproductive topics! Mwende Mwitu turned shy girls into confident English speakers while Nyaga Kimwere was the strict Business Studies teacher. Girls scrambled for food and bread during meals and tea breaks. But staying for more than 20 minutes was punished with the culprits kneeling on murram for an hour or spraying and washing cows!

Meals had to be taken within the shortest time to spare 30 minutes for group discussion. All buckets belonged to all girls. But sleepy heads booked bathrooms in advance.  Stealing stockings was rampant and you were safer tying your hair with them at night.

Nguviu Gee’ Girls students rode to music and drama festivals inside ‘Siberia’ bus driven by Nicholas Muturi and sometimes to Nguviu Boys, its brother school. Kieni Girls haboured similar feelings sparking rivalry.

Notable alumni guided by the motto ‘Strive For Excellence’ include Pamela Rita Murugi, the Embu County Executive for Public Service; Hawa Fani Omar, former principal at Lamu Girls; Sylvia Makena, Medical Superintendent, ministry of Health; Edith Wambui, a scientist at KIRDI; and Rachael Wamae, Content Developer at AMREF.

Others, who enjoyed rice with githeri on Fridays for supper before retiring to Samburu, Maasai Mara, Tsavo, Kioo, Meru, Shimba Hills and Amboseli dormitories, include Risper Waigiri of Waigiri Advocates; Valerian Nyakio, a budget analyst, CIC insurance; Maureen Ndwiga, HR at Kenya Forestry Service; Jane Stella, HR AT Aga Khan Academy; Gladys Mugo, researcher; and  Kendo Gitonga, an accounting officer, Kenya Institute of Curriculum Development.

thers who wore  brown skirts, red sweaters, white blouses and brown with white stripes ties were Carol Njeri, administration officer, the office of DPP;  Stella Kawira, operations manager at I&M Bank; and Anne Makena, author, speaker and founder Makena Ministries.

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