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Kenyan school that used State House as a dormitory

By Vincent Kejitan | Nov 5th 2019 | 1 min read

State House is the official residence of the President of Kenya and is well-known for its lush green gardens and tight security.

Records, however, indicate that the house on the hill was used as a dormitory by Lenana School in 1949 when it was the residence of the British Colonial Governor.

Students from the school were briefly housed at State House as they awaited completion of their dormitories and got to enjoy the nice ambience of the place.

Then known as Duke of York School, the institution was reserved for white students only within the Kenya Colony.

All teachers were also white and students were drawn from the sons of British settlers, most of whom were farmers in outlying areas.

By the early 1960s, the school was fully developed with its own well-kept 9-hole golf course, rifle range, horse stables, a cricket oval with a cricket pavilion and ample sports fields for rugby, football, hockey, swimming, tennis, squash and other sports.

After Kenya’s independence in 1963, there were gradual changes that led to the admission of a few black and Asian students in the mid-1960s.

These pioneer students were subjected to severe conditions and discrimination before the school opened doors to other Kenyans.

Local teachers were then employed in the early 1970s and were similarly subjected to difficult circumstances.

In recent years, Lenana School has consistently ranked among the best performing schools in national examinations and also prides itself in several co-curricular activities including drama and sports.

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