Going Down The Memory Lane

  1. History Of The School

  2. Gihs/Duke/Jamhuri Achivers List

  3. Teachers

  4. Teacher's Message

  5. Outstanding Alumni Of The School

  6. Contributions To The Acadame

  7. Contribution To Sports

  8. Contribution To The Struggle For Independence Of Kenya

  9. Contribution To The Development Of Commercial Activity

  10. Outstanding Alumni

History Of The School

Government Indian High School 1928 - 1950's
Duke of Glucester School 1950 - 1969
Jamhuri High School 1970

The British East African Company was established in 1888. In 1895, protectorate administrative and commercial rule was enforced from Bombay. That same year, A. M. Jeevanjee of Karachi was awarded the contract to build the Kenya-Uganda railway and recruited his workforce from the Punjab. The first batch of 350 men sailed to Mombasa; over the next six years their number increased to 31,895. Most of them – Sikhs, Hindus and Muslims – worked as skilled labourers, artisans, bricklayers, carpenters, plumbers, tailors, motor mechanics and electrical fitters, mainly in Kenya and Uganda. After the railway’s completion in 1905, fewer than 7,000 chose to stay in East Africa. By 1911, 12,000 Punjabis, Gujaratis and Parsee moneylenders, as compared to 3,000 Europeans, were living mainly in Kenya. In 1920 Kenya was declared a British colony.

When the "Lunatic Line" (Uganda Railway or "Victoria's Tin Line") reached this area in 1899, a basic camp and supply depot was set up, simply called ‘Mile 327’. The local Maasai called this highland swamp Ewaso Nai’beri – the place of cold water. The camp became a rustic village, and then a shanty town, which by 1907 was the capital of all of British East Africa. In the first years of the 20th century,the problem of schooling Indian children had to be faced by the emerging local administration.

The issue was tackled as it would be tackled right inside British India, for the East African adventure, at least initially, in many senses was an extension of British rule in India, particularly in the Punjab, the place of origin of most early railway staff.

Typically, schools would be exclusively Indian, and the medium of early instruction would be Urdu (at the primary level) and increasingly English, right from when the lad first went to primary school at five-and-a-half to when he matriculated at age 16, with Urdu having long receded by then to just one of seven curriculum subjects.

From very early times, Gujarati formed a basis for a separate stream; but after the Kenya Preliminary Examination, which separated the primary from secondary (high school) education -- till age 13 (later 12) --, the two streams fused, with the boys attending separate classes for just Gujarati and Urdu.

It is in this context that there emerged the Government Indian High School. From cutting its teeth in bandas and tin-roofed shacks near the Nairobi Railway station, in the year 1904 what was then the Whitehouse Road later turning into Haille Selassie Avenue. The school moved to its present location on Ngara Road, (then the Limuru Road), astride Muranga Road, in the late 1920s. The name changed from Government Indian Secondary High School to Government Indian High School at that time; it became the Duke of Gloucester School in 1950's in Honor of the Duke of Gloucester who took great interest in promoting the school. In 1962 the Duke presided over the opening of the Swimming Pool. In 1961 the construction of a hostel to accommodate 60 students was undertaken. In 1969, after Independence of Kenya, the school was renamed Jamhuri High School.

In 1999 the class of 1949 held a Reunion of the Class in Honor of their teachers, under the untiring efforts of Prof. Dr. Visho Sharma ( Western Michigan University) assisted by Mrs. S.A.K. Esmail and the Late Jayant Ruperel, and other Alumni. This effort led to the creation of the Jamhuri School Asian Fund (JSAF). Dr. Sharma wrote a letter that was published by the Daily Nation in it's Letters section. JSAF is undertaking the renovations of the schools buildings on an ongoing basis.

Daily Nation
Wednesday, August 25, 1999

Support City School Project

In calling for a renewal in Kenya, perhaps the media (the "Fourth Estate'') in modern republicanism should set an example. It is not enough to chastise an inefficient Civil Service and rail against the rest of the Executive branch – including a morally bankrupt top leadership.

In my own experience, the Nation, too, somewhat betrayed misplaced priorities recently when it devoted (and I use the word advisedly) a five-inch column to a postponed wedding in the fringes of the Kennedy clan in America; while a multi-million-shilling scheme to upgrade high school education in Kenya was reluctantly given one inch – upon two requests – with the news totally distorted, to boot.

I refer to Jamhuri High School and its proud history. Jamhuri, which has had three other names in its otherwise regretful colonial past, has produced at least two Chief Justices, five Queen's Counsel, 12 judges, top-shelf doctors, eminent professors and authors, inordinately successful captains of industry, and other upright, patriotic Kenyans.

The facilities at the school are now simply pathetic. Hundreds of us, both at home and abroad, have decided to help restore the old glory. On top of the tremendous contributions made by a committee led by Shireen Esmail and Jayant Ruparel, a global network has been activated under the leadership of The 49 Years.

Those that left the school 50 years ago started the ball rolling with meetings in Toronto (covering North America), London (Europe), and Nairobi (which was the only one attended poorly, partly because of the misleading one-inch column the Nation gave us); echoes reverberated across our global, inter-racial, e-mail network based on the East African diaspora. Pledges have poured in from major educational trusts as well as individuals.

Perhaps this letter, read worldwide in your esteemed paper, will reach out and touch others who care for Jamhuri, our very promising youngsters, and our native land.

Visho Sharma,
Michigan, US.

As noted in the above letter the School has been instrumental in participating in all facets of Kenya's society, a remarkable effort by the Teachers given that the Asian community is a Minority of the total population of Kenya. Now the challenge falls upon the Jamhuri High School to excell the record of the School in it's ability to serve Kenya with it's Moto of " Effort Unending" and continue the legacy of the School it has inherited over the last 100 plus years of it's existence. Recently, His Excellency, President Mwai Kibaki honored the Jamhuri High School by announcing the launching of the Free Secondary Education for all Secondary School Students in Kenya from the grounds of the Jamhuri High School. On behalf of the Class of 1957 the following letter was sent to His Excellency President Mwai Kibaki.

Your Excellency,

On behalf of the Class of 1957 of the school you so graciously selected to launch the free Secondary Program today gives us great pride and honour, the Alumni of the school thank you for this great honour you have bestowed upon the Teachers past and present who have instilled great values to the students graduating from the school. The school will continue to carry it's traditions in the future.

Your Excellency, Jamhuri High School has a proud history. Jamhuri, which has had three other names in its otherwise regretful colonial past, has produced at least two Chief Justices, five Queen's Counsel, 12 judges, top-shelf doctors, eminent professors and authors, inordinately successful captains of industry, and other upright, patriotic Kenyans.

Thank you for the recogination you have bestowed on Jamhuri.

Suniti Mohindra
On behalf of the Class of 1957, Duke of Gloucester School now Jamhuri High School.