Allan Wilson High School

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Allan Wilson High School
AWS Badge
Allan Wilson Badge
Coordinates17°46′13″S 31°00′39″E / 17.77015°S 31.01076°E / -17.77015; 31.01076Coordinates: 17°46′13″S 31°00′39″E / 17.77015°S 31.01076°E / -17.77015; 31.01076
Motto"We are Men of Men"
AuthorityGovernment / Public School
GenderBoys Only
Average class size47 pupils (2013 average)
Classes offeredForm 1 to Upper 6 ['A' level]
LanguageEnglish & Shona
Houses6 Sporting Houses

Day Scholar Houses-Colour-Mascot

Red (colonial name Wellington)

Yellow (colonial name Newton)

Green - Bear (colonial name Browning)

Blue - Shumba (colonial name Scott)

Boarding Houses/Day Scholar-Colour-Mascot

White - Road Runner (colonial name Shangani)

Bulldog (colonial name Burnham - Lilac)
Colour(s)Black, Red and White
SloganSables the rare species
SportsRugby, Field Hockey, Football (Soccer), Tennis, Cricket, Water Polo, Basketball, Swimming, Athletics,
MascotSable Antelope
NicknameAWS (A-Dub, usually shortened to Dub)
Team nameSables
NewspaperSable News Network (SNN)

Allan Wilson High school is a boys' high school in Harare, Zimbabwe, named after the Rhodesian and British Army officer Allan Wilson. Wilson led the Shangani Patrol in the First Chimurenga (war) against the people of Matabeleland. He died in that war near Shangani River, defending Rhodesians who were fighting to colonise Zimbabwe. Earlier, he fought the Zulu people in South Africa (Zulu War) with the aim of colonisation.

The school shares a boundary fence/wall with Prince Edward School to the north and Harare Polytechnic to the south.


The school was founded in 1940 after running for 25 years as a hospital for the white minority who had colonised the then Rhodesia . Its sister school is Queen Elizabeth Girls' High School, which was founded in the same year. The school war cry is "Umkhulubafana, dzi, Izichesuzubaba, dzi, klahba, vimba, khosa, duma, zha, zhavella, Allan Wilson, waah. It was founded as a "modern general secondary school," and originally did not offer public examinations. This changed in 1952 when it was accorded the status of "technical high school," and named Allan Wilson Technical Boys' High School.[1] Between 1952 and 1974, the school was academically selective, and taught a mainly technical and scientific curriculum. From 1974, the curriculum was broadened and the school offered a comprehensive range of subjects.[1]

Historically, the school offered College of Preceptors 'O' level and 'A' level examinations under the auspices of the Oxford Examination Board and Associated Examining Board, later by the University of Cambridge Local Examination Syndicate UCLES, and also as a collaborative effort with the University of Zimbabwe.

Changes that happened when Zimbabwe got independence in 1980[edit]

The school motto was originally "They were Men of Men" in homage to the Allan Wilson's Shangani Patrol, who lost their lives to Lobengula's men at Shangani in 1893 during the First Matebele War. With Zimbabwean independence, and a feeling that the motto had lost its meaning, staff and students chose the motto "We are Men of Men" as a reflection of the sentiment of the time.

Since 1988, 'O' and 'A' Level curricula have revolved around the Zimbabwe Schools Examination Council (ZIMSEC) protocol of 'O' Level and 'A' LEVEL examinations. O-Levels are written after the first four years of high school, that is, at the end of Form IV (Year 11). A-Levels after the last 2 years of school, in Form VI (Year 13).

The school enrolment and staff changed from predominantly white to predominantly blacks. The school culture has significantly but not fully changed from a western colonial culture to African culture.

More work still needs to be done to ensure that the school fully decolonises. This work includes:

  1. Fully dropping colonial names of sports houses
  2. The motto We are men of men still has connotations of colonialism
  3. The school name is still a colonial name that celebrates an army officer who contributed to the colonisation of Zimbabwe, and suffering of Black people in general.
  4. There is nothing Zimbabwean about the school badge


In their first term of Form I at Allan Wilson, new boys are streamed into 4 or 5 classes using their grade 7 results. Boys in the top stream study Chemistry & Physical Sciences. Apart from academic subjects such as English literature and grammar, Maths pure and applied, French, Afrikaans, Shona, History, Geography, boys who wish to do so may take Art, Commerce, Metalwork, Religious Education, Technical Drawing, and Woodwork. All of these subjects are taught to 'O' (ordinary) level. The school offers progression to 'A' (advanced) level for boys who successfully complete 'O' level.

Recently, academic standards at the school have declined considerably, but the pass rate is still quite high. There is potential of revival through the Old Boys' Committee with many Old Boys now being based in the United States, the UK, and South Africa. There are also many successful Old Boys living in Zimbabwe.


The boys manage to hold their own against other schools on the sports field. The rugby team is showing potential with minimal resources.

Sports at the school include rugby, cricket, soccer, rowing, field hockey, lawn tennis, table tennis, weight lifting, baseball, boxing, karate, volleyball, swimming, diving, basketball, handball, badminton, chess, korfball, athletics, and cross country. Every scholar is encouraged to participate in at least one sporting discipline. The school competes against Prince Edward School, St. John's College, Peterhouse, St. George's College, Oriel Boys' High, Churchill Boys High and Cranborne High.


The school uniform comprises three main variants:

  • First Kit: long black trousers, black blazer, black shoes, white shirt, school tie, school belt and straw boater;
  • Second Kit: khaki shorts, white (long- or short-sleeve) shirt, black shoes, grey school stockings with garters, school tie, school belt and black cap or straw boater; and
  • Third Kit: khaki shorts, short-sleeve khaki shirt, black shoes, grey school stockings with garters, school tie, school belt and cap or grey felt hat (pork pie).


  • The Interact Club (A-Level Students Only)
  • Chess Club
  • Writers' Club
  • Environmental Club
  • Debate Club (Divided Into Senior and Junior Teams)
  • Quiz Club
  • Passed
  • Scripture Union
  • First Aid Club
  • Current Affairs Club
  • The Library Club
  • Science Club
  • Music Club
  • Padare / Men's Forum Club
  • Art club
  • Claps Inc Social Club
  • Leo Club
  • Mountain airing Club
  • Toastmasters Club (For Advanced Level Students Only)
  • Drama Club
  • Youth Against Aids

A note regarding the Toastmasters Club:

The Toastmasters Club was founded in 2018 by a group of Lower 6 students and they mainly focused on leadership grooming and charity work. The club's main objective is to master public speaking. As for charity, in mid-July, Toastmasters Allan Wilson donated 500 sanitary pads, 250 exercise books and clothing at Mulichi Primary, Karoi.

The Club committee is currently comprised as follows: Club President: Emmanuel T.Pasi [IDAT], Vice President: Clyton Jakata, Secretary: Mufaro Mandebvu [Mufah], Treasurer: Dumisani Ndebele [Dae Daye].

Committee members: Bezel Kuodza [BBK], Tinashe Muzvidzwa [TKAY], Sean-Lee Mhuru [Quanboy], Kudakwashe Mandaza, Tinevimbo Nyika [Tybx] and Isheanesu Marembo [Belove.Boi.Rae].

Club Patron: Mrs Muchinapo.

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ a b c I.P. Maclaren, ed. (1981), Some Renowned Rhodesian Senior Schools 1892--1979, Bulawayo: Books of Zimbabwe, pp. 15–24

External links[edit]