Mengo Senior School

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Mengo Senior School
Kampala, Central Region
Coordinates 00°19′14″N 32°33′42″E / 0.32056°N 32.56167°E / 0.32056; 32.56167Coordinates: 00°19′14″N 32°33′42″E / 0.32056°N 32.56167°E / 0.32056; 32.56167
Type Public middle school and high school (8-13)
Motto Akwana Akira Ayomba
(Make friends and never foes)
Established 1895
Principal Mr. John Fred Kazibwe
Number of students c. 3700
Slogan Fearing God, Integrity and Respect of persons and property
Athletics Soccer, netball, rugby, volleyball, and basketball
Publication The Mengo Star

Mengo Senior School, also known as Mengo SS, is a comprehensive, mixed day school in Kampala. As of December 2014, it had 3,716 students, 144 teachers, 28 technical staff, and more than 30 support staff.[citation needed]


Mengo SS is located on Namirembe Hill, along Hoima Road in Lubaga Division, in the north-western part of Kampala, the capital and largest city of Uganda. The coordinates of the school are 0°19'14.0"N, 32°33'42.0"E (Latitude:0.320556; Longitude:32.561667).[1]


Having been founded in 1895 by the Church Missionary Society, the school is the oldest school in Uganda. According to the school magazine, Akwana, the school complex started as an informal home school where a missionary, Miss Chadwick, taught reading and writing. Her students were mainly youth who came to her house for prayers every afternoon.

Most of the boys Chadwick taught were houseboys of the missionaries. After a while, she began sending them to chiefs, asking that the latter send their children to her for lessons. Soon, the potential of her efforts began to be noticed. As the number of Chadwick's learners grew, it was realised that her house was no longer sufficient to serve as a school. The missionaries, eager to use formal education to fuel their religious work, established a standard formal school on Chadwick's foundation.

In 1895, an elementary mixed school known as Kayanja was founded at Mengo, making it one of the first standard formal schools in Uganda. The school's location and appearance are thus described by A. K. Sempa in his 1941 article African Schools. The first school building was a reed-walled structure, with a grass-thatched roof.

The magazine points out that most of the first students who enrolled in the first Mengo School (Kayanja) became school masters posted by Church Councils to rural areas. Many became clerks and chiefs. The number of learners attending the school grew. It soon became necessary to house the learners in a boarding school. The Prime Minister of Buganda (Katikkiro), Apollo Kaggwa, gave them his house on Namirembe Hill, which they used for nine years.

But the numbers kept growing, with students coming from as far as Busoga, Bunyoro, Toro, and Ankole. As a result, a larger school was needed. In June 1904, the Church Missionary Society held a conference where it was resolved to build two new schools. One on Namirembe Hill and another at Buddo.

The schools were to produce men fit to serve God. By the end of 1904, a boarding school had been set up. The school was named Mengo High School with 250 students. The subjects taught included arithmetic, geography, and elementary science.[2]


Academically, Mengo Senior School is ranked among the best secondary schools in Uganda and currently the best performing day school because of its continued academic excellence, especially at A-level.[3]

Notable alumni[edit]


  1. ^ Google. "Location of Mengo Senior School At Google Maps". Google Maps. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  2. ^ Batte, Edgar (10 September 2012). "Is Mengo SS, At 117 Years, Uganda's Oldest School?". Daily Monitor (Kampala). Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  3. ^ Musinguzi, John (26 July 2010). "Uganda's Oldest School, Mengo SS Still Shines". The Observer (Uganda). Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  4. ^ Nalubwama, Jackie (13 July 2006). "Timeless Mengo: 'Akwaana Akira Ayomba'". The Observer (Uganda). Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  5. ^ Independent Team (19 January 2013). "James Mulwana 1936-2013". The Independent (Uganda). Archived from the original on 3 April 2015. Retrieved 8 December 2014. 
  6. ^ Bukumunhe, Timothy (9 April 2007). "Who Are The Richest People In Uganda?". New Vision (Kampala) via Cloud-Compuuoting Thomson Dialog NewsEdge. Retrieved 7 December 2014. 

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