Colonial Senior Chief Njiiri wa Karanja who ruled Kigumo, Murang’a County then called Fort Hall from 1901 to 1952 was behind the establishment of the popular Njiiri School.
The school is named after the dreaded, ruthless Chief. It is said he begged Fort Hall DC to start an African Government Secondary School in his area.
Karanja and three other powerful chiefs – Michuki Njoroge, Ignatius Murai and Ndung’u Kagori – were ordered to scout for the location of the school.
After traversing the entire District they agreed on Kinyona location in Kigumo. It is alleged the land was taken away from poor residents.
Construction started in 1952, but was interrupted by the State of Emergency. Some structures were converted into a camp for homeguards. In 1957, construction resumed and the pioneer class of 25 students was admitted in 1958.
The school, which sits on a 65-acre piece of land, was officially opened on January 26, 1959 by Chief Secretary of Kenya W F Coutts at an event attended by Njiiri, then a retired Senior Chief. Currently it has 1,200 boys and about 10, 000 have schooled there.
The school has produced who-is-who, like Former Advisor to Raila Odinga Miguna Miguna, former MPs Kabando wa Kabando, Jamleck Kamau and others.