Gituru Secondary : Where SK Macharia was school bell ringer

British novelist Jeffrey Archer recalled how “I was allowed to ring the bell for five minutes until everyone was in assembly... it was the beginning of power.”

For successful entrepreneur SK Macharia, being the timekeeper and thus school bell ringer at Gituru Intermediary School in Murang’a, was the foundation of his success in business as Wanjiru Waithaka and Evans Majeni informs us in A Profile of Kenyan Entrepreneurs published in 2014.

Gituru was a primary boarding school which SK joined from Gichagi-ini primary where he failed Class Six (after spending a whole year playing draughts with British Johnnies), and thus repeated classes at Gituru which went up to class seven.

The the two years he spent there, from 1957 as bell ringer, changed his life: He was the first to wake at 5am...and wake up the headmaster!

“Together, they would then synchronise their clocks after which he would ring the bell for everyone else to wake up,” writes the duo, adding that SK Macharia would ring “the bell for cleaning dorms, attending parade inspection and for lessons, breaks, meals, sports, preps and time to sleep. He used to ring the bell around 60 times in one day.”

SK Macharia didn’t proceed to secondary school and instead joined Makomboki Primary in Kigumo, Murang’a as an untrained teacher, earning Sh8 a month!

Gituru Intermediary is now Gituru Secondary School, where the owner of Royal Media Services is the most notable alumni.

With two suits and a shirt, SK took a 100-day journey by bus to Kampala, then to Juba by rafts and through sandstorms by bus to Libya, a ship ride to Europe, a boat to England, a plane to New York and a bus to Seattle Technical College, a high school in America, where the penniless and only boy in his family, continued with his education.

He cleared his BA in political science at Seattle Pacific University, a Bsc  and master’s in accounting from the University of Washington.


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