Established in the then Gold Coast on April 3, 1876, the Mfanstipim School can be described as the oldest second-cycle institution in Ghana.
Located in the Central Region, the school was known as the Wesleyan High School at the time of its institution and was instituted by the Methodist Church to train teachers and encourage and promote intellectual, moral, and spiritual growth in its students.
In the beginning, the school was considered a grammar school where Latin and Greek were taught in addition to other disciplines like carpentry, arts and crafts.
The Wesleyan School was headed by its first headmaster – James Picot, who was a French scholar and was 18 years old at the time of his appointment.
The all-boys school began with some 17 pupils and was initially supposed to be sited in Accra when the British Government at the time had decided to move the capital of Gold Coast from Cape Coast to Accra.
The Wesleyan High School later became Wesleyan Collegiate School until after 29 years, in 1905 when a graduate of the school, started a rival school named Mfantsipim.
Mensah Sarbah was bent on establishing a school that will serve the education needs of the Gold Coast.
In that same year, in the month of July, both schools were merged to become one – Wesleyan and Mfantsipim, and the latter was used as its official name.
Subsequently, the school moved from the Methodist Church mission house in Cape Coast to the former Colonial School on Saltpond Road, then to Acquah’s house among others, till they finally settled on the hill in Cape Coast called the Kwabotwe Hill.
Mfantsipim is formed from Fante words – ‘Mfanstefo Apem’ which literally means ‘a thousand Fantes’. The school has its motto as ‘Dwen Hwe kan’ which means ‘Think and look ahead’ as suggested by its first headmaster, Mensah Sarbah.
Red and black are the school’s colours and old students of the school are called Mfantsipim Old Boys Association (MOBA).
Mfantstipim is popularly referred to as Kwabotwe.
Mfantsipim has produced some prominent persons in society including some Bank of Ghana Governors, Vice Presidents, and Head of State.