Ikizu High School, Tanzania

By Alexander Mwita


Alexander Mwita

Ikizu High School is an Adventist institution located in Bunda Rural Council, Musoma, Tanzania. This school was founded by German missionaries in 1911 as a learning center for local Bible students. It was later upgraded to a high school.

Founding the Learning Center

In 1911 two missionaries who were accompanied by their translator, Yohana Mukaka, went to Chief Matutu of Ikizu and asked for children whom they could teach. The chief told them that he had no children but gave them permission to ask his people. He told them to attend the traditional dance where they would be able to meet parents and ask if they could teach their children. Yohana Mukaka led the missionaries to the dance, but almost all of the people ran away when they saw white people.1 Only a few individuals were courageous enough to listen to what the white people said. When they asked for children to attend the school, a few parents responded. The missionaries ordered their tents to be brought and pitched them right where the dance had been held. The place at the time was called Kidzo.2 This was the beginning of the learning center and one of the first students was Marko Wakara Kigombe, the father of Gideon Kegozi Marko.3

History of Ikizu Learning Center 1926-1962

During World War I, almost all missionary activity came to a halt. German missionaries were arrested by the English soldiers, so the work could not proceed. H. A. Matthews, who was known as “Mateusi” re-opened the Ikizu Learning Center4 in 1923. When the school opened students came from different parts of the country including Sukuma, Majita, Shirati, and Utimbaru. As a result, the center needed more teachers who could help the few missionaries to teach the increasing number of students.

In 1930 the teacher training college was founded. Accordingly, the center divided students into shifts. Classes 1-4 had a morning session from 8:00 to 12:00, the Middle School (classes 5-8) had an afternoon session (12:00- 4:00), and teacher training had their session from 4:00-6:00 pm. The teachers in training did their teaching practice in the morning by teaching primary students.5 Apart from classroom activities, students had outdoor activities which included raising chickens, grazing cattle, cooking, gardening, and workshops where they learned tailoring, carpentry, and woodworking. The first two teachers from the indigenous tribe were Eliaza Sagira Mung’atika and Maria Waana, a woman who came from Ntusu girls’ school in 1940.6 These students graduated in 1946 and were employed at the school in the primary section.

The college grew fast and other teacher training centers moved to Ikizu, including Suji Teacher Training College which was moved in 1945. In 1952 the government ordered separation of the primary school from the teacher training college, so an extension was constructed for the primary school and it became a teaching practice center for teachers from the college.7 This primary school was later confiscated by the government and it is still under government control as the Bukama Primary School.

The Beginning of Ikizu High School

In 1954 Ernst Kotz, a missionary, requested from the district commissioner permission to upgrade the center to a secondary school. The commissioner hesitated, but Mr. Kotz persisted, and the secondary school was officially registered in 1962 with registration number S.313. The school continued as a secondary school until 1975 when ministerial training was introduced. This program was first proposed to teach lay preachers and later it offered a two-year course for pastors. The program was eventually transferred to Arusha, Usa-River and it was upgraded to a university in 2005. After acquiring the ministerial program, Ikizu Secondary School continued until 1985 when Elton Lusingu, the headmaster, introduced a plan of upgrading the school to a high school—introducing an advanced level, usually referred to as Senior 5-6. He organized the neighboring community to help with the construction of an administration building, classrooms, and hostels for the high school students. The response was positive, and among those who contributed were Andrew Makaza Kalyanyama and Warioba Ndege, who each offered a cow as a contribution.8 The plan was successful and the building was raised which is currently used for administration and for high school classes. In 1994 the high school was officially registered and allowed to offer several combinations of history, geography, and language (HGL); history, Kiswahili, and language (HKL); and history, geography, and Kiswahili (HGK) were added in 2008. Other combinations, history, geography, and economics (HGE); and economics, geography, and mathematics (EGM) were added in 2017.9 Currently, the enrollment for form one through form six is slightly more than 600 students.

History of Ikizu High School

Ikizu High School has a long history in the nation of Tanzania and outside as well. It is the only school in the Lake Zone that was not confiscated by the government after independence. It was respected and was one of the schools that produced many leaders for the government such as Professor Philemon Sarungi who was a Member of Parliament (MP), Minister for Health, and held other government positions before his retirement.10 Another noted alumnus was Paul Bomani who studied at Ikizu from 1939-1944. He was the first minister of Finance of Tanzania.11 He was reported to be the richest African in Tanzania by 1970, was a minister of Natural Resources and Cooperative Development in the Tanganyika government, and held several other ministerial positions from 1972-1983. He was also the Ambassador to the United States and Mexico from 1992 until his death on April 1, 2005.12 An alumni who is still in top leadership in the government of Tanzania is Dr. Mpoki Mwasumbi Ulisubisya, who was appointed in 2015 by president Dr. John Pombe Magufuli to be Permanent Secretary of the Ministry of Health, Community Development, Gender, Elderly, and Children.

Church leaders who studied at Ikizu include Pastor Stephen Bina who was Communication Director at the East-Central Africa Division (ECD), and Pastor Geoffrey Mbwana, who is currently a vice president of the General Conference of Seventh-day Adventists, after serving as president of ECD.

The school has received several awards, certificates, and accreditations.13 Among them are the Essay Competition Award which was given by the Architects and Quality Surveys Registration Board; a Certificate of Excellence for ranking second in the Bunda District for 2014 in form six national examinations; a Certificate of Excellence for ranking first in the Bunda District for 2017 in form six examinations, which were awarded by the Bunda District Council; and a Certificate of Appreciation given by the Mara Conference of SDA for being the first performing school in Mara region for 2017 in national form six examinations. The school is accredited by the Adventist Accrediting Association (AAA), and in 2005 it was one of the top ten schools in performance on the form six examinations in the country.

There have also been some challenges that faced the institution.14 Among them was the fire of 2006 which destroyed almost all school documents including students’ certificates. Another challenge the school faced was lack of a good source of water. This was solved by constructing a bore hole that supplies water to the whole community of Ikizu High School.

Social Relationship with the Community

The school has two neighboring villages, Bukama and Sarawe. These villages have benefited from the good relation that has been built by the school over the years. The villages receive sponsorship of four students, two from Bukama and two from Sarawe, who are each given free tuition for four years. The school also hires cooks and watchmen from the villages. The school runs a dispensary which serves the two villages. The food to feed students in the cafeteria is purchased from the community. This contributes to the economy and development of the two villages. On the other hand, the villagers are quick to respond to any emergency that happens at the school. The school has also allowed the villages to use the school playground whenever there is need to do so.

School Mission Fulfillment

The mission of the school is to provide a holistic Christian education which develops students spiritually, physically, mentally, and socially. Throughout the history of the school, students have received quality education that helps them to fit into society and also enables them to continue with further studies. In 2018 all form six students (72) passed their examinations and are preparing to attend various universities. Also noteworthy, over a period of seven years (2011-2018), 909 students have been baptized.15

School Leaders From 1958-2018

Robert L. Macchee (1958-1960), James Bradfield (1960-1967), Beno Ganz (1967-1968), George Dunder (1968-1969), Thomas Lisso (1969-1970), Elisha Luyehu (1970-1971), Elisha Okeyo (1972-1975), Livingstone Ikanda (1976-1980), Asubuhi Dea Otieno (1980-1981), Joel Obuya Oola (1981-1984), Elton Y. Lusingu (1985-1991), George Mwasumbi (1992-1993), George Kusekwa (1994-1997), Ezekiel T. Kazagata (1997-2005), Simion Arego (2006-2008), Esther K. Malietha (2008-2010), Meshack G. Meshack (2010-2012), Danford A. Oyuke (2013-2015), Joshua S. Okello (2015-)


Ikizu Secondary School Statistical Report 2011-2018. Ikizu High School Archives.

Kitabu cha miaka 100 ya kanisa la waadventista Wasabato Tanzania. Arusha: KWTK Printers, 2003.

Hoschele, S. Christian Remnant-African Folk Church: Seventh-day Adventist in Tanzania. Netherlands: Koninklijke Bril NV, Leiden, 2007

“Philemon Sarungi” Last modified version 2018.

http:// prabook.com/web/mikol_philemon.sarungi/430242.

“Paul Bomani” Last modified May 25, 2018. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bomani


  1. Wilson Wekwe Chakoma, interview by author, Ikizu, August 23, 2018. Wilson Wekwe Chakoma studied at the school in 1936. He was 95 years old at the time of the interview.

  2. Kitabu cha miaka 100 ya kanisa la wa adventista Wasabato Tanzania, (Arusha: KWTK Printers, 2003), 50.

  3. Gideon Kegozi Marko, interview by author, August 23, 2018. Gideon Kegozi Makro is the son of Marko Wakara Kegombe, one of the first students of Learning Center of Ikizu.

  4. Wilson Wekwe Chakoma. Interview by author, Ikizu, August 24, 2018.

  5. Ibid.

  6. Maria Waana, interview by author, Ikizu, August 23, 2018. Maria Waana was the first indigenous teacher who graduated from teachers training college, and the wife of Eliaza Sagira Mung’atika who was also an indigenous teacher who graduated in 1946 from Ikizu.

  7. Wilson Wekwe Chakoma, interview by author, Ikizu, August 24, 2018.

  8. Warioba Ndege, interview by author, Ikizu, August 23, 2018.

  9. Mwita Nyaigana, academic master of Ikizu, interview by author, Ikizu, August 25, 2018.

  10. “Philemon Sarungi” Last modified version 2018. http:// prabook.com/web/mikol_philemon.sarungi/430242.

  11. https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bomani.

  12. “Paul Bomani” Last modified May 25, 2018. http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Paul_Bomani.

  13. The awards, certificates, and accreditations are kept at Ikizu High School Archives.

  14. Ibid.

  15. Ikizu Secondary School Statistical Report 2011-2018, Ikizu High School Archives.


Mwita, Alexander. "Ikizu High School, Tanzania." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Accessed January 19, 2021. https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FAZ.

Mwita, Alexander. "Ikizu High School, Tanzania." Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. January 09, 2021. Date of access January 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FAZ.

Mwita, Alexander (2021, January 09). Ikizu High School, Tanzania. Encyclopedia of Seventh-day Adventists. Retrieved January 19, 2021, https://encyclopedia.adventist.org/article?id=6FAZ.