Cowan High School was built as a Higher Primary School in April 1946 to supplement upper United Primary School in Red Location. The school was named after a Port Elizabeth Minister of Religion, Reverend Joseph Cowan from Canada.
The first Principal was Mr Mashiqa and classes started from standard 3 (Grade 4) to standard 6 (Grade 8). The first group of standard 6 pupils passed all, and there were 13 of them.
Two classrooms to form Form 1 (Grade 8) were from a surplus from Newell pupils were built, as a Domestic Science and Woodwork classrooms.
Among the students at Cowan were D.D Qeqe, Rugby administrator, Mr D. Kondile, Attorney & Former Principal & Mr F. Tonjeni who later became Principal of the school.
In 1952 a surplus of pupils from Newell High School were sent to Cowan to start Form 1 (Grade 8)In 1954 Cowan was established as a Junior Secondary School under the principal ship of Mr V. Qunta
The colour of the uniform of Cowan was chosen to be sky blue to represent the African sky and to promote the theme that the sky is the limit for its pupils.
Teachers who went through the Cowan corridors included Mr R. L. Peteni (Writer/Author) Mr I Sogoni (Attorney) Mr 0. Mvusi, Mr D. Kondile & Mr M. Somyolo, Mrs V. Gundwana, Mr Frank Tonjeni.
Cowan High School has produced well known students Mr J. Motyu (Former Evening Post/Herald journalist) Mr Stan Mosia (Sports Administrator) Mr Z. Makapela (Bank Manager at … Bank) Mr Piyose at ABSA Mr P. Tsibolane (Director of Health) Mr M. Jack (Businessman), Mr L. Johnson former COSAS President ANC youth league President, Mr N. Faku, (Former N.M Metro Mayor), Mr J. Kani (Playwright, Actor) Mr Z. Yeye (former Kwaru Rugby Player) Mr M. Tyala (Former communications officer at President T. Mbeki’s office.
The last 50th Celebration in 1996 was graced by Former President T. Mbeki, M. D Jordaan & Mr S. Ngonyama.
The principalship at Cowan High School has been under the following people.
Mr Mashiqa – 1946 – 1952
Mr V. Qunta – 1952 – 1963
Mr I. Sogoni – 1964 – 1969
Mr F. Tonjeni – 1970 – 1994
Mr R. Reshalin (Naidoo) – 1995 – 2003
Ms N. E Mdodana 2004 – 2007
Mr T. Dolley – 2008 – Current
Here are some interesting links for you! Enjoy your stay :)