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Nana Angela Rose Hesse

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Nana Angela Rose Hesse

Place of birth: Cape Coast

Nana Angela Rose Hesse aka Big Mama Queen Mother departed her worldly state July 12, 2015, leaving a vacuum in many lives.Big Mama had two Biological children and hundreds more that she adopted.Her biological sisters were 2 which have all passed away but her adopted sisters were more than 20. She had no biological brothers but still many claimed her as she did them. There are scores more that would claim her as their special friend even if they knew her only briefly.
Big Mama worked tirelessly, yet seemingly effortlessly, to brighten the lives of all she touched. She loved people of all ages but the babies became her passion. Her career with children officially started in 1976 when she started teaching in the totally white primary school system of Romulus Michigan. In 1979 She received a position with the Ford Motor Company training white collar workers. In both institution she was underappreciated and overlooked concerning her skills and accomplishments. Those two experiences would help shape who she would become and to whom her life would be dedicated.
Not long after those two experiences she began her work as a Pan Africanist. The next ten years would be filled with traveling to conferences, rallies, and speeches,watching and participating in the civil rights movement, joining organizations, forming organizations, and attending university all while she taught in the Detroit Public school system. During those early years, she joined and worked with NBUF, (National Black United Front), The National black assembly, the union of black Episcopalians, Alexander Crummell center, CIBI, (Council of Independent black Institutions), National Black Child Development Institution, CAP (Congress of African People, and the PAC, (Pan African congress).
She had been living in Amsterdam with her Husband and Daughter till he died and thus prompted her return to the states.Although she was a world traveler, she had not visited Africa a lot. she began to explore the continent. She traveled to Ghana, Senegal, Kenya, Mali, Sierra Leone, Cote’ D’ Ivore, Liberia, Benin, Togo, and Nigeria. In all she made 36 trips to the continent until 2001 when she made her final move to reside in Ghana after the Death of her Mother. She loved Ghana and knew it as her true home and vowed to die there. She built a home befitting her royal status as it sits overlooking the Atlantic Ocean. From her rocking chair, she enjoyed the breeze on her veranda and took in the energy the sea had to offer. When she was full she could easily start the next day anew and revived, running up and down the roads of Cape Coast and Elmina doing her benevolent work.
However strong the pull was to Africa, she never forgot the children in America, coming back periodically to organize and provide initial leadership to many start up operations including; the first National Head start office in Washington DC., Vistas Nuevas Head Start (southwest Detroit), the head start program at Hartford Memorial Baptist Church, the head start program at Ujima Day care for Operation Get Down, and Timbuktu Academy of Science and Technology. She also consulted with four separate entrepreneurs to open their own independent schools. Her skills were also sought to close out programs such as the Merrill Palmer Institute’s head start, and many other endeavors unspoken.
While residing in Ghana, Queen Mother Nana Angela Rose Hesse built and operated a kindergarten through 8th grade school for the children of Ayensudo, Ghana, a small farming village in the Central Region. Many asked her why she would choose such a “…nowhere place for such a grand school? “If it were in Cape Coast, it would make money” they would all tell her. She would reply, “I want the less fortunate to have access to quality education also.” And she delivered on that promise. For seven years she educated more than half of the school population at no cost to the parents and partially supported another one fourth of them. Ayensudo Akoma International Academy of Arts and Sciences was not the only institution that received her munificence. Since 1996, she has given unselfishly or her time, knowledge, energy, love, and money to the Fellowship Chapel Clinic for Families and Children in Kwapro, Ghana. Her generosity was also known by the International Lions Club, Crystal division of Cape Coast.
Throughout all of her business and benevolent accomplishments she still had time for family and fun. She was the strongest Matriarch one could know; she was indeed our “Big Mama”. She taught us love, respect, reciprocity, generosity, and humility all by example. She was never too tired to “be there for you”. Her spirit was so enormous and giving that not one person felt slighted or diminished by her. She worked hard but she also knew how to play. Many can attest to the joy she brought into their lives through one celebration or another spanning two continents. She loved life, it loved her and she lived it to the fullest her entire 65 years and 62 days. If you’d ask her how she did it all, she’d give the honor to The Most High.

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