Nkanza Ross(1877-1892), Student of The Congo Institute, Colwyn Bay
Sitter in 1 portrait
Nkanza was born in Congo, West Africa. He became a student of Reverend William Hughes (1856-1924), a Baptist missionary and teacher who was sent to work in the Congo by the Baptist Missionary Society in 1882. Forced to return three years later due to ill-health, Hughes was accompanied by a Nkanza, aged 8, and another student Kinkasa, aged 11, back to England. Together they toured Welsh chapels to lecture and raise funds for more missionary work. Hughes, now married, settled in Colwyn Bay with a view of founding a training school. The concept of the Institution was a simple one. Instead of white missionaries going to Africa, promising young African converts would be bought to Britain to be instructed and trained to ready them for a number of professions whilst living in a Christian society. When the Congo Training Institution opened in 1889, Nkanza was one of the first students of the Institution, he was by now 14 and enrolled as an 'Industrial Student' but he was not destined for a successful career. After a short illness on 3 April 1892, he died, aged 16. The cause of death was recorded as ’heart failure caused by congestion of the liver’
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