The world’s first cola was created in 1885 by pharmacist John Stith Pemberton in Atlanta, Georgia in the US. His cola was a concoction of citrus fruits, such as lemon and lime, oils extracted from spices such as cinnamon and nutmeg, and essence of kola nut as an analeptic, giving the drink its name.

In West Africa, where the kola nut is grown, they have a saying, “Onye wetara oji, wetara ndu”, or “He who brings the kola nut, brings life.”

(From a proverb of the Igbo people of West Africa)

The kola nut is culturally significant in West Africa where it is grown, where it is used in ceremonies and to express blessing and welcome.

Not only does Iyoshi Cola wish to create cola that brings joy to the person who drinks it, but we also wish to spread an understanding of the culture behind the kola nut by actually traveling to Ghana in West Africa, where it is grown, and showing respect for the local culture surrounding it.