All you need to know about this nut called kola in kwale

Kola Nuts

Papa………. esere esere.

Esere………yes Papa

Papa………. go down the street and get me some kola’s and tell the lady I said the ones with four mouth.

Esere……….four mouths? what’s so special about it can’t you just eat anyone.

Papa……😀😀😀 just go I will tell you the reason later.

Two hours later in the day

Papa……..gather everyone, let me share somethings with you.

You see the kola nut is a vital ingredient in many African settings. In Kwale and Igbo tradition, it is seen as a blessing _ a person that brings kola brings life. Is uses are numerous but before I share its use, let’s look at the different types of kolas.

There are predominantly two kinds of kola. The red and the yellow and they all have various markings ranging from four, three and two. You see, when you get kola nut, there are distinctive marks you see in the mouth or opening of the kola. This marks helps one to easily share the nut without breaking it. You might be thinking about what happens if it breaks, Nothing, but how one breaks it in some occasions matters a lot.

Two mouths kola nut(Getty image)

The nut with four mouths is use majorly for spiritual purposes. They call it native kola. In Kwale it is believed that when a person dies and they pray on the body with this particular type of kola, the person can come back to life. Amazing right.


Papa…….also, when one is disturbed about an issue or incident and goes to see a priest find out the cause of all the happenings, the priest will open the nut with four lines, breaking it into four places and then throw it on the floor. He will read what the kola says concerning ones visit. The kola is the medium in which communication is made from the physical to the spiritual. Mind you, not everyone can read it because this way of reading is passed from generation to generation in a particular family. So basically the four mouth kola nut can only be required for spiritual purposes.

The two and three mouth kola nut is aimed for normal gatherings and functions. For example, if a group of relatives or friends come visiting, you offer a kola nut, a drink of wine or spirit ( that is if you have a drink) and any amount of money. The eldest breaks the nut, prays with it for everyone and then it is shared. This type is also presented in all traditional marriages.

A gathering where kola nut is being shared

The native white chalk is a traditional element. Wherever you see one, apart from it being sold, it is used for anything traditional.

If one goes to a shrine, there are ninety-nine per cent chance that this chalk is there. It is used as preparation for different kinds of medicine and also to offer prayers to the gods. The priest rubs it on some parts of his body like face, chest, hands etc. It is also obtained for cleansing one from body illnesses both physically and spiritually. A person can use it to lay a cause on another and afterwards place it in a shrine _ which will be very potent by the way, because of the substance. So when you see someone talking to you with the native chalk in his hand, or you find it on your doorpost please be concern and do not hesitate to let me know.

An image of white native chalk called Eko