This article discusses communication and cultural issues in the use of kola nut in traditional Igbo society. The kola nut is a fruit of the kola tree.It is called ‘Oji’ in Igbo language Nigeria. Its botanical name is Cola acuminata. It is so significant in the Igbo traditional society that getting involved in a kola nut ceremony is almost inevitable. In every traditional gathering in the area, kola nut is usually the first thing to be presented. Where kola nut is not available, the host is required to explain and apologise to his visitors. Its uses are varied. The kola nut is mainly used for welcoming guests/strangers to a place and there is a saying which states that kola nut understands only the local language. For every gathering in Igbo traditional society, be it worship, entertainment or meetings, the kola nut is a compulsory accompaniment. It is considered a sacred fruit for every traditional engagement. This paper contends that the kola nut is indispensable in the traditional Igbo society, without which no meaningful activity begins. The argument that the kola nut is an integral part of the peoples’ culture is canvassed in a discourse analysis. Hinged on the Conservation-Restoration of Cultural Heritage Theory, the paper focuses on cultural issues, significance and implications in the use of kola nut in the traditional Igbo society. The risk of not factoring it into any traditional Igbo gathering denotes the lack of authenticity of the occasion. It recommends that deliberate steps be taken to ensure that the significance and uses of the kola nut, being part of the people’s culture, be taught in all institutions of socialization in Igbo society. Therefore, Igbo leaders at home, and in the diaspora, must unite and evolve strategies to preserve the people’s cultural heritage.
Keywords: Communication, Culture, Igbo Society, Kola nut, Traditional