The Kola Nut Does Not Speak English

written and performed by Tania Nwachukwu
A Bush Theatre Production

“I trip over words in English. I trip over words in Igbo.
Sometimes it feels like my tongue fails me.”

Tasha needs to tell us a story. About her life, the North West London flat where she grew up, and the houseplants she can’t keep alive. Suddenly, the distance between herself and the generations of green-fingered Igbo women that came before her feels greater than ever.

The Storyteller cuts in – she has a story to tell too. The story of Eze and the Kola tree. A story she needs us to hear. Especially now, when the tree is struggling to survive and the fruit that holds the memories of its people dating back centuries could be lost forever.

Through immersive storytelling, dance and song, The Kola Nut Does Not Speak English is a glorious celebration of self-discovery written and performed by Tania Nwachukwu (The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives, Arcola) that celebrates African theatre practices and proudly embraces the power of telling your own story.

An earlier version of this piece was presented by Nouveau Riche at VAULT Festival 2020.

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Sound Designer
Sixty Six
Movement Direction
Company Stage Manager
Associate Sound Designer
Sound Associate
Production Manager
Writer and Performer


Francesca Amewudah-Rivers
Francesca Amewudah-Rivers is a British Ghanaian/Nigerian actor, musician and composer. She was a recipient of the 2021 Evening Standard Future Theatre Award and trained with the National Youth Theatre REP Company. Acting credits include: Bad Education (BBC); Macbeth (Shakespeare's Globe); and Antigone (Mercury Theatre). Credits as Composer/ Sound Designer include: Family Tree (ATC, Young Vic); Bogeyman (Pleasance Dome); Bonsai Baby (Theatre503) and Minutes (BFI Flare, Outfest 2022).
Tania Nwachukwu
Tania Nwachukwu is an Igbo performer, writer and educator, born and raised in London. She is the co-founder of Black in the Day, a member of Octavia Poetry Collective and a Barbican Young Poets alumna. She trained at Mountview where she received her MA in Performance (Acting). She is a visiting lecturer at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Mountview. Previous work includes: The Secret Lives of Baba Segi’s Wives (Arcola); All The Places We Could Travel (Derby); The Irregulars (Netflix).


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