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Kenyan, Joy Richu, designs Coca-Cola's 1st ever Africa-inspired drink

The new drink was announced during President William Ruto's visit to the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta on May 21, 2024.

Joy Richu, a talented Kenyan designer and illustrator,

Joy Richu, a talented Kenyan designer and illustrator, has recently captured the spotlight with her innovative design for Coca-Cola's first-ever Africa-inspired drink, Coca-Cola Wozzaah Zero Sugar.

This drink celebrates African creativity and heritage, featuring vibrant artwork that showcases the continent's rich cultural diversity.

From a young age, Joy Richu was captivated by the power of visual storytelling.

Her journey into design and illustration began with hand-drawn comics, which ignited a passion that led her to pursue formal education in Digital Design at Vancouver Film School and Creative Writing at the University of British Columbia.

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This unique combination of skills allows Joy to create compelling narratives through her art, aiming to drive positive change and foster unity.

Joy Richu's impressive portfolio includes collaborations with prestigious brands such as The New York Times, Diageo, Mastercard, and now Coca-Cola.

The Coca-Cola Wozzaah Zero Sugar drink was announced during President William Ruto's visit to the Coca-Cola headquarters in Atlanta on May 21, 2024.

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At the event, Joy's artwork was prominently featured, and President Ruto was presented with a framed piece of the design, along with one of the first cans produced.

The drink's name, "Wozzaah," which means "join us" in Zulu, symbolises the celebration of African creativity and the call to unite in this cultural celebration.

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Joy Richu's creative process involves deep research and brainstorming to ensure that her designs resonate with their intended audience.

For the Coca-Cola Wozzaah project, she drew inspiration from traditional African patterns, motifs, and colors, aiming to capture the spirit and vibrancy of African heritage.

Her ability to infuse these cultural elements into modern design demonstrates the power of art to celebrate and amplify diverse cultural narratives on a global scale.

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Joy Richu's contributions to the creative industry have not gone unnoticed.

She made history as the first Kenyan to be selected for the Cannes Lions See It Be It cohort, a prestigious program that recognises and supports female creatives worldwide.

This accolade is a validation of her dedication and a platform for further growth and collaboration.

Looking ahead, Joy is enthusiastic about expanding her creative horizons, particularly in the fashion industry, where she sees potential for her illustrations to bring unique flair to apparel designs.

She remains committed to using her art as a tool for positive change, representation, and empowerment, particularly within African contexts.

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Joy Richu advises aspiring designers and illustrators, especially those from Africa, to embrace their unique perspectives and cultural heritage.

She encourages them to continuously hone their craft, seek feedback, and stay connected with creative communities. Her journey is a testament to the value of resilience, persistence, and the transformative power of creativity.

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