It was an evening of cultural pride and nostalgia when lager brand, Hero, hosted the exclusive premiere of a documentary on the Igbo apprenticeship system titled, The Hero’s Walk.
The event which had actors, filmmakers and cultural icons in attendance held recently at Filmhouse Cinema, Lekki, Lagos, capping off a tour that was preceded by in-market screenings of the documentary in Aba (Abia State), Nnewi (Anambra), Onitsha (Anambra), and Port-Harcourt (Rivers).
The documentary is an exposé on the Igbo apprenticeship system majorly practised in the Southeastern part of the country. It delves into an age-long culture of hands-on training and mentoring of young Igbo men by relatives or kinsmen, with the aim of empowering them to become successful entrepreneurs through the acquisition of skills.
Speaking at the premiere, the Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc, Tolulope Adedeji, said “This documentary hopes to show the Igbo people how far they have come and how the practice of apprenticeship has become a sustainable source of economic empowerment that is acknowledged and lauded by the national and international community.
“We are excited to screen this documentary to showcase the industry and enduring legacy of the Igbo people. There is no doubt that Imu Ahia has been the backbone of the South East’s economy and has succeeded in creating employment opportunities for many Igbo youths across generations, and so we felt the need to celebrate this while hoping that such a model that has proven to be sustainable is adopted on a wider scale.”
Veteran actor and one of the narrators in the documentary, Nkem Owoh, described the idea of training under a ‘master’ to gain the requisite entrepreneurial and technical skills to thrive in the market as a system to be encouraged not only in Igboland but in other parts of Nigeria, noting that the apprenticeship system had made many successful businessmen and women.