It was an evening of cultural pride, nostalgia, and legacy when premium lager, Hero, hosted the exclusive premiere of its anticipated Igbo Apprenticeship documentary, The Hero’s Walk.
The event which had celebrities, filmmakers, artistes, cultural icons, and other cultural dignitaries in attendance held recently at the Filmhouse in Lekki, Lagos, capping off a tour that was preceded by in-market screenings of the documentary in the cities of Aba, Nnewi, Onitsha, and Port-Harcourt where it was warmly received by consumers.
The Hero’s Walk is an exposé on the Igbo apprenticeship system majorly practised by the South East people of Nigeria. The documentary 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.
As a brand that has always identified with culture, Hero Lager’s mission to spotlight the Igbo apprenticeship process was borne out of the desire to tell an important story that chronicles the coming-of-age of many Igbos, and how the practice of Imu Ahia deserves better visibility and acknowledgement as a proven method of attaining success and generational wealth.
Hero Lager is a product of International Breweries Plc, a proud part of AB InBev, the world’s largest brewers with over 400 beer brands.
Speaking at the premiere, Marketing Director, International Breweries Plc, Tolulope Adedeji, who gave the opening remarks said “The Hero’s Walk” 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.
In her words, “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.”
Nollywood veteran actor and one of the narrators in the documentary, Nkem Owoh provided insight into the essence of Imu Ahia—the Igbo Apprenticeship—and how it has formed an integral part of the identity of the Igbo people over the years.
He also described the idea of training under a “master” (trade mentor) to gain the requisite entrepreneurial and technical skills to thrive in the market as a system to be encouraged not only in Igbo land but in other parts of Nigeria, noting that the Igbo Apprenticeship System has made many successful businessmen and women.
Consumers of Hero who were privileged to see the documentary described the nostalgia it elicited and how “Imu Ahia” will always be something they are proud of. Chukwudi Nwanefo who saw the documentary at the Ultra-Modern Market Nkwo Nnewi said, “This is my story and I am so happy that Hero is sharing it with the world. People need to know our methods work over here too.”
According to Ibe Nnamdi who viewed The Hero’s Walk from Ariaria International Market in Aba, “The documentary truly captures the journey of our people to prosperity through hard work. I really hope Igbos all over the world can watch this documentary.”
“The Hero’s Walk” will continue to screen on online and offline platforms to give wider audiences a chance to see and appreciate it.