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  Netflix has premiered the highly regarded movie: Afamefuna: An Nwa Boi Story, much to the delight of Nollywood lovers and skeptics. First released in cinemas in December 2023, the movie looks into the Igbo apprenticeship system, as its name suggests. The film “Áfàméfùnà” showcases the rich culture of the Igbo people. It mixes traditional practices, language, and the cultural variety of Nigeria, with most conversations in Igbo and touches of Yoruba and Hausa languages. This mix highlights both the unity and uniqueness of Nigerian tribes.
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The story follows young Igbo men seeking financial independence through apprenticeship. It highlights their dreams, the hard work and sacrifices they make to succeed, and the backstabbing they face while working with characters like Afam, Paulo, Obum, and Chike in Odogwu’s business empire.

A Bit About the Igbo Apprenticeship System

The Igbo apprenticeship system, also known as “Igba Boi” or “Igba Odibo,” is a traditional business mentorship practice prevalent among the Igbo people of Southeastern Nigeria. This system is a form of informal education that involves a young person, often from a less affluent background, being apprenticed to an established business owner, typically in trade, commerce, or craftsmanship.
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The apprenticeship usually lasts for a period of five to seven years, during which the apprentice lives with and works for the mentor, learning the trade hands-on. The mentor provides food, shelter, and practical training, while the apprentice contributes labour and loyalty to the business. At the end of the apprenticeship, the mentor is expected to “settle” the apprentice, a process that often involves providing capital, goods, or the means to start an independent business. This settlement is seen as a way of empowering the apprentice and ensuring that they have a solid foundation to begin their entrepreneurial journey.
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The Igbo apprentice system is highly regarded for its role in wealth distribution, skill development, and the promotion of entrepreneurship within the Igbo community. It has been instrumental in the success of many Igbo businessmen and has contributed significantly to the economic development of the region. Watch the Trailer here:
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This article was first published on 30th March 2024

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