Are Youths Still Interested In Nwaboy (Apprenticeship)

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“Nwaboy” is a term used by the Igbos to describe a youth who is undergoing training in a trade or business straight from his master. Nwaboy is a deal that was struck between two parties (the master and his apprentice) for an individual to learn everything about a trade or business for a few months or years.

The deal is sort of a youth empowerment scheme, just that it has less paperwork and written essays on why the youth needs empowerment. This is usually done between trusted people. Nwaboy is done for different reasons but the main reason is that the individual becomes financially buoyant in the future.

Individuals become apprentices to someone for various reasons. One common reason is to learn from an experienced person in a specific field. By becoming an apprentice, individuals can gain hands-on experience, receive mentorship, and acquire valuable skills and knowledge. It’s a way to learn directly from someone who has expertise and can guide them on their business path.

Being an apprentice has a lot of benefits but the youths are not interested in it anymore. Nwaboy is all about serving and a low percentage of this current generation isn’t really into serving. Most youths now want the fastest way to make money.

Being an apprentice is a beautiful thing but it’s so unfortunate that it isn’t as dominant as it was before. Being an apprentice offers so much more and it can help build one ‘s self in several ways.

By working closely with an experienced individual, the youth will gain practical skills and knowledge that are highly valued in their chosen field. The hands-on learning experience will allow the youth to develop confidence in their abilities and build a strong foundation for their business if they decide to start one.

Additionally, apprenticeships often provide mentorship, which can guide youths in setting goals, making informed decisions, and navigating challenges. Most importantly it provides networking opportunities and exposure.  Overall, being an apprentice helps the youth grow both personally and professionally, setting them on a path towards success.

Being an apprentice has a lot of benefits but it takes patience to fully learn everything it has in store. Nwaboy will always be a part of the Igbos. But unfortunately, it is slowly dying and here are a few reasons why:

  1. Perception of lower status: Apprenticeships are sometimes seen as having less prestige or being less privileged.
  2. Financial concerns: Apprenticeships often come with low to no pay at all. Some masters may provide their Nwaboy with some amenities but it’s mostly little to nothing when compared to other entry-level jobs, and some young people may prioritize other apprenticeship programs.
  3. Lack of awareness: Many young people may not be aware of the benefits and opportunities that apprenticeships can provide, so they sweep it out of their options.
  4. Shame: This entrepreneurship program deals with a lot of serving, which a lot of people are not proud to say that they indulge in.

Nwaboy is a strong and diligent part of society if only the youths would see it as it is, which is an empowerment to build oneself.

Written by Dike Ijeoma

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