HERO LAGER BEER Honoured by Obi of Onitsha in South Eastern Nigeria as the Lager with which Igbos are known.
Igbo Kwenu! Igbo Kwenu! This was the sound as Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe honoured Hero, a premium lager beer with the title of “Mmanya ejiri mara Igbo’’ (The lager with which Igbos are known). Hero lager beer bottles will now have a red cork symbolic of the red cap worn by chiefs in Igboland.
The ‘red cap’ worn by chiefs in Igboland symbolizes authority, tradition, and culture; and it also represents the entire institution of leadership, authority, and power in Igbo culture.
Hero, a premium lager beer from the stable of International Breweries Plc, owned by the world’s largest brewer, Anheuser-Busch InBev, (AB InBev) launched during the burial of civil war hero late Chukwuemeka OjukwuIt was celebrated with dance, music and fanfare.
When one has been conferred a chieftaincy title in Igboland, it is proper that he must wear the red cap when making appearances in formal traditional events or ceremonies or when he plays a formal traditional role in his family, clan or community.
The wearers of the Igbo red cap are usually men who have fulfilled certain obligations and maintained the standards laid down in their various communities.
The ceremony was overseen by Obi of Onitsha, Igwe Nnaemeka Alfred Ugochukwu Achebe in Onitsha, Anambra State, on Saturday at the King’s Courtyard, Ikpeazu Stadium, Onitsha. Speaking at the event, he said;
“The red cap ideology is of high importance to the South Eastern people of Nigeria as it represents the peak of achievement, societal status and recognition for any individual or brand.
“Launched into the Nigerian market in August 2012 without much fanfare, Hero lager beer warmed its way into the hearts of consumers in the South East region and became their symbol of inspiration.
“The success of the brand draws from its strategic cultural resonance with the people and has catapulted Hero Lager from zero to a market leader in the region.
“The consumers have christened Hero, Oh Mpa’, in reverence and as a mark of respect (Mpa means father in Igbo language),’’ the company said in a statement.
“It speaks to the fact that International Breweries values and appreciates the people of the community wherein it operates.
“Ever since the inception of the brewery in Onitsha, International Breweries, has not only created jobs for the people but also being very supportive of our activities.
“I must commend their efforts. This is surely worthy of emulation. Today, as we knight Hero lager beer and award it the title of `Mmanya ejiri mara Igbo’ (A symbol of inspiration), our prayer is that the brand remains the favourite of our people.’’
Achebe added that Hero lager beer was a premium brew crafted by the people and for the people, a beer that was a rallying point to all Igbo men and others who need that new strong centre of hope and strength to accomplish great things.
“Hero is also the first beer brand to be awarded a symbolic title in Nigeria.’’
The company’s Marketing Director, Arne Rust, said the ceremony represented the essence of the brand.
“Through this ceremony, we hope to inspire consumers to be heroes every day and in every way.
“We have great plans for our consumers in Nigeria, part of which includes strategically launching several beer brands to suit specific geography and cultures.
“Hero is a well-established brand in the eastern part of the country. The company genuinely cares for the culture and tradition of the people, and we will consistently seek ways to showcase our culture and positively impact the society,’’ he said.
Obumneke Okoli, Marketing Manager, Hero Lager, International Breweries Plc., Nigeria, said:
“We want to use this opportunity to show our appreciation to our eastern brothers who have received the Hero lager beer as one of their own.
“Since we introduced this beer to the Nigerian market, it has clearly found its way into the taste buds of beer drinkers first in South-East Nigeria and beyond.
“The people are happy, excited with a burning flare in them all because of this beer. For this, we say thank you.’’
The red capping of Hero will run as an integrated marketing campaign during which people and Nigerian men would be rewarded in recognition of their efforts and mission to “Go! Be the Hero,’’ he said.
“As sponsors of the FIFA World Cup 2018, Hero wishes the Super Eagles farewell as they leave for Russia with the unveiling of the world’s biggest football message written with people – `Eagles Be Fearless, Go Be The Hero.’’
International Breweries was established in 1971 and was listed on the Nigerian Stock Exchange in 1995. The Company AB InBev consolidated its business stakes in Pabod Breweries Ltd., Intafact Beverages Ltd into its majority ownership in a merger that was concluded in December, 2017.
Material from the News Agency of Nigeria was used in this report.