If you have followed the FMning at all lately you may have noticed one of our FM members is Osinakachi Akuma Kalu (OAK for short), a young ambitious Nigerian man (25 years-old) from East Nigeria. His second book, which I have not yet read, is entitled "The First Stage of the Fearologist" (Vol. 1).  I had a chance this morning to read some of the Foreword and Preface of his book online at Amazon.com books, and it intrigued me what others were saying about him who know him as a student and colleague, a mentoree. Later below, I'll share my view of why this book is so rare in the history of humanity, and why it is important to me and the cause I lead in world reclamation.
The Foreword by Dr. Mehzbeen Sadriwala begins with characterization of OAK, "He is a sound and much acclaimed motivational speaker and author" (p. 7). I trust that OAK truly has accomplished some reputation in a positive motivational way for some others, perhaps online, perhaps mostly in Nigeria in some places, but these are things I do not know and so it is good to learn what others think of him and his career arising. It gives me and readers from other parts of the world, some perspective at least as we read his book(s) and his views on fear and fear management.
The Preface, to my surprise was not written by OAK, for that is the usual standard in my experience. Rather he chose to have it written by an academic friend and classmate of his, Sir Peter U. Aloh. It seems both these writers are from Nigeria. Aloh's Preface is impressive as writing itself and kept my attention with its flare of exuberance, as an echo of the exuberance of OAK, whom Aloh has tried to paint in his positive portrait. Luckily, for me, the Preface was not all positive, happy, glowing and bright, as that would seem too unreal for anyone who takes the 'alternative' path, the 'road less traveled' and the more prophetic way. The path, I call fearlessness, is not always such a glow with only positive happiness.
Aloh's own words are worth quoting at length (as an excerpt) as he describes OAK with crafty language, albeit it could have used more refined English editing: "Crest fallen I seek [sic] him [OAK] share his experience and ways he navigates successfully through life with me. Like an automaton he switched over to a pensive mood as he recounts the yester years of arduous sufferings and losses, years when his mind's idealism was trumped by life's realism, years when his well built castle crumbles, the years of outsourcing on the streets, the years of hunger and pain just to strike out a Diploma through blood and sweat standing nearly alone as a derided 'useless boy' who has refused to understand the limit[s] that his talent and luck can carry him." (p. 11)
"Fear must be the killer of risk taking" -OAK
If I understand OAK's experience, through his mentor's eyes here, it is one I relate to deeply myself as a young man about OAK's age and younger, where I was also driven by idealism and hard hit by the realism of the norms of society. Afterall, the fact is, that I was a teen rebel in the North American 1960s-70s revolutionary movement, something that OAK would not have known and been supported by. No, he was born much later in 1990s into a world that, in most places, had sold out to neoconservative and neoliberal capitalism and materialism to the extreme.
I also pick-up that OAK, like Desh Subba, have come out of poor working class, rural and tribal backgrounds and to achieve formal education beyond the basic primary grades, when there is not a lot of money-back-up coming from parents and family, and when they also are not all that understanding of the value of education themselves, and are more practical --it is not surprising that OAK was labeled a "useless boy" from their perspective of the normal way to live in villiage life, in Nigeria, in Africa. But, I don't know what it was like for him, yet, I get a good taste of it from Aloh's perspective, and when I finally get my copy of OAK's new book, I can hopefully read a bit more of his life autobiography--and, yet, I am not so interested in the biographical details as I am in OAK's intellectual biography and development, and that is what this book seems to be most about.
Aloh continues: "Derided and forsaken....But one thing continues to trouble his existence even with his seeming success: why are [the] majority of the populace [e.g., Nigerians] afraid to take risks; to confront challenges that prepare them to enjoy the wonders of their being? In muted reflection he understood that great legacies are made not by fear but by courage....Fear must be [OAK concluded] the killer of risk taking which births creativity and invention." (p. 11)
I feel and sense here the burgeoning spirit of the artist, as the one who sees deeply what others often do not see. OAK must have seen early in life the loss of the spirit of the people, and himself potentially, if he would ignore his own "creator" and artist-inside. See some of his poetry posted on the FM ning. In my own life, it was both in Nature and in art-making that I kept my soul alive and my creative line of development in continual maturation, so it wouldn't be stunted to the 'norm' of conformity. If one wants to leave a great legacy, one has to be a creator and leader. OAK has shared with me in emails several times, he is looking ahead, and beyond the shallow, beyond only the present, in that he wants to do the good work and leave a legacy in this world, and he seems to have found it in the philosophy of fearism and Fearlessness Movement, as we hear in the rest of the excerpt from Aloh.
Aloh continues: "Headed [sic] to the library, he decided that people must be made to understand this fact and the bettery way to do this would be via giving a philosophical and psychological analysis of how to conquer the beast [fear: see OAK's first book]....He decided that the AWOL status of Africans at the Fearism Study Centre Nepal founded by Desh Subba and the World's Fearlessness Movement founded by Michael Fisher and his wife Barbara Fisher [sic: Barbara Bickel] is enough. That the wrong barometric reading of Nigeria and Nigerians as a liability to the world must be corrected. He enrolled into the Fearism Study Centre Nepal and the World's Fearlessness Movement [online] reclaiming Africa's lost glory that has sunk into the labyrinth of obscurity....He grabbed the headlines for the right and noble reasons reshaping fearism's trend of thought to encompass the African Weltanschuung....[becoming one, the youngest, of the] three of them [i.e., Subba, Fisher, Kalu] the world known leading fearologists." (p.11)
Now, this is all a great introduction, albeit, only scratching the surface of this young man's philosophical, ethical and spiritual commitment. It shows he can change himself by looking at the evidence, critically examining his own views, his own moods and temperament, and seeing larger perspectives, be those taught by others as mentors and teachers, or created by his own innovative unique thinking. This is the sign of a good fearologist in the making, and that's why I am glad, as is Subba, to welcome this young learner and adventurer from Nigeria to be a founding fearologist amongst us. Sure, he has lots to learn about being a scholar, of which he has also told me. He will have to learn the lessons of patience to balance with youthful exuberance. I look forward to seeing how his journey unfolds. I also write a piece about him and his rare work in this Fearlessness Movement in the book itself, so I'll leave it up to readers now to check out this book. I imagine that as he is beginning to design his courses to teach out of The Fearism Study Centre in Nigeria, he will use this rare and important book for a text. That will create the kind of discussion needed for the nascent fearologists attracted to study with him. And, of course, any such students, including OAK himself, will always have access to Subba and myself as mentors as they so choose. We are all in this together!
Btw, I do believe our greatest oldest ancestors, in the subtle realms of teaching of the 'right old ways' to live, are deep in the soul of Africa and Africancentric ways of knowing and seeing--which, certainly we in North America (other than maybe some Indigenous peoples) have lost--we have really lost our way, our soul from the source, the evolutonary and historical Mother Worldsoul of Africa. It is rare enough finding a truly dedicated fearologist in the world, never mind someone in their 20s, and never mind they are a beautiful black person. I could go on and on of how historically rare this moment is, when one as OAK publishes a book with "fearologist" in the title. No one has ever done that. I'm glad it was him.
p.s. To be clear, all of my praise, also comes with critiques. I in no way endorse everything he does or writes about in his books. He is his own person. In time, he and Subba and I will have our "truthings" with each others' works, as will all the students. It takes time to do a proper endorsement of someone elses work, at least for me it does. At this point, I endorse only generically his enthusiasm and contributions in helping us move the fearwork along into the future.
1. Kalu, O. A. (2017). The first stage of the fearologist. CeateSpace Independent Publishing Platform, Amazon.