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Socrates in Cameroon: The Life and Works of Bernard Nsokika Fonlon

Friday 26 November 2010, author(s)-editor(s) Nalova Lyonga

Bernard Nsokika Fonlon, 1924-1986, rose from humble origins to become one of Cameroon’s most famous sons. He was a scholar, a poet, a politician, a philosopher, a man of action and a man of courage. He was never too busy to see someone who was troubled, never too tired to take up the case of the oppressed or the downtrodden. He was a man who could communicate, with style, in half a dozen world languages but who could also use Pidgin English if it meant putting his listeners at ease. He was a man who moved in opulent circles but who collected for himself not money but the hearts of those who got to know him. It is easy to use superlatives of someone like Bernard Fonlon, easy to make him sound like a sage or a saint; it is less easy to describe the humour and the courtesy and the gentleness that irradiated all that he said and did. This book describes briefly the life and times of a man whose story incorporates the history of a young nation and whose autobiography, The Pathfinder, has all the excitement of an adventure novel. We could use a lot of words and still not get to the heart of the matter because ordinary words are for ordinary men and Bernard Fonlon was unique. To those who knew him, no introduction is necessary; to those who did not know him, no short introduction is enough. Bernard Fonlon did not leave a worldly legacy to his family and friends and country. He left much more. He left ideas that can never be buried and ideals that will challenge new generations.

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ISBN 9789956578085 | 190 pages | 203 x 127 mm | 2010 | Langaa RPCIG, Cameroon | Paperback