Mafatu is the principal character in Armstrong Perry's "Call it Courage" and it is the story of his coming-of-age—how a scared boy grows to become a fearless man.
A boy scared of the ocean ventures into it one night and ends up on a deserted island. There he realizes that his days are numbered due to the presence of cannibals. He fights the natural foes and finally manages a daring escape to reach his village safely.
Some of skills that helped Mafatu survive on the island include making nets, using a knife, making shark line, implements and shell fish hooks. He always possessed these skills (learnt during his childhood) but was just scared to show them; now he has a reason to and these skills serve him well as he saves not only the life of Uri, his dog, but his own as well.
He manages to make a knife out of whale bone and kill a boar, a tiger shark and an octopus. He also makes a canoe that helps him escape.
Mafatu now returns as a courageous boy who managed to transcend his fears and learn to use his skills.