From the recording Alkeymie - The Slamtape
Produced by Eloi
Guitar by Nganji Arnaud
Written & Performed by 1key
Inspiration: Bwoba by Apollinaire Rwishyura
[Intro by Will Smith]
Fear is not real. The only place that fear can exist is in our thoughts of the future. It is a product of our imagination, causing us to fear things that do not at present and may not ever exist. That is near insanity Kitai. Do not misunderstand me, danger is very real, but fear is a choice. We are all telling ourselves a story.
Now, here’s a story about fear. It’s a story that I was told since I was a child. And, the story was told to me in its original language – Ikinyarwanda, which is the language spoken in Rwanda. And, in Kinyarwanda means fear.
Legend has it there used to be this person named fear; that means Bwoba. And because you become what your name says you are, Bwoba grew up with so much fear. So much that Bwoba could not step outside the house at night without being accompanied by somebody. Then eventually people started getting tired of Bwoba. This one time, this person got enough and went to seek advice. The person asked people, “What should I do so that Bobwa stops being so scared of anything? People said, “Bwoba has to confront the biggest fear.” The same night Bwoba asked the person to accompany so Bwoba could take a leak. The person said, “Okay.” So there they are outside, in complete darkness, Bwoba taking a leak and whistling. And by the time… before Bwoba was done peeing, the person sneaked into the house and banged the door. Locked it. There, was Bwoba coming, terrified, “Please open the door. I can see the beast coming. It’s gonna eat me alive. O my god I’m gonna die and, I’m too young to die. I don’t wanna die. I don’t wanna die. Please open the door. I will never be scared again. Please!” The person told Bwoba, “Are you sure about what you’re saying? You’re never be scared again?” “I will never be scared again. I promise you. This is my last time. Please, please open the door. The person told Bwoba, “For me to be convinced, you have to go around the house telling me things. Then I will know that you’ll never scare… you’ll never be scared again.” Then Bwoba, out of options started going around the house, talking about anything. Going about whatever. Whistling. After a few rounds, Bwoba got carried away with the whistle that Bwoba forgot about the fear. At some point the person opened the door and Bwoba got in. They started laughing about the whole fear… Bwoba was like, “It was actually a small thing. I can’t tell why I was terrified or what I was scared of.” The next morning the person went to the village and thanked the people who advised and said, “Bwoba is no longer afraid. Actually Bwoba is not fearless now. The story escalated and reached the ruler’s ears. And this version, the ruler heard that Bwoba was so unafraid they could up the challenge that the king was afraid to take. Uhm! Mind you that they lived in a time when the king could not be challenged. He was a supreme being, the representative of divinity itself. So Bwoba was summoned by the king. Well, innocently Bwoba reported to the royal court. And there, was the king asking Bwoba, “Rumor has it that you are not scared anymore, of anything… it seems.” Bwoba said, “It is true my lord. I am not afraid anymore.” “Hmm, so there is this bull in that forest over there that has stopped me from hunting. It has terrified everyone. No one can stop it. I want you to go to the forest and kill it. Bwoba bowed in front of the king and said, “But my lord. If you and your mighty army cannot defeat the bull, how can I? The king said, “Is it true that you are not scared anymore?” Bwoba said, “Yes, it is true.” “So, go!” Bwoba showed some hesitation then the king said “Either way you get killed by the bull or you get killed by me. Choose your death.” Bwoba decided to go to the forest. A bow and arcs… Harya umwambi ni iki mu cyongereza? Ndabyibagiwe. Arrow! Ah ok, I got it. A bow and arrows in one hand, a spear in the other, Bwoba walked towards the forest. People followed Bwoba cheering, clapping… they were thirsty for the show. They wanted to see how the bull would shred Bwoba into pieces. As soon as Bwoba stepped into the forest, they sat at the top of the hills to have a beautiful view of the scene. As soon as Bwoba stepped in. the bull charged towards Bwoba. Whoa! Bwoba was not expecting it. Bwoba took off, ran, saw a tree and climbed the tree so fast that Bwoba did not see the end of the tree. Bwoba went overboard and landed at the back of the bull. BAM! Grabbed the bull by the horns and the bull started running across the forest, through villages. Bwoba still holding tight to the horns and there, was the bull crossing the village in front of the king. And, people started cheering “Whoa that is Bwoba bringing back the bull to the village!” The king said, “What are you waiting for? Kill the damn bull.” So people charged on the bull and they killed the bull with their spears. Stabbing it multiple times. Majestically, Bwoba got off the bull when it landed on its heavy body. Then the king asked Bwoba, “So why did you not kill the bull in the forest? Why did you have to bring it to the village?” Bwoba, confidently talking to the king said, “My lord, given that I went to the forest with no witness, I didn’t think you would believe me if I said I killed the bull. I thought it would be easier to bring the bull to the village so you can see for yourself.” The king said, “Fair enough. Bwoba, from now on you are rewarded. You see that hill over there? You are going to rule it.”
[Outro: Will Smith]
On the other side of your maximum fear are all of the best things in life.