DON’T BE A HERO
It’s a really great feeling when you’re the hero in a zombie apocalypse, I mean, with all the brain bashing, gun shooting, and axe wielding shenanigans you get to pull off. Then there’s also finding resources, building shelters, defending the shelters and so on; the crux of an all round hero. But here’s the thing, if a zombie apocalypse were to happen in Nigeria, the requirements for survival would almost be the exact opposite of what it would take to survive in any other country in the world (except India ‘cause, well, it’s India). For starters, there’s the issue of jazzed up zombies. It’s bad enough that the zombies want to snack on you and/or have you as the main course, but to have them summoning axes out of thin air, summoning YOU out of your nice warm shelter and afflicting you with smallpox (not to mention the ridiculous fiery ball of death that floats from one location to another, think Yoruba movies), is a little too much to handle.
Surviving a zombie apocalypse in Nigeria would therefore require large quantities of cowardice, guile, spirituality and/or a Gatling gun (Why Gatling gun? Have you seen a Gatling gun?). To hit the axe on the head (pun intended); don’t be a hero. It won’t work and you’d probably die in one thousand three hundred and eighty seconds. Allow me to present a case study to buttress my point.
Francis had always been the sharpest of the lot. He combined good looks with a charisma that would make Hitler swoon. He was always the leader, the influential one, the one the younger ones aspired to be like, the shining example in a dark world, the cutest of them all, the greater of the orators, the picture of fitness and health, the jovial one, the- well you get my gist. With all of these fine qualities, Francis had one problem, just a single problem. Francis was as greedy as a Nigerian goat that has its sights set on the village square yams; always promising to stay away but never quite managing it. It was an issue most people didn’t know about because his other qualities seemed to neutralize the negativity that one indiscretion brought, much to the relief of those who loved him.
It was no surprise to most people when Francis found himself in the House of Assembly, given his desirable qualities that made him a leader. With a fat pay check and a propensity to seek more, seeing as he was as content as Nigerian presidents after their first terms in office, Francis flourished and was enjoying his life. In his mid-50s, he had nothing to worry about; one wife, two concubines, three children in the US, four illegitimate bastards across Nigeria, five billion naira in Swiss banks, six Range Rovers, seven houses across the globe, eight potted live plants (not that those count) and nine headless zombie bodies in front of his Abuja villa. Despite the fact that the world had turned to an expletive term for human excrement, Francis was doing quite well. The key word there is ‘was’.
It turned out that after several weeks of being holed up inside his villa during the apocalypse, Francis started to get bored and, as any junkie will tell you, with boredom comes really bad decisions (a few episodes of ‘1000 ways to die’ will convince you). It happened that he was sitting on a couch in the veranda of his master bedroom when his gaze fell upon a fair damsel in distress. She was in distress because three zombies were hot (as hot as they could manage given that they were decomposing masses of carbon life forms) on her tail and she was a damsel because of the short gown that clung to her body and accentuated her curvy features. The philanthropist (we believe) in him was moved by the cries of the light skinned beauty, blood splattered and weak, or drunk, he wasn’t quite sure given her shaky and less than graceful motion. With a start, Francis got up and grabbed his sword (yes, sword. They sell those in traffic and they come hidden in walking canes, handy in stopping the walking dead, no?). He bolted down the stairs and past the surviving members of his actual immediate family, crossing the spacious compound in long strides that belied his age, and forced the pedestrian gate open with a bang.
The damsel, on spotting the open gate, bolted towards it and collapsed at his feet.
“Help me!” She cried in a silky fear laden voice.
Francis powered up. With powerful swings, he increased the number of headless zombies in front of his villa to twelve. He kicked a head away and turned around to take in the delightsome sight for sore eyes before him. She got up slowly, tears streaking down her face as she thanked him repeatedly. Francis was about to tell her not to mention anything but her name when he felt an object intrude his gut with surprising ease and unnatural effrontery. Looking down, he stared at the long curved blade of the suya knife extending from her hand into his belly. He looked at her again; almost curious about why she stabbed him, surprise more present on his face than pain. The damsel was unfazed; she stabbed him again, and again, and again. As his vision began to cloud, Francis was offended she didn’t even have the decency to stab him with something nicer, like his sword. She just had to gut him like an unfortunate fish in Lokoja, with an unsterile weapon (he took pride on how clean and gleaming his sword usually was).
He fell to the floor feeling his strength leaving him. The last sight he saw was a company of men, armed to the teeth with rifles, strolling casually into the compound he had invested so much into building and protecting.
“What did Francis do wrong?” one might ask. Apart from his greed and inability to say no to a fair skinned damsel (in distress or otherwise), Francis was a hero. Heroes don’t survive in Nigeria. There is no walking away from a burning building or exploding factory, no sun setting in the distance as you make your way home or free rides by giant hawks to take you to safety (Lord of the Rings analogy. Gandalf is cool but I digress). The only thing you get for being a hero is a cold death, gutted like a ram with a suya knife that probably still has pepper on it; electrifying your insides with the heat of a billion burning nerve endings. You may not even enjoy the dignity of a quiet burial, or a booze-fest burial. Like Francis, you may end up rotting away as a zombie because a bunch of buccaneering murderous lowlifes weren’t nice enough to leave a bullet in your head when they were done carting away the things you struggled (or cheated and stole) to get.
There you have it; the first rule to surviving a zombie apocalypse in Nigeria. Be safe people, don’t be a hero.
*We are proud to announce that Apocalypse shall be returning to the screens of your devices with new chapters coming up. Also, the disclaimer notice has nothing to do with this public service announcement.