- "It's hard to capture an ape without killing a few."
Malakai Youmans is a character who appears in the prequel novel, Dawn of the Planet of the Apes: Firestorm. Malakai is a Congolese mercenary and hunter who is hired by Anvil to capture an evolved ape in order to create an antidote to the Simian Flu.
Born in the Belgian Congo to an American father and a Nyanga mother in North Kivu, Malakai's father abandoned his family shortly after his conception. At age eight, he began hunting mountain gorillas for bushmeat with his uncle Patrick in Virunga National Park in order to sustain his family. At age 12, shortly after his country gained its independence, Malakai's family was massacred by South African and Rhodesian mercenaries during the Simba rebellion. Seeing no alternative, both Patrick and Malakai joined the Simba guerrillas, destroying villages and murdering people thought to have western educations. Once the Simbas were routed by US and Belgian forces, the two fled to Burundi to poach chimpanzees. There, he met Solange, a Tutsi girl from a wealthy pastoral family, whom he eventually married after paying her bride price with the revenue earned from selling captured baby chimpanzees. He continued to support his wife and newborn son Joseph through ape poaching until both were killed during the Burundian Genocide. Malakai subsequently became a mercenary and returned to his homeland during the aftermath of the First Congo War to fight against Hutu militias.