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Meet the Namibian actor who helped gross $60m for the 1980 film ‘The Gods Must Be Crazy’ and was paid $300

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Nǃxau Toma_Photo: Facebook

Born in Namibia and a member of the San also known as Bushmen, N!xau Toma, famously called the African bush farmer, was an actor who spoke fluent Jul’hoan, Otjiherero, Tswana as well as some Afrikaans which are dominant languages in the south of Africa.

He shot to worldwide prominence after an appearance as the lead role of the 1980 comedy film, The Gods Must Be Crazy. He became one of the most improbable and reluctant international celebrity after taking the role.

Image result for Nǃxau ǂToma in The Gods must be crazy
N!xau Toma_Photo: Realtime News

In the movie, N!xau appearing as Xixo portrayed a gentle leader of a local tribal clan of Khoisan people. He was also a sober bushman with a comic smile who discovers a Coca-Cola bottle thrown out of an airplane. Upon discovering the bottle, he sees it as an alien object and it sets off into a comedy of errors.

Image result for Nǃxau ǂToma and kids
Scenes from The Gods Must Be Crazy_Photo: Egypt today

This comic role endeared him to viewers especially those in Asia who were convinced that he makes three eccentric movie sequels. The movie grossed $60 million dollars and according to Jamie Uys, the South African director who discovered the actor, N!xau, did not know the value of paper money and he let his first $300 wages blow away.

Despite his inability to attract heavy financial resource in the first movie, he had learned the value of money and demanded several hundred thousand dollars before agreeing to a recast in the film. He insisted that the money was needed to build a cinder-block house with electricity and a water pump for his family comprising of three wives and their children.

With patience and good humor, he toured the world and after 10 years of the glamour life, he stressed that he has seen enough of the “civilized” world, hence his decision to return to his home in the Kalahari.

Image result for Nǃxau ǂToma in The Gods must be crazy
Scenes from The Gods Must Be Crazy_Photo: African Film Festival

N!xau uses the local dialect when filming, however, the interpretation and interlocking plots were explained by a narrator. He made it clear that he enjoyed the film and was excited to see himself on screen.

Mr. Uys was criticized for being cruel to N!xau and not taking him out of his environment but to his defence, he said he [N!xau] was born to act. ”All Bushmen are natural actors,” he said in a 1990 interview with The Associated Press. After the sequel, N!xau appeared in Hong Kong films and the Chinese film ”The Gods Must Be Funny.”

His inability to manage his income and have less value for material things was as a result of cultural practices.

Image result for Nǃxau ǂToma in The Gods must be crazy
Scenes from The Gods Must Be Crazy_Photo:yasminroohi.com

When his film career ended, N!xau returned home to a newly built brick house. He tended his cattle and raised corn and pumpkins. He had a car for a while, but had to employ a driver because he had never learned to drive, The Namibian reported.

The entertaining actor N!xau Toma was found dead in late June 2003 near his home in Namibia after he reportedly went out to collect wood. He was believed to be 59 years old, and the exact cause of his death was unknown. He had suffered from tuberculosis in the past.

His name, N!xau is pronounced with the typical Bushman click used in southern Africa.

The Durham University Business School is delighted to offer its Fully-funded PhD Positionsfor domestic, EU and international students. The studentships are available for those aspirants who wish to pursue a research career in business, academia, government and research organizations.

The The studentships are fully-funded for a period of three years and pays for tuition fees within this three-year period as well as a financial stipend or grant for each of the three years.Advertisements

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Durham University Business School is proudly integral to one of the world’s prestigious universities. Their vision is to lead business ideas and practices to improve global wealth and welfare.

Why study at Durham University Business School? The university develops and enthuses leaders and entrepreneurs who create share and use knowledge to deliver equitable and sustainable futures around the world

Application Deadline: December 1, 2019

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  • University or Organization: Durham University Business School
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  • Course Level: PhD
  • Award: Fully-funded
  • Access Mode: Online
  • Number of Awards: Not Known
  • Nationality: Domestic, EU and overseas students
  • The award can be taken in the UK

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  • Eligible Countries: The studentships are available for domestic, EU and overseas students.
  • Acceptable Course or Subjects: The sponsorship will be awarded in any subject offered by the university.
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  • Complete the Durham University Postgraduate Application Form
  • Attach your Curriculum Vitae (2 pages maximum) and a Covering Letter stating which Research Centre you wish to be considered for.
  • Admission Requirements: You must meet the entry requirements for taking admission in the university.
  • Language Requirement: For being eligible to study, you need to satisfy the English language requirements of the university.
  • Benefits: Each scholarship is fully-funded for a period of three years and pays for tuition fees within this three-year period as well as a financial stipend or grant for each of the three years.

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