N!xau As N!xau
in the

More about money.

Several reports say that after the first movie N!xau knew more about the value of money and that he was paid either $300,000 or $500,000. And they usually say that this was 300 or 500 thousand DOLLARS, presumably they mean American dollars. I doubt this, but really don't know.

Even if true, I doubt that he would have been paid in United States Dollars (USD). Perhaps he was paid 300,000 South African Rand (ZAR), or perhaps whatever was being used in Namibia at the time. Today Namibia uses the Namibian Dollar (NAD) which is pegged to a close equality to the Rand. The conversion rate today (latest revision date at the bottom of the page) is 7.587 ZAR or 7.476 NAD to the USD.

Using todays figures he would have received somewhere between $40,000 and $80,000 (USD). That's still a lot of money in a country where 50% of the people live on less than $1.25 per day. And this would have been in the 1980's when the US dollar was worth four to ten times what is is today.

Yes, that's four to ten times. In the early 80's gasoline was about a dollar, gold was about $170 an ounce. Today that's about $4 (about a four time increase) for gas and $1,800 for gold (more than a 10 times increase). What you buy is exactly the same. You can say that the prices have gone up (that's what the news media says) but in reality the buying power of the dollar has declined so that it takes more dollars to get the same things.

Anyway it is said to be a custom of his tribe that such wealth needs to be shared with less fortunate members of the tribe, or at least family. I suspect that he found that he had a lot more family than he had known he had. He did manage to buy a house, in which he lived until he died.

One More Movie.

There apparently was another movie, Kwacca Strikes Back. This is supposedly another N!xau movie that was made in Japan. I've never been able to find a copy and I've been looking for years including writing to people in Japan. I thought one time that I had found one for sale on the Chinese Taobao auction site, basically the eBay of China. Although I attempted to buy a copy I was not successful and subsequently the listing was removed from Taobao. This movie had nothing at all to do with the "Gods" movies.

What little information I've been able to find on this movie is available here.

There is another movie called Kwagga Strikes Back. Note the "g's" rather than the "c's" in the title. This is a South African Leon Schuster film. It is NOT the Japanese film supposed made with N!xau. In checking availability on the date listed below I find that Amazon does not have the film available either new or used. eBay has two advertising posters for sale, one in Turkish the other in Thai. Amazon UK has one copy under the title Oh Schucks..! Here comes UNTAG. It's a tape, not a CD, and it is in PAL format, not the format used in the US.

Miscelaneous Pictures

N!xau obviously in Paris. Probably part of the touring around to promote the movie. The text in the picture "Wurld Famus!" may be in Africaans, the language of South Africa. I presume that this picture appeared in a South African or Namibian newspaper. But then again, I really don't know.

N!xau in a photograph said to date from 2003. If so, this would be only a few months before his death in July. This picture appears to be a part of a larger photograph of him with some friends as they watched The Gods Must Be Crazy for supposedly the first time he saw the finished movie. At any case he certainly doesn't look the same. I put this down to the twenty-five years that have elapsed since the first movie, and to signs of the TB that killed him.

N!xau reportedly thought that the movie was silly and was not at all like the way the world really was. I was reminded of a quote from John Wayne that "Western movies don't show the west as it really was, they show the west as it should have been."

Considering the real problems that Africa has: poverty, malaria, AIDS (15% of the adult population in 2007)), and of course the drug resistant TB that killed N!xau; it's sad that it can't be more like the film.

Home, I, II, I-II, Safari, Hong Kong, China, N!xau Miscelaneous
Contact Me by Email: john_matlock(at)hotmail.com

© www.GodsMustBeCrazy.com, August 26, 2004; Last Revised March 8, 2012