Home biography gods must be crazy main actor paid $235 upfront later found dead...

gods must be crazy main actor paid $235 upfront later found dead in woods

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An actor who starred in a film which grossed more than £55million was paid just £235 upfront for his lead role.

The late N!xau Toma received a measly upfront wage for his incredible performance in Jamie Uys’ comedy, The Gods Must Be Crazy, despite being at the forefront of the film.

Although Toma was in the spotlight for the entirety of the one hour and 49 minute film, he was paid buttons.

The actor, who was born in Namibia, was a member of the ǃKung people and was also one of several people known as Bushmen, suggesting he was an Indigenous hunter-gatherer.

He spoke fluent Jul’hoan, Otjiherero, Tswana, but was unaware of his own age and had little experience of life outside his community before he shot to fame with his starring role in The Gods Must Be Crazy

Throughout these glory years, The Gods Must Be Crazy made a whopping $90million (£70million) worldwide, including over $60million (£47million) in the States

When his payday eventually arrived, film director Uys said that he gave the star $300 (£235) for his first 10 days of work – but as Toma didn’t understand the value of the currency, he reportedly let the notes blow away in the wind.

It has been claimed that he was then given 12 heads of cattle instead and that he received $100 (£78) a month since filming ceased as well as $20,000 (£15,6000) in a trust account that had been established in his name.

The actor learned his lesson though – and was able to negotiate a pay cheque worth several hundred thousand dollars for his role in the sequel, The Gods Must Be Crazy II.

Toma said he wanted the cash to build a brick house which boasted electricity and running water for his family, while he also purchased a used car despite having no desire to learn to drive – so instead, he hired a chauffeur.

Toma went on to star in films Crazy Safari, Crazy Hong Kong and The Gods Must Be Funny in China after making a name for himself, before he eventually returned to Namibia where he farmed maize, pumpkins and beans.

He was sadly found dead near his home in June 2003 after he had headed out to collect wood. Toma was estimated to be around 58 or 59 years old at the time.

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