Samiksha Jaiswal (Editor)

Nǃxau ǂToma

Updated on
Share on FacebookTweet on TwitterShare on LinkedInShare on Reddit
Occupation  bush farmer, actor
Spouse  Kora Coma (m. ?–2003)

Name  Nǃxau ǂToma
Years active  1980–1994
Movie Scene from The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) featuring Nǃxau ǂToma as Xi

Born  16 December 1944 Tsumkwe, Namibia
Died  5 July 2003, Tsumkwe, Namibia
Other names  N!xau, Gǃkau, Gcao Tekene Coma
Movies  The Gods Must Be Crazy, The Gods Must Be Crazy II, Crazy Safari
Similar  Jamie Uys, Marius Weyers, Sandra Prinsloo, Lena Farugia, Billy Chan

Nǃxau ǂToma (short: Nǃxau, alternative spelling Gcao Tekene Coma; 16 December 1944 – 5 July 2003) was a Namibian bush farmer and actor who was made famous by his roles in the 1980 movie The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequels, in which he played the Kalahari San (Bushman) Xixo. The Namibian called him "Namibia's most famous actor".


Movie Scene of Nǃxau ǂToma as Xi holding a coca-cola bottle from The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)


Nǃxau was a member of the San, also known as Bushmen. He spoke Juǀʼhoan, Otjiherero and Tswana fluently, as well as some Afrikaans. He did not know his own exact age, and before his appearance in the films he had little experience of typical "modern" living: he had only ever seen three white people before being cast and was unaware of the value of paper money, allowing (according to legend) his first earnings for The Gods Must Be Crazy to literally blow away in the wind.

Movie Scene of Nǃxau ǂToma as Xi holding a coca-cola bottle from The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980)

He earned only $300 for his work in The Gods Must Be Crazy, but by the time of the first sequel he was educated about the purpose and value of money within the modern world and negotiated a much larger sum (R800,000) for the film.Regardless, he did come from a culture that did not value the material things that money could buy and consequently had never before learned money management skills; "he did not have the skills to manage his income," although he used some of it to build a brick house with running water and electricity for his family.

In addition to The Gods Must Be Crazy, N!xau starred in a series of sequels: The Gods Must Be Crazy II, Crazy Safari, Crazy Hong Kong and The Gods Must Be Funny in China. After his film career ended, he returned to Namibia, where he farmed maize, pumpkins and beans and kept several head of cattle (but no more than 20 at a time because, according to The Independent, without the complex farming systems of the "modern world," he had trouble keeping track of more). The Namibian local daily New Era stated that he simply could not count further than 20.

N!xau converted to Christianity. In July 2000, he was baptised as a Seventh-day Adventist.

On 5 July 2003, he died from multiple-drug-resistant tuberculosis while he was hunting guinea fowl. According to official estimates he was about 58 or 59 years old at the time. He was buried on 12 July in a semi-traditional ceremony at Tsumkwe, next to the grave of his second wife. He had six surviving children.


  • The Gods Must Be Crazy (1980) (Actor) - Xi
  • The Gods Must Be Crazy II (1989) (Actor) - Xixo
  • Kwacca Strikes Back (1990) (Actor)
  • Crazy Safari (1991) (Actor) - N!xau The Bushman
  • Crazy Hong Kong (1993) (Actor) - Xi
  • The Gods Must be Funny in China (1994) (Actor) - Nixau - Bushman
  • Sekai Ururun Taizaiki (1996) - Himself
  • References

    Nǃxau ǂToma Wikipedia