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Leonora Jacobs who starred in the 1989 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy II says she wasn’t paid any cent.


Namibian Actress, Leonora Jacobs who starred in the 1989 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy II says she wasn’t paid for her role.

She was 5 years old when it was filmed in 1985. She is 42 years old now, and lives with her mum.

She said she feels used. The movie grossed $6.3 million.

IT starts off with two sisters stuck in a water tank at the back of a truck in the middle of the Kalahari Desert.

A glass Coca-Cola bottle, thrown from a passing aeroplane, falls to the ground.

The mysterious object causes a stir and confusion among the clan.

“It must be a gift from the gods,” the narrator says as the group discusses the incident in a local language.

The 1989 movie ‘The Gods Must be Crazy II’ was a multimillion-dollar blockbuster and received global acclaim.

Thirty-four years later, one of Namibia’s indigenous child actors, who was five years old at the time, says the fame was short-lived, and life has been a struggle.

The Namibian met Leonora Jacobs at home at Keetmanshoop’s Tseiblaagte last weekend.

She just returned from her work as a shop assistant in the area.

Jacobs says she vividly remembers some of the details of the movie that put Namibia on the map.

She played the role of young Airos.


She says she did not know films existed, until she was approached by the South African producers of the movie.

They visited her school scouting for young talent, she says.

“I was in Grade 1 at the time and the youngest in class. Growing up I was always very curious. When the film producers came to our class, I was the first to ask who they were and what they wanted,” she says.

Jacobs shows The Namibian a copy of a local newspaper, published in 2004, featuring an article about her appearance in the movie.

She remembers meeting the lead actor, the late N!xau ?Toma from Tsumkwe, she says.

“We travelled to Tsumkwe to get the late N!xau, and later travelled to Usakos, then to South Africa. N!xau played my father. He took care of me in the movie, and he was a good person,” Jacobs says.

Although she bonded with N!xau during the movie, the two never reconnected after wrapping up the movie.

N!xau died in 2003 at Tsumkwe.

He received US$300 from the movie, according to media reports at the time.

“I felt very bad when I heard of his death, because I wanted to see him again,” she says


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