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Wednesday, 3 November 2021

FAIR OR FARE OR FEAR?


According to Legit, despite Netflix making over N350 billion from the popular Squid Game series, the show creator has said he only got enough money to 'put food on his table'.

Copyright: cheatsheet.com


Hwang disclosed that he was not paid any extra bonus by the giant movie streaming platform.

Commenters on this page have gone haywire raining curses on Netflix for cheating the producer.

One of the commenters even compared this scenario to what happened to Nǃxau.

So, I decided to write this article.

Copyright: rottentomatoes.com

According to Wikipedia, Nǃxau ǂToma was a Namibian bush farmer and actor who starred in the 1980 movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy and its sequels, in which he played the Kalahari Bushman Xixo. The Namibian called him "Namibia's most famous actor".

According to San Youth Network, this main actor of, The Gods Must Be Crazy, was only paid $300, even though the popular 1980 movie generated over 60 million dollars.

The film unpredictably became the top grossing foreign film in 1980 and the lead actor, N!xau Toma won, international fame for the same.

Nǃxau ǂToma represented a sincere Bushman with an unashamed smile who discovers a Coca-Cola bottle thrown out of an aircraft and seeing it as an alien thing, he sets off into a comedy of errors.

According to the South African director of the film who first discovered the actor, Jamie Uys, N!xau did not know the value of paper money and he let his first $300 wages blow away.

Before being cast in the movie, The Gods Must Be Crazy, N!xau only had minimal exposure to modern life and did not grasp the real value of money.

However, by the time the sequel movie The Gods Must Be Crazy II was being shot in 1989 he had understood the value of money and demanded more than a few hundred thousand dollars before assenting to be recast in the film.

Nǃxau maintained 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.

After his big-screen career faded, in 2000, the Namibian newspaper reported that N!xau returned to his home area living in a newly built brick house where he tended his cattle and became a farmer growing maize, pumpkins and beans.

N!xau Toma was later found dead in June 2003 near his home in Namibia after he purportedly went out to collect wood. It is believed he was fifty-nine and the exact cause of his death was unknown. He had suffered from tuberculosis in the past.

What Hwang got for his intellectual property and what Nǃxau got for his acting work-for-hire service were simply based on the consideration element of their contractual agreements which generally states that compensation must be sufficient but need not be adequate.

See the case of Thomas v Thomas.

So, what they got based on their contracts is fair.

What they got is sufficient fare to transport them from their previous position to their current position where value was added unto them.

Was it fear of the unknown that his work would not be a success that did not push Hwang to request for more fees and royalties in his agreement with Netflix?

This is the reason why intellectual property owners ought to strive to check for loopholes in their contracts before signing them.

They can also earn from their intellectual properties via future royalties and the sale of merchandise.

© DJ Irawo
Music and Creative Career Consultant @ Drumline Entertainment

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