Nam is a fairly tall man with brown skin, a long face, small beady eyes, and a small red dot on his forehead known as a bindi. He wears a white turban and an orange and maroon robe similar to the traditional garbs worn by Indian and Thai Buddhist monks. Years later, Nam grows a fully-grown black beard.
Nam is a quiet man of sorts, rarely displaying emotion during his time competing in the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament. Despite this, his motivation to compete in the Tournament was in order to win the prize money so that he could use it to purchase and provide a water supply for his village that was suffering from drought, showing the caring and generous side of Nam.
Nam is also a focused and determined individual who was described as strong willed by Master Roshi. He is often seen with his eyes closed and hands together in a prayer like gesture prior to his matches which may have also serve as a sign of his focus and determination to win the prize money in the tournament.
Although Nam seems to be calm and emotionless, when faced against Ranfan, he blushes when she shows off her body to gain the advantage in their match, showing that Nam can succumb to seduction to some extent and displays that by being shy and walking away whenever he sees the body of partially or fully naked woman similar to Yamcha's original fear of women.
Despite this, he prioritises his people and the villages needs first and foremost and overcomes his shyness by closing his eyes and using his Shura Gekiretsuken to win the match. Even after losing to Goku and not being able to fulfill his promise to his people, Nam still congratulates Goku on winning the match and even encourages Goku to win the tournament showing that Nam accepts defeat whenever he is bested. In the episode "The Roaming Lake", it is revealed that Nam is a pacifist, never wanting to use violence to solve issues as well as having a pure heart since he is able to ride the Flying Nimbus.
Main article: Tournament Saga
Nam makes his first appearance in the Tournament Saga among the finalists. Shortly later, he fights Ranfan in the first rounds. Ranfan's sexy looks make Nam get close to the edge of the ring, but he overcomes by closing his eyes and using his other senses to defeat her. His next fight is against Goku, and while it is an intense fight with him using his ultimate attack, the Cross Arm Dive technique, which knocks somebody out cold for 10 days, he loses in the end.
He competed because he needed the money to buy lots of water; where he was from, there was a terrible drought, and he had been sent to find a solution. Being defeated, however, he is unable to get the money to buy water and decides to leave. Master Roshi reads his mind and gets acquainted with his intentions. He then gives him a capsule so that he can store water from a well; Nam hadn't realized that as water was plentiful in the region where the tournament was held, it was free, and he needed only a means to transport it. In return, Roshi asks Nam to impersonate him in the crowd, as to protect Master Roshi's secret identity from his students, who suspected Jackie Chun of being Master Roshi.
Red Ribbon Army Saga
Main article: Red Ribbon Army Saga In a filler episode, shortly after the Tournament, Nam returns to the desert to find the source of the drought that has been plaguing his people. He was rescued by Goku after he was grabbed by a pterodactyl. They found out that Giran and other members of his race were blocking the dam with Merry-Go-Round Gums. Goku used the Kamehameha wave to destroy the gums and the drought ended.
Tien Shinhan Saga
Main article: Tien Shinhan Saga Nam makes an appearance in the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament, during an anime only segment, claiming to Goku and Master Roshi that this time he came to enjoy it. He ends up losing to Tien Shinhan on the preliminary rounds, and was left unconscious and nearly killed as Tien wanted to leave a message to Goku and his friends.
King Piccolo Saga
Main article: King Piccolo Saga Soon after the 22nd World Tournament, Nam is killed by Tambourine, King Piccolo's most elite son at that point, on the demon king's orders to prevent any and all martial artists from learning the Evil Containment Wave. It is unknown how Tambourine killed him, as Nam is killed offscreen. Nam's picture appears on a television news broadcast along with fellow tournament fighters King Chappa and Pamput, as the news anchor says multiple martial artists have been killed. Later on, Nam is revived by Shenron along with all the other victims of King Piccolo and his sons.
Dragon Ball Z
Kid Buu Saga
Main article: Kid Buu Saga
Dragon Ball GT
Main article: Baby Saga
Nam is meditating when Goku is trying to round up the remaining survivors on the almost-exploding Earth. He has appeared to age from the original series, now sporting a thick black beard and mustache.
Other Dragon Ball stories
Dragon Ball SD
Nam briefly appears in chapter 14 of the spin-off manga Dragon Ball SD, fulfilling the same role as in the 21st World Tournament storyline (though his fight with Ranfan is offscreen). After Nam's defeat against Goku, Roshi jokes that Nam would later return as King Chappa (due to them wearing the same type of outfit).
- Manga and Anime
Nam was a very powerful human and expert fighter that gave Goku some difficulty in their match due to his devastating techniques. However it was not enough to keep him down and he was eventually defeated. In the preliminaries of the 22nd World Martial Arts Tournament he was matched against Tien Shinhan and was knocked unconscious by him. He was also no match for Tambourine who killed him in battle.
- Statements by authors and guidebooks
Techniques and Special Abilities
- Ki Sense – Nam has strong senses which allow him to feel his opponent's moves rather than just see or hear them, as shown when he fought Ranfan or when he countered Goku's Afterimage Technique.
- Shura Gekiretsuken – Nam senses his opponents are about to attack and jumps over them, karate chopping their neck from behind. This attack was used on Ranfan and it knocked her out. The name is given in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- Cross Arm Dive – Nam jumps in the air about 40 feet high and comes down on his enemy with his arms crossed, knocking them out for ten days. This is called the Aerial Attack in some dubs, and Heaven Cross in the manga.
- Cross Arm Attack – First, Nam puts his arms into an X position, and then flys towards the target, and when he rams into the target, he causes a massive amount of damage. One of Nam's blast 2 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
- Super Cross Arm Dive (Chō Tenkū x Jiken)  – Nam jumps higher than the Heaven Cross to add more height between himself and his opponent, then crashes down with even more momentum and damage.
- Pure Heart - In the episode "The Roaming Lake", it is shown Nam has a pure heart since he is able to ride the Flying Nimbus.
- Afterimage Technique – One of his Blast 1 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3, Nam can use the afterimage technique to move so fast an image is left behind.
- For The Villagers – One of his Blast 1 in Budokai Tenkaichi 3. Nam remembers the villagers and fights at full strength.
Video Game Appearances
Nam appears as a boss in Dragon Ball Z: Super Gokuden: Totsugeki-Hen. He is both a boss character and a playable character in Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure. Later on, he appears in a similar role in Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3.
Nam is also a boss in Dragon Ball: Origins, during the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament, as well as in two bonus chapters: an exhibition match after the final of the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament (level 8-9) and in the Mushroom Forest (level 5-6). In the Mushroom Forest, Nam was seeking for food for his village after the tournament, when he ate a mushroom that made him unbearable; Goku must defeat him in Monster Carrot's Hideout in order to reason him.
- Japanese: Kaneto Shiozawa (most media), Eiji Takemoto (Budokai Tenkaichi 3)
- Latin American Spanish dub: Gerardo Reyero
- Brazilian Portuguese dub: Cézar Marchetti
- Dragon Ball
- Nam vs. Preliminary Fighters
- Nam vs. Ranfan
- Nam vs. Goku
- Nam vs. Tien Shinhan (anime only)
- Nam vs. Tambourine (off-srceen)
- Nam's and his brother's names come from the Buddhist chant "Namuamidabutsu".
- Coincidentally with his signature move making his opponents sleep for ten days, Nam's name means "sleep" in Arabic.
- Nam may be a Buddhist. This is shown in the manga as when using the Heaven Cross he shouts "In the name of Buddha". However, despite his Buddhist faith, Nam seems to wear a bhindi, a Hindu symbol, on his forehead.
- Though darker-skinned in the anime and manga, Nam appears as a light-skinned man in his portrait in the US release of Advanced Adventure for unknown reasons.
- The Mighty-but-compassionate Warrior, a character featured in Master Roshi's story about the Devilmite Beam, looks similar to Nam.
- Nam bears many similarities to Uub, who would be introduced much later in the series. Both come from poor human villages, both entered the World Martial Arts Tournament with the hopes of using the prize money to buy things with which to sustain his people (water for Nam, food for Uub) where they fought against and befriended Goku, and both also have pure hearts.
- Nam's death by Tambourine is not directly shown in either the manga or anime, though it is reported on television where the group at Kame House are watching. He is shown being resurrected after Shenron restores him and the rest of Piccolo's victims, however.