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Namu is a character who made his first appearance in Dragonball, as a contestant in the 21st world tournament, and would come back in the series from time to time, even in Dragonball Z and Dragonball GT.
Having joined the tournament in hopes of gaining the money to buy water for all the people in his native village, Namu had proven himself to be a noteworthy fighter. He aced his way through the preliminaries, beat Ranfan, and even gave Goku a run for his money.
After losing the match to Goku, all hope seemed lost for his people, until Jackie Chun (Master Roshi in disguise) had approached him, reading his mind to understand his dilemna, and told him that he was mistaken and the water did not cost anything to take to his village.
Namu would make a few more appearances later in the series, most notably in the 22nd tournament in which he was defeated by Tien Shinhan in the preliminaries, and in the King Piccolo Saga in which he was killed alongside numerous other fighters from the world tournament and later revived by Shenron. He would even make a cameo appearance in Dragonball Z (at the end of the Buu Saga) and Dragonball GT (at end of the Baby saga), as well as in the games, Dragonball adventures and Dragonball Z Tenkaichi 3.