Nam comes from a poor village which had been decimated by a long drought, seeing this the mighty Nam decides to enter the Worlds Martial Arts Tournament in order to use the prize money to buy water and save his village. Once their he successfully makes it to the quarter finals where he is pitted against RanFan, but his beliefs hamper his effectiveness due to her being a woman, and he stripping during their fight.However he is able to close his eyes and utilize his other senses to defeat his opponent, and is pitted against the young Goku in his next match.The two fight fairly evenly and despite Nam hitting his most devastating move the boy manages to defeat him. As Nam prepares to return to his village in shame, Master Roshi arrives giving him a capsule with which he can carry infinite amounts of water back home with him,and in exchange Nam disguises himself as Roshi to protect his secret identity as Jackie Chun from his young students.
Several years after this he is tracked down by Tambourine, who kills him on orders of King Piccolo, who was eliminating all finalists of previous World Martial Arts Tournaments. However following Goku's defeat of King Piccolo, Nam is brought back along with all of the others through the Dragon Balls. He is then once again killed along with the rest of the Earth's population by Buu, but was once again revived this time by the Namekian Dragon,Porunga.Following his resurrection he and his villagers give some of their energy to Goku for his Super Spirit Bomb, to finally defeat Majin Buu.
In Other Media
Dragon Ball: Advanced Adventure - Nam appears as a boss character during the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament and is later a playable character.
Dragon Ball: Origins - Nam appears as a boss character during the 21st World Martial Arts Tournament and for two bonus matches as well. The first is an exhibition match after the tournament and the second is in the Mushroom forest where he was looking for food for his village and ate a mushroom that made him unbearable. Goku must defeat him at Monster Carrot's hideout in order to restore him.
Dragon Ball Z: Budokai Tenkaichi 3 - Nam appears as a playable character and is one of the few Dragon Ball era characters to appear alongside Grandpa Gohan, Devilman, King Piccolo, and Mercenary Tao.