With spear in hand, while wearing his tribal mask, from the deepest darkest jungles of Africa, Kamala the Ugandan Giant, was on the warpath.
Wrestling fans that remember watching Kamala back in his prime were mystified by his realism. James Harris portrayed his character in such a way that some people really believed he was a savage cannibal!
“I played my part well, and I never broke kayfabe,” Harris said. “I never let the people know that I could speak English, and because of that, I was a mystery.”
The mystery of Kamala is revealed in his 2015 auto-biography “Kamala Speaks,” along with the author, Kenny Casanova.
The book contains over 300 pages that begin with his humble beginnings in Senatobia, Mississippi, and takes you to his match with The Undertaker at the Wembley Stadium in London, England.
“I wanted to put a book out because I wanted everyone to know the truth,” Harris said. “I wanted the fans to know what went on behind the scenes in the wrestling business.”
Kamala traveled all over the world to wrestle. He left his mark in Bill Watt’s Mid-South territory, for Fritz Von Erich in World Class, and in the World Wrestling Federation for Vince McMahon Jr.
Wherever Kamala worked, he was quickly elevated to the main event matches and wrestled with the top names in those territories. Some of the talent he shared the ring with were guys like Bruiser Brody, Andre the Giant, the Junkyard Dog, Butch Reed, and the Von Erichs.
“I was wrestling against Kerry when I first executed my leapfrog maneuver. He called that spot,” Harris said. “I worked with him and David a lot before he passed away. I liked the Von Erichs, they were good guys.”
In the ’80s, professional wrestling was at the height of its popularity. The strong following was due to the territorial system that provided great talent and accessibility, but it was also because of “Hulkamania.”
While wrestling in the WWF, Kamala had the honor to step inside the ring a countless amount of times with the World Heavyweight Champion, Hulk Hogan.
“I liked the matches I had with Hogan because we were open to each other’s ideas inside the ring,” Harris said. “I think that was what made him so easy to work with.”
Over the years, throughout the history of the sport, superstars have come and gone. Many wrestlers have left an impression on the fans, but nothing like Kamala the Ugandan Giant has done.
There was a sense of fear when Kamala was in the building because when he was on the card, the wrestling was REAL!
Kamala’s book can be purchased at https://www.kamalaspeaks.com/