From Memphis Wrestling with Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler, to the WWF (World Wreslting Federation) with Hulk Hogan, fans know the name of the legendary Kamala, the Ugandan Giant.
However, many fans except for maybe the hardcore Kamala fan club, may not know the story behind the then 6′ 7″ tall, 380 pounds wrestler, real name James “Jim” Harris.
Kamala, who actually lived in Senatobia, Mississippi and not Uganda was a truck driver and, before that, picked cotton as a son of a sharecropper.
It wasn’t until 1982 when Kamala was wrestling under the name Sugar Bear that he was discovered by Jerry ‘The King’ Lawler and transformed into Kamala, the Ugandan Giant, the superstar wrestler we grew to love in the 80’s and early 90’s.
After temporarily leaving wresting in 87 and returning in 92, the wrestler wasn’t earning those big checks anymore and was struggling to make ends meet.
Among the struggle and challenges was the murder of his sister and niece in 93 which followed behind a diabetes diagnosis in 92.
With almost a 10 year stint from that time and after leaving wrestling, Kamala’s health declined as he gained weight leading to his leg being amputated in 2011 with his second leg being amputated the very next year.
Harris, aka Kamala, is now fighting as a double amputee to pay his bills while he relies on his disability check and autographed handmade wooden chairs to make ends meet following his wife being no longer at her job after almost thirty years.
During his wrestling career, there was no other wrestler that matched Kamala’s size and strength besides 7′ 4″ tall 520 pound Andre The Giant who Kamala admits he simply couldn’t beat but the wrestler did body slam Andre on an occassion.
Still, Kamala had several runs in the WWF and was a four-time USWA Unified World Heavyweight Champion within his career filled with feuds with his mentor Jerry Lawler and others.