James Arthur Harris (May 28, 1950 – August 9, 2020), better known by his ring name Kamala, was an American professional wrestler. Nicknamed "The Ugandan Giant", Kamala portrayed a fearsome and simpleminded Ugandan. He wrestled barefoot, clad only in a loincloth, his face painted with war paint and two stars and a moon painted on his torso. During his ring entrance, Kamala sported an African mask and wielded a spear and shield. He is best known for his appearances with the World Wrestling Federation (now WWE) over the course of numerous runs in the company between 1984 and 1993.
Harris was married twice: his first marriage, to Clara Freeman, ended in divorce, while his second, to Emmer Jean Bradley, lasted until his death. Harris fathered five daughters and a son. Harris lived with his niece Ashley in Senatobia, Mississippi, until moving to Oxford, Mississippi.In July 1993, Harris was called away from a WWF tour after a show in Oakland, California, when his youngest sister and her stepdaughter were shot dead. The killer attempted suicide, but only severely disfigured himself. After his WWF release that August, Harris pushed for the man's arrest and conviction. He was sentenced to life imprisonment, and died in 2013. Harris went on to help raise his surviving niece.Beginning in 1993, Harris wrote, performed, and produced his own music. He wrote over 100 songs. Some discuss his frustration with the working conditions he experienced in the wrestling industry, most notably the low pay. He released his debut album, The Best of Kamala Vol 1, through his official website. The album features a ballad dedicated to the memory of Stanley "Tookie" Williams.In 2015, Harris completed his autobiography along with one of his wrestling managers, Kenny Casanova, to help him offset medical costs. Kamala Speaks was funded on Kickstarter and self-published in December 2014. It tells his life story, of his wrestling career, and the loss of both of his legs to diabetes.
Harris was born on May 28, 1950, in Senatobia, Mississippi, to Jessie Harris and Betsy Mosely. He grew up in Coldwater, Mississippi, where his family owned a furniture store. He had four sisters. When he was around four, his father was shot dead during a dice game, leaving the family impoverished. As a youth, Harris worked as a sharecropper to help support his family.Harris left high school in the ninth grade and became a habitual burglar. In 1967, local police suggested he leave town. As Harris put it, "Back then if you didn't leave like they said, you would be found dead somewhere." He relocated to Florida, where he drove trucks and picked fruit. At age 25, he moved to Benton Harbor, Michigan, where he met wrestler Bobo Brazil. Harris then began training as a wrestler, under Brazil's friend, "Tiny" Tim Hampton. He moved to Arkansas to continue training and escape the snow in Michigan.
Movies & TV shows
WWE: The Triumph and Tragedy of World Class Championship Wrestling
The Von Erich family, siblings and wrestlers who attained the heights of championship glory but who also struggled with despair, tragedy and suicide are the subject of a documentary.
Heroes of World Class
In 1983 World Class Championship Wrestling and its franchise stars, the Von Erich brothers, were known around the world. A small Dallas based promotion running out of a shack of a venue, the Sportator...
WWE Vengeance 2006
Vengeance took place on June 25, 2006 at the Charlotte Bobcat Arena. The sixth annual Vengeance event was held. Wrestlers from the Raw brand were in attendance. The main event of the card was Rob Van ...
WCW Clash of The Champions XXXI
There is a 2-on-1 Handicap Match. Harlem Heat & Sister Sherri challenge Bunkhouse Buck. Robert would like to be a part of the World Tag Team Championship. The Sting teams with Road Warrior Hawk. There...
WCW Fall Brawl 1995
The dungeon of doom is being fought in a war games match. "Nature Boy" takes on "The Enforcer" The Harlem Heat will face the Bunkhouse Buck & "Dirty" Dick Slater in the World Tag Team Championship. "D...
WCW Bash at The Beach 1995
In a steel cage match, Big Van Vader defends against Hogan. "The Macho Man" is facing "The Nature Boy" in a Lifeguard match. The Blue Bloods are competing in a Triangle Match for the World Tag Team Ch...
3 Movies · 1 TV show
WWE U.K. Rampage 1993
WWE U.K. Rampage 1993 was an event produced by World Wrestling Federation. It took place on April 11, 1993 at the Sheffield Arena in Sheffield, England.
A former pro-wrestler is hired to protect a couple of bratty kids whose inventor father is being followed by a rival.
A regularly scheduled, live, year-round program features some of the biggest wrestlers in the world.
WWE March to WrestleMania IX
WWE The March to WrestleMania IX aired on USA Network on March 28, 1993, 7 days prior to WrestleMania IX. It was filmed on March 7 in Fayetteville, North Carolina. In March 2019 it was uploaded to the...
WWE SummerSlam Spectacular 1992
The SummerSlam Spectacular '92 aired on the USA Network on August 23, 1992. The match between Hart and Skinner was not a title match.
WWE Survivor Series 1992
The sixth annual Survivor Series was held in 1992. The event took place at the Richfield Coliseum. The focus of Survivor Series 1992 was on one-on-one wrestling matches rather than tag team eliminatio...
WWE Survivor Series Showdown 1992
The 1992 edition of Survivor Series Showdown aired on the USA Network on November 22, 1992 (taped October 26, 1992) from the Prairie Capital Convention Center in Springfield, Illinois. In November 201...
WWE SummerSlam 1992
The fifth annual SummerSlam was held in 1992. It was aired in the United States on August 31, 1992, but took place on August 29, 1992. There were two main event matches in the pay-per-view. The first ...
Bill Watts is walking tall with "Hacksaw" Jim Duggan and "Capt". Dick Murdoch!
WCCW Parade of Champions '85
The parade was held at Texas Stadium.
NWA The Great American Bash 1985
The Great American Bash was held at the American Legion Memorial Stadium in Charlotte, North Carolina. The main event was a steel cage match for the NWA World Television Championship, which was won by...
WCCW Parade of Champions
The first annual parade of champion was held at Texas Stadium in Irving, Texas, and featured David's brother Kerry Von Erich fighting for the NWA World's Heavyweight Championship.