“I am devastated to get the news that my dear friend James “Kamala” Harris has passed away. No words right now. He was a wonderful man who dealt a very tough hand over the past several years. Rest in peace, Sir. I am incredibly saddened by this.”
According to Mick Karch, who first announced James Kamala’s death, his dear friend is dead. No words yet.
Mich announced with these words, “I am devastated to get the news that my dear friend James “Kamala” Harris has passed away. No words right now. He was a wonderful man who dealt a very tough hand over the past several years. Rest in peace, Sir. I am incredibly saddened by this.”
The circumstances of his passing are not yet known. The word of his passing first came from WWE Hall of Famer Koko B.
Ware. Kamala made his WWE debut in 1984 and would make his RAW in-ring debut in 1993. During his WWE career, he feuded with Jake “The Snake” Roberts, Hulk Hogan, and The Undertaker.
He also wrestled in such promotions as Mid-South Wrestling, WCW, USWA, WCCW, and NWA Tri-State.
PRIOR TO HIS DEATH
A WWF legend who once wrestled headliners like Hulk Hogan and Andre the Giant is now a double amputee living in poverty in rural Mississippi.
Now all James Harris, who rose to fame as Kamala the Ugandan Giant in the 1980s, has left from those days as a pro wrestler on the national stage are his memories.
And with his continued optimism in the face of nightly dialysis, a tragic family story and mounting bills to pay, Harris hopes to put those memories down on paper in an autobiography called Kamala Speaks.
Named ironically, since his cannibalistic character spoke only in grunts in the ring, the tome is the focus of a Kickstarter donation drive.
After all, as Harris recently told Bleacher Report, ‘Life is worth living.’ But that doesn’t mean there hasn’t been heartache. The Mississippi native lost a parent at the tender age of 4 when his father was killed during a game of dice.
To date, he’s also lost his sister to murder, a son to AIDS and his mother.
it appeared that Harris, who recalls sometimes having nothing to eat but discarded bones from the butcher as a child, was going to skirt what looks a lot like a family curse when he was discovered by the WWF in 1982.
He quickly rose to fame as the silent, shirtless cannibal from afar–whose 6-foot-7 frame and girthy build struck fear in children and adults alike–accompanied by a man named Kim Chee.
That man, whose real name is Kenny Casanova, is the mind behind his Kickstarter and book.
Casanova believes Harris–who has a 9th grade education–lost out the soaring salaries of WWF headliners like Hogan and the Undertaker and is now paying the price.
‘If I had been a better talker, if I’d have known how to negotiate, that probably would’ve helped me,’ Harris told Bleacher Report.
Today, Harris lives on a meager government check following the loss of both his legs to years of diabetes. And his wife has recently been laid off from her job of nearly 30 years.
‘I figured Kamala’s story alone in book form could be one answer to lost earnings,’ Casanova writes on the Kickstarter page. If written correctly, it could mean great supplemental income for Kamala for years to come. So, I picked up the phone and made the call.’
The biography of Harris focuses on, according to Casanova’s Kickstarter page:
- Growing up a sharecropper in a 1950’s segregated Mississippi town
- Surviving the gruesome murders of his father, sister & niece
- Traveling on the road with many funny, larger-than-life characters
- Overcoming racism
- Living a life unlike any other wrestler you have read about
- Surviving a battle with diabetes that claimed both his legs
- Being a former WWE headliner, who is now an amputee with no retirement/pension and no means to earn a living
- Staying positive and being a humble inspiration to many
And, as Harris says:
‘Don’t feel sorry for me, If you want to, encourage me. Embrace me. I’m going to be all right—just like I’ve always been.’
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