Wrestler James ‘Kamala’ Harris, the WWE’s ‘Ugandan Giant,’ dies at 70

by 24USATVAug. 10, 2020, 8 p.m. 33
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“Kamala” Harris, the 1980s wrestling star dubbed the “Ugandan Giant,” has died at the age of 70.

James Harris, who chose the stage name “Kamala” before his 1984 debut with World Wrestling Entertainment (formerly World Wrestling Federation), enjoyed a two-decadelong career in the ring, going up against the sport’s biggest superstars, including Hulk Hogan, the Undertaker and his French counterpart, André the Giant.

At 6-foot-7 and 350 pounds, “he terrorized opponents and thrilled audiences in Mid-South, World Class Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE until 2006,” said WWE on their website. The cause of death has not been made immediately clear.

“Not much was known about Kamala’s life before venturing into sports-entertainment, other than that he was a savage from the wild who apparently worked as a bodyguard for former Ugandan leader Idi Amin. He was never seen without Kim Chee, as he spoke no English — conversing only in loud yelps and grunts — and looked like a true jungle beast,” the WWE wrote.

Wrestlers and fans took to social media to pay their respects.

“Rest In Peace Kamala. One of my favorites to watch as a kid. I’m so happy I was able to share the ring with you during my career. Your larger than life character will live on forever in our business,” wrote WWE referee Tom Castor.

Iranian wrestler the Iron Sheik said, “GOD BLESS THE KAMALA HE ALWAYS PUT ON A SHOW FOR THE FANS GOOD BIG MAN WHO WORKED THE GIMMICK BETTER THEN MOST IT BREAK MY HEART #ripkamala.”

“Another legend who deserved to be in @WWE Hall of Fame and ALIVE when that time came,” said retired wrestler Da Pope, whose real name is Elijah Burke, on Instagram. “An all around great talent and good guy that got over and stood out wherever he went. RIP to the great ‘Ugandan Giant’ Kamala. His memory will live on forever.”

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