Legendary Pro Wrestler Kamala ‘The Ugandan Giant’ Dead at 70
The professional world has lost another legend. James Harris, who was known in the ring as Kamala, has passed away at age 70.
According to media reports, Harris died on Sunday afternoon after contracting COVID-19 last week during a visit to a dialysis center.
Nicknamed "The Ugandan Giant", Kamala terrorized opponents and thrilled audiences in Mid-South, World Class Championship Wrestling, WCW and WWE until 2006.
He began his career in the Memphis area, wrestling under his real name. However, in the early 1980s, he adopted the moniker for which he would use the remainder of his career.
Kamala portrayed a fearsome and simpleminded Ugandan who wrestled in barefoot in war paint and a loincloth. He approached the ring wearing an African mask and carrying a spear and shield.
The ironic part of the aforementioned is that Harris was from Senatobia, Mississippi (northwest part of the state).
According to KATC's Ian Auzenne, Harris was involved in a lawsuit stemming from a wrestling event at the Lafayette Municipal Auditorium. A woman sued Harris after a September 1985 card at the venue.
The woman, who was in the stands watching the matches, claimed Harris assaulted her after leaving the ring. The lawsuit was eventually settled in 1989.
Harris battled significant health issues over the last several years. In 2011, he had his left leg amputated below the knee due to complications of high blood pressure and diabetes. And then in 2012, his right leg was also amputated below the knee.
On August 5, 2020, Harris tested positive for COVID-19 and was hospitalized in New York City. According to his wife, he likely contracted it from one of his numerous weekly visits to the dialysis center. He went to cardiac arrest and later died on Sunday, August 9, 2020.