Ah, genealogy. Over the years, we’ve had great wrestling dynasties. The Von Erichs. The Harts. The Mulkeys. But one family of grapplers always seems to get the shaft when it comes to anyone outside the patriarch of the clan. The Family Kamala has a long-standing history in the world of wrestling, dating all the way back to 1982 or so, when Jerry Lawler found the original Ugandan Headhunter walking around in his backyard. Kamala, who had long since changed his name from “Sugar Bear” Harris (and who, to his annoyance, has the word “Kimala” printed on his drivers license), emerged as one of the most feared monsters ever to grace a television screen since Doctor Teeth.
But what of his family, I ask you? What of the brothers, cousins and sons who have graced the sport with their star-painted pecs covering hearts of courage? I intend to rectify that here and now. Ladies and gentlemen, I give you: The Kamala Family Tree.Soon after he came to prominence, the boys in Memphis knew that the only way to stop a machine like the Ugandan Giant was with family, so they went out and found his brother, Giant Kamala 2. Now, some people will tell you that GK2 looked a hell of a lot like Stan “Uncle Elmer” Frazier dressed up like Kamala. This is not the case, however, as we now know that this sibling only suffered from a skin condition much like Michael Jackson’s, except his was genetic, not from a 300 gallon bottle of bleach.
That attempt to take out the big man didn’t work so well, so down in Texas, someone else got the bright idea of bringing in yet another of Kamala’s brothers, not to fight him, but team with him. It’s like that beer commercial with the twins, except the Kamala Brothers’ breasts were bigger. It didn’t take long before they were at each other’s throats though (I’ve heard that Kamala didn’t appreciate a remark GK2.2 made at Thanksgiving dinner regarding his “relationship” with Kim Chee). Before long, GK2.2 became the wrestling equivalent of Gallagher’s brother (you know, the comedian with the watermelons?), stealing his bit in various places. He ended up making his fortune in Japan, though he briefly returned to the states as Botswana Beast and Uganda, wrestling in ECW.
There’s a rumor that GK2 wrestled in Puerto Rico as Atkie Mulumba (pictured below), but rather this was really him or just another brother has yet to be confirmed.
Speaking of Puerto Rico, yet another brother made a pit stop there in the 80’s. Apparently he felt himself above the family name, changing it to Kamalamala. Prince Kamalamala, in fact. Yep, the Kamala Clan was royalty in Uganda, it seems. Either that, or this guy married into the Windsor family.
But it doesn’t stop with the siblings of Kamala, as he’s had a couple of sons try their hand at wrestling. First was Kamala, Jr., who actually had the pleasure of working with Wrestlecrap’s very own R.D. Reynolds. His heart wasn’t really into the sport, and R.D. eventually convinced him to try his hand at stand-up comedy (Shillville: Buy the Wrestlecrap: Worst of R.D. Reynolds DVD for the whole story).
Later on, another son made his name around the southern states, using the name Koonta the Ugandan Soldier. Wrestling in NWA-Mississippi and NWA-Southwest, Koonta finally found himself in Memphis, where his father got his start, and to commemorate the event, asked to be billed as Kamala’s Son.
It’s rumored that Joel Gertner, former ECW announcer and manager, may be related to the Kamalas. Why else would he have worn the Kamala Family crest(s) on his chest during an ECW ppv? I theorize that, given his skin condition, he is the son of the first GK2, and inherited the skin condition.
That ends our look at the known family of Kamala in the world of pro wrestling, although there may be a few more out there. Over the years, we’ve seen some wrestlers come and go who may or may not be related to the Kamalas. These include Voodoo Malumba, The Magnificent Zulu, Saba Simba, Papa Shango and Rasta the Voodoo Mon. Hell, if anything, there’s at least a class action lawsuit between all of them for the racist tones of their gimmicks.