About this project
STRETCH GOAL UPDATE : $19,500!
Thanks to all the backers for already meeting our first goal! Rather than to continue to collect pledges without offering anything in return, our stretch goal will help increase the page count by almost 100 with bigger and better images!
NEW TO KICKSTARTER? Most Kickers donate to get great rewards and also help a project succeed at the same time. For us now, it's like a cool "Preorder Store" where we will use the revenue to actually print the book plus offer you limited autograph editions & cool extras for helping out...
"THE UGANDAN GIANT" KAMALA
James Harris is a former WWE headliner. As “The Ugandan Giant” Kamala, he wrestled for 30 years everywhere against Hulk Hogan and every major star of the 80s and 90s. He was one of the most terrifying and unforgettable wrestlers of all times. At 6'7, 385 pounds, this big man was known for wearing tribal face paint, white stars on his chest and a yellow moon on his belly. As a credit to his portrayal of this character, he was truly believed by fans to be an uncontrollable, dangerous monster. In his scariest match ever, however, he recently lost both of his legs to diabetes. Kamala never spoke, until now...
"KAMALA SPEAKS" AUTOBIOGRAPHY FUNDRAISER IDEA
I'm Kenny Casanova. I played Kamala's mysterious handler "Kim Chee" on a number of occasions and worked with many top wrestlers from the 1980s on. Being a pro-wrestling manager since 1994 with WWE ring announcer experience, I'm also a Fulbright Scholar, an English teacher/writer, and a wedding DJ & event organizer. After learning of Kamala's battle with diabetes, I decided to use my unique skill set to offer some help. I figured Kamala's story alone in book form could be one answer to lost earnings. 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.
At first, Kamala wanted to make sure my offer was real. It's not often someone wants to do something without much back in return. Therefore, I had to be grilled by his "excellent judge of character" and friend, "The Birdman" Koko B. Ware. After getting his blessing and after six months of interviewing Kamala, many more names from the wrestling world stepped up to help - all saying, "Kamala is a great guy," and " He really deserves this."
To write this book with Kamala has been an experience. The book is now done and I have plenty to share with you about the process in future backer pages, including videos from Kamala himself. But first we need some help from you so we can ACTUALLY PRINT THE STORY.
THIS FUNDRAISER AIMS TO:
1) PRINT A HIGH-QUALITY BOOK to offer wrestling fans a highly-awaited "tell-all" autobiography from a wrestler who never spoke in the ring. It's a quality 6 x 9 trade paperback. It has 350 pages of TEXT with easy-to-read stories from James. It has an additional 125 pictures. It will also include about 20 pages of guest passages from his friends!
2) RAISE FUNDS for a man who can no longer work. Rather than just a straight cash donation, you will actually get something great that you probably would want to purchase anyhow.
GOAL - We will meet our goal of $12,000 by moving 450 copies of the book as Kickstarter rewards, or less! This dollar amount is needed to print the first run of a thousand copies. The goal includes all printing costs, editing, layouts & pictures, and covers postage costs to mail out all rewards.
UNLIKE ANY WRESTLING BOOK YOU'VE READ
I knew James had a story to tell, but I had no idea how very different it was going to be from all the other wrestling books out there. After finishing it, I now believe Kamala Speaks is one that wrestling fans, people of all walks of life and YOU will really want to read. It is humorous, historical and an inspirational tale of overcoming many obstacles in and out of the ring like:
- 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
LOADS OF STORIES - You will hear the dirt on almost every legend you grew up with, including; Hulk Hogan, Andre The Giant, The Ultimate Warrior, Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Vince McMahon, Jerry "The King" Lawler, The Undertaker and more! You will "laugh your ass off" at the outrageous road stories, ribs and pranks with some of his misfit managers like, Skandor Akbar, Steve Lombardi, Mr. Fuji, Harvey Wippleman, and Curtis Iaukea.
A REAL "TELL-ALL" BOOK - Kamala holds nothing back in this "no holds barred" autobiography. Because it is self-published, he doesn't have to follow any rules by any promotion. That means, he doesn't have to pull any punches to make Vince happy. Kamala finally speaks and he says WHATEVER he wants!
BIG NAME WRESTLER CONTRIBUTIONS
Many HUGE wrestling names came together to provide quotes, stories and additional content for this project, to help create an autobiography like you have never read before!
NOT ONE, BUT SEVEN FOREWORDS?! Rather than to have to choose which foreword to put in the book, we decided to give you them all! Jim Ross, Mick Foley, ICP's Violent J, Jerry Jarrett, Bill Watts, Chavo Guerrero & Koko B Ware.
125 NEVER-SEEN-BEFORE PICTURES - Even some from Jim Cornette's personal collection!
20 GUEST AUTHOR PAGES - Additional passages & quotes by - Jake "The Snake" Roberts, Kevin Sullivan, "Brother Love" Bruce Prichard, Barry Darsow (aka Repo Man / Smash of Demolition), "The Mountie" Jacques Rougeau, Nikolai Volkoff, "The Genius" Lanny Poffo, Jesse Barr (Jimmy Jack Funk), Boris Zhukov, Ivan Koloff, Bill Anderson, Marty Jannetty, Bobby Fulton, Tom Brandi, Jimmy Hart, Steve Cox, Ken Resnick, Bill Apter, Insane Clown Posse's Violent J, Izzy Slapowitz, Chavo Guerrero Sr, Adrian Street, Gil Culkin and Hacksaw Jim Duggan.
STEVE AUSTIN SHOW INTERVIEW - Immediately after finishing our first draft, we called another "wrestling bad-ass” to see if we could put the two together. It turned out, one of "the biggest Kamala fans ever as a kid," was STONE COLD STEVE AUSTIN. As a guest on his Aug 19, 2014 podcast, Kamala launched this campaign first on one of the best wrestling talk shows "for the working man" out there today, “THE STEVE AUSTIN SHOW.”
RODDY PIPER - PIPER'S PIT PODCAST - Two days after the dust settled from Austin's interview, ROWDY RODDY PIPER chatted with Kamala for the September 8th, 2014 airing of his show. They worked together in the early 80s and had a lot to talk about. James said this was his favorite interview ever, and Piper said, "I really learned a life lesson about the positive attitude that James Harris has about life." You will find it here at "PIPER'S PIT"
WHY YOU SHOULD DONATE RIGHT NOW:
THIS BOOK IS LIMITED: We are looking to fund a limited print run of 1,000 copies at this time, hoping to print a bigger print run if the demand is out there. DON'T WAIT. If we don't meet our goal, it won't be printed. Grab one while you can, in case this is your last opportunity!
THE BOOK IS INSPIRATIONAL: Unlike some grizzled ring-vet wrestler stories, Kamala's book is not a bitch fest! It is NOT an angry/bitter tale told from someone harping on missed opportunity. After all he has been through, Kamala stays positive to this very day. Not one to sit back and waste away in bed, James continues to be a productive citizen today by building furniture from his wheel chair! He truly is an inspiration for all!
THE BOOK IS FUNNY: ...VERY VERY funny! His stories on the road and his childhood dessert-stealing days personally made me laugh so hard, I often had to stop the interview to keep up. There really is a great balance of humor in his storytelling, while also maintaining the tough, interesting character that James Harris is.
THE BOOK IS EASY TO READ: Kamala's story reads like a story. It has a clear beginning, middle and end. It is very well-researched and has loads of great information. It is not just a results book. You will agree, this book flows.
Reading books out loud to high school students for 12 years, I could see the response right in front of me of what worked and what didn't. I've learned that people want good stories with real dialogue. Therefore, Kamala Speaks helps you really relive the scene as James tells the story. For example, you get to hear what Kamala says when he pulls a gun on Andre The Giant, not just read a summary of what happened. We have specially designed the book to be an "easy read" with lots of short stories packed with description and dialogue.
Pro Wrestling Illustrated's "Senior Writer" Dan Murphy also declared it, "A fantastic read! The best wrestling memoir I've read."
A FEW TOPICS IN THE BOOK INCLUDE:
Being raised by a sharecropper’s family in segregated Mississippi... Training and "paying his dues" traveling around the world in his early wrestling days... Racial obstacles in an industry that Jim Ross calls, “a wrestling network of good old boys"... Not being smartened up to elements of the pro wrestling business - until even after his first match! ... The step-by-step creation of Kamala... Pulling a gun on Andre The Giant... How the old wrestling territories worked... Tons of historical tidbits... Real fights in the locker room... Protecting his image as monster outside the ring and in daily life. Dirt on the 80s/90s WWF with Vince McMahon & officials... Crazy on the road stories & pranks... A great look at all of his managers... Wrestling around the world... Drug abuse in the locker room... Surviving three murders of family members... An in-depth look of his life, today with diabetes and where he is going.
PLEASE DONATE NOW AND YOU CAN MAKE THIS HAPPEN!
You won't regret it. The product is great and the cause is, too.
For more information check out - KamalaSpeaks.com
Risks and challenges
KAMALA BOOK SIGNINGS - While autographed copies of the book will be available on Kickstarter and our web site, www.KamalaSpeaks.com, appearances will be limited.
LIMITED PROMOTIONAL APPEARANCES - In his current state of health, James Harris is not able to promote the book by means of travel. We do, however, plan on overcoming promotion issues by setting up various podcast & wrestling show appearances to help spread the word of the book fundraiser. We will focus heavily on call-ins and online promotion sources, as well as the potential for a few actual limited appearances.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
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