The Teenager Who Harnessed the Wind to Save His Village, William Kamkwamba


In the small town of Malawi (Africa) lived a fourteen years old poor teenager with his little family. Malawi was a drought-affected area. And, folks at Malwai were basically dependent on agriculture and farming to earn their basic livelihood.

One day, Malavi saw its worst of days when it was hit by a prolonged drought. People starved as they were left with no water at all. There were no other resources left except something as useless as the wind.

The poor old guy thus suffered from malnutrition and scarcity of water, lastly affecting his and the entire family’s health.

But, he was not the one to give so easily. One day, he took out his old physics book and started reading. He searching for anything that can help the fourteen years old teenager to save his family from dying. Due to his limited knowledge of science, it took him some time to decode what was right on his face for all this while.

He realized that wind power can be harnessed to generate electricity. With electricity, they could pump water. With water, they can irrigate the area and save everyone from the inevitable apocalypse. So, building a windmill seemed totally legit to him.

People thought I was crazy. Desperate due to such adversity. But, I was trying to help. and, that as the only thing going around in my mind. I must help!

Villagers (including his own family) thought that the guy has gone mad with this idea of building an entire windmill. He nevertheless scoured through junkyards and pits for the necessary items which included bicycle parts, plastic pipes, tractor fans, and car batteries. To build the mill tower, he collected wood from blue-gum trees.

On the other hand, the boy started gathering junkyards and other necessary items like woods, tractor fans, car batteries etc.

Eventually, everyone was gobsmacked by that fact that the boy was not mad at all- he continued his work for fifteen weeks and at the end, he was able to generate electricity.

This story went viral and media houses went crazy to cover the teenage messiah who saved an entire village out of one rational idea, rock-hard determination and dedicated hard work.

The name of that guy is William Kamkwamba. He is now twenty-three years old innovator, entrepreneur, speaker, humanitarian and philanthropist.

Image Source: BBC World, Documentary on William Kamkwamba

He has, till date, built more than 22 windmills all by himself and is taking his higher education from the African Leadership Academy. His extraordinary work is now a case study for entrepreneurs at America. He set an example of how even little things in good knowledge can form vast ripples.

Trust yourself and believe

Whatever happens, Never give up!

-William kamkwamba