William and the Windmill
William Kamkwamba was born in 1987, in Malawi, Africa. Like most people in his village, his family of nine subsisted on the crops they could grow, living without the luxuries of electricity or running water. In 2002, Malawi experienced the worst famine in 50 years. At that moment, 14-year-old William was forced to drop out of school because his family could not afford the tuition.
Though he was not in a classroom, William continued to think, learn—and dream. Armed with curiosity, determination and a library book he discovered in a nearby library, he embarked on a daring plan—to build a windmill that could bring his family the electricity only two percent of Malawians could afford. His project attracts local media attention and soon enough William embarks on a previously unimaginable journey of TEDtalks, Ivy League schools, and speaking tours. Away at school, the famous boy inventor struggles on a steep learning curve.
“William and the Windmill” captures the dramatic upheavals, external pressures, and subtle shifts of perspective in this inspiring story of a young man facing the changes that a humble homemade windmill set in motion.