Book: The Boy who Harnessed the Wind
Author: William Kamkwamba with Bryan Mealer
My Rating: 5 Stars
My Short Review: An amazing and very inspiring book about a boy who built his own wind mill! A must read for everyone – not just book lovers!
What severe drought conditions struck Malawi, 14 year old William Kamkwamba was forced to drop out of school because his father didn’t have enough money to pay his school fees. William helped his father in the Maize field. But farming is not a year round work and there were periods when there was nothing that he had to do. Instead of whiling away time like other school drop-outs, William went to the library to learn what he was missing out in school. William was always curious about science and was already taking radios and cycle dynamos apart to figure out their working by this time.
From the library books, he came across electricity concepts. He learnt how the mysterious dynamo in the cycles worked to light the bulb. Concepts that baffled engineers seemed simple to this high school drop out.
In Masitala, a small village in Malawi, there was no one that William could turn to help or advice. Better still, there was no one to tell him that 14 year old boys didn’t go around building windmills. So that is exactly what he did.
William was perturbed about the fact that there was no electricity in most houses in his village. It cost a lot to get a power line to supply electricity to your place and even then, the constant power cuts made the expense worthless. He saw pictures of windmills and read about how they were used to harness the wind energy and produce electricity. If there one thing that his village wasn’t lacking, it was wind. William scoured the local scrap yard for discarded stuff – motors, wires, nuts, bolts, etc and two months later, he had his very own working windmill! I am definitely not kidding! A 14 year old boy in the middle of nowhere in Africa built his own windmill just by reading about it in books and using scrap that he found around him! That is pure genius!!
Luckily, the genius was discovered and we now have a chance to get to know this super-brain! Thanks to all the aid he’s been getting, William went back to school to complete his education and is now working towards like life easier for his family and friends in Malawi.