William Kamkwamba, an Innovator who harnessed the wind.


William Kamkwamba an innovator, engineer and author. He is an inspiration to other young innovators who turns their lifestyle challenges into opportunities. At the tender age of fourteen, Kamkwamba built a windmill to power his family’s home. Now, twenty-two, William Kamkwamba shares the touching tale of the inventions that changed his life.

In the year 2002, Kamkwamba, built his very first windmill after reading about it at the local library in Malawi out of a few electrical applications in his family’s house by using blue gum trees, bicycle parts and materials collected in a local scrapyard. “One year our fortune turned very bad. In 2001 we experienced an awful famine. Within five months all Malawians began to starve to death. My family ate one meal per day at night. Only three swallows of nsima for each one of us. The food passes through our bodies. We drop down to nothing,” William Kamkwamba said. “Something had to change,” he further stated, “and I will not sit and wait for something to happen.”

After witnessing that this invention worked, Kamkwamba became fascinated by the many materials one can use to improve his life. Neighbours were perplexed by all the scouring rubbish tips Kamkwamba collected for his inventions, some even though he was smoking marijuana. After completing the very first windmill and the blades started to spin, mirth turned into amazement when Kamkwamba’s neighbours surrounded the windmill with awe.

Fame struck Kamkwamba, in his country, after more of his inventions took flame. He built a solar water pump that supplies the first drinking water in the village as well as two more wind turbines whereas the tallest one is standing 12 meters including the one is Lilongwe. “Through Moving Windmills Project Foundation, I have worked extensively in Kasungu district, particularly my own home village,” said Kamkwamba.

Kamkwamba is a man with vision and does not falter at any task handed to him, Kamkwamba furthermore travelled to many rural areas to build Wind Mills and Solar water pumps for those who struggle as his family did. Many pupils became interested in this man as stories have been told. After news broke out, Kamkwamba, taught many other pupils how to improve their life’s through inventing and inspiring others.

Following Kamkwamba’s moving talk, there was an outpouring of support for him and his promising work to help inspire others throughout his community and the Nation.