The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is a book written by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer documenting William’s life growing up in Malawi, Africa. I was very familiar with Williams story when I started reading this book but it still completely amazing not only telling the story of William accomplishments, but taking the time to explain some of the culture, which help me better understanding on how his actions would make people wonder if he was crazy.
William goes into great detail on the struggle for food in 2002 and how his family surveyed the lack of food and how they all coped with only spoonfuls of food a day. He builds a great narrative with his stories on how many people reacted during these hard times of chaos, corruption and dangers that faced many. It left me looking a food differently.
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind is not a depressing book, it is just painfully real in parts. It also does a great job of taking us through the main event of Williams process in learning and building a Windmill from scraps in a junk yard. The problems that he ran across building this and the success that it brought him.
William had been a bright light for me ever since I say his first talk on TED reminding me of the many amazing students that I had met in Tanzania. His 5 min talk at TED (seen here >>) had brought me to tears and I made a connection between his story and the stories of the many studies I had met on my trip.
I was lucky to see William and Bryan at MIT last month and to hear more about his amazing story of bring electricity and so much more to his home and village. William and Bryan had a great sense of humor during their talk and there ability to take us through his struggles and victories was fascinating to listen to.
I highly recommend reading Williams book and hearing his talks, it will make you hungry to help and understand more.
You can read William’s Blog here http://williamkamkwamba.typepad.com/