William Kamkwamba at TED in 2007
August 5, 1987 |
William Kamkwamba (born August 5, 1987) is a Malawian inventor and author. He gained fame in his country when, in 2002, he built a windmill to power a few electrical appliances in his family's house in Masitala using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrapyard. Since then, he has built a solar-powered water pump that supplies the first drinking water in his village and two other windmills (the tallest standing at 39 feet) and is planning two more, including one in Lilongwe, the political capital of Malawi.
Life and career
After being forced to drop out of school due to his family not being able to afford the tuition Kamkwamba took part in the first event celebrating his particular type of ingenuity called Maker Faire Africa, in Ghana in August 2009.
Kamkwamba is one of four recipients of the 2010 GO Ingenuity Award, a prize awarded by the Santa Monica–based nonprofit GO Campaign to inventors, artists, and makers to promote the sharing of their innovations and skills with marginalized youth in developing nations. With the grant, Kamkwamba will hold workshops for youth in his home village, teaching them how to make windmills and repair water pumps, both of which proved to be transformative skills for this young African leader.
In 2007 Kamkwamba entered an intensive two-year academic program combining the Cambridge University A-levels curriculum with leadership, entrepreneurship, and African studies at the African Leadership Academy in Johannesburg, South Africa. He then went on to study at Dartmouth College, Class of 2014.Kamkwamba adapts to College life</ref>
When The Daily Times in Blantyre, the commercial capital, wrote a story on Kamkwamba's windmills in November 2006, the story circulated through the blogosphere, and TED conference director Emeka Okafor invited Kamkwamba to talk at TEDGlobal 2007 in Arusha, Tanzania as a guest. His speech moved the audience, and several venture capitalists at the conference pledged to help finance his secondary education. His story was covered by Sarah Childress for The Wall Street Journal. He became a student at African Bible College Christian Academy in Lilongwe. He then went on to receive a scholarship to the African Leadership Academy and now attends Dartmouth College in Hanover, New Hampshire. Among other appearances, Kamkwamba was interviewed on The Daily Show on 7 October 2009 (during which he was playfully compared to the fictional hero Angus MacGyver for his impressive scientific ingenuity) and by social news website Reddit. In addition, he was invited to and attended the 2011 Google Science Fair introductory meeting, where he was a guest speaker.
- William Kamkwamba's blog, "Biography"
- "Technology & Culture Forum - The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind". MIT TechTV. Retrieved 2009-12-21.
- Mwafulirwa, Sangwani (20 November 2006). "School dropout with a streak genius". The Daily Times (Blantyre, Malawi). Archived from the original on 28 November 2006. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- "Malawian windmill". Hacktivate. Vdomck.org. 23 November 2006. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "TED Talks: William Kamkwamba on building a windmill". Ted.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- "A Young Tinkerer Builds a Windmill, Electrifying a Nation", by Sarah Childress, The Wall Street Journal, December 12, 2007.
- "'Boy who harnessed the wind' comes to College". TheDartmouth.com. 2009-10-20. Retrieved 2010-09-06.
- ["William Kamkwamba". The Daily Show with Jon Stewart. October 7, 2009. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
- Posted by alexis [kn0thing] (2009-07-27). "Reddit blog: announcement and collection of questions for William Kamkwamba's interview". Blog.reddit.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Posted by alexis [kn0thing] (2009-10-12). "Reddit blog: interview of William Kamkwamba". Blog.reddit.com. Retrieved 2009-10-30.
- Matson, John (11 January 2011). "Google’s global, online science fair kicks off today". Observations. Scientific American. Retrieved 13 August 2011.
|Wikimedia Commons has media related to: William Kamkwamba|
- William Kamkwamba's blog
- Moving Windmills
- William Kamkwamba at TED
- William Kamkwamba talks at MIT
- William Kamkwamba at the Internet Movie Database
- Works by or about William Kamkwamba in libraries (WorldCat catalog)