Teaching and Resource Guide: “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”


This guide is intended to provide links to various resources and contextual information for “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind”. 


Please refer to the index guide at the top right to see topics addressed in this guide.

In 2002, a 14 year old from Malawi became known throughout his country for teaching himself how to build a windmill from books he read in a community library.

In 2006, shortly after the Daily Times of Malawi published an article about William, he became known world-wide:
“School dropout with a streak genius” by Sangwani Mwafulirwa, Daily Times, Malawi. Nov. 20, 2006

Many stereotypes exist about Africa. Literature, film and the media often portray only certain aspects of the continent- of the land itself, the people and even the wildlife. As a result, people are often told only part of the story or sometimes get it wrong altogether!

William’s book and many of the videos linked here in this guide will give you the rare opportunity to hear first-hand as William and other Malawians share their own perspectives as they speak about their lives, the challenges they face and how they work to overcome them.

William Kamkwamba

William’s Personal Blog



The boy who harnessed the wind

The Book: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

More to come…







Life in Rural Areas



Childhood & Education




Malawi Disaster Statistics (Prevention Web)



Community Libraries

William Kamkwamba Community Library Community library named for William, funded in part by the NGO, H.E.L.P.

Building Malawi (NGO working together with the National Library Service of Malawi. Site includes videos of community libraries)

African Library Project, partnering with Development Aid from People to People (DAPP) Malawi




Magic is a very real fact of life to many in Malawi and other parts of Africa.

In the videos below, elders share legends and reminisce about various mountain peaks in Malawi.
Videos in Chichewa with English subtitles.



Cell Phones

Cell phones have dramatically changed life in Africa and are being used in some surprising ways.


Please report any broken links!