In Malawi, 14 year-old William brought electricity to his village by building a windmill from junk. A genius idea that would change the course of his life.
This documentary tells the extraordinary story of a boy who overcame great obstacles to fulfill a dream. William Kamkwamba grew up on a farm in Malawi, one of the poorest countries in the world. At the age of 14, he built a windmill from scrap to generate electricity. In doing so, he changed the lives of the people in his village forever – and his own.
William grew up without electricity and hot running water in a small village in Mastala, where he and his six sisters worked on tobacco plantations. Every day was just a battle to survive. When William was 13, there was a heavy downpour that lasted for a week. Large parts of the country were flooded, houses washed away, cattle drowned and a famine broke out. When he had to leave school because his family could not pay the fees, there was little hope things might change. But he spent his time in the village library. There were few books there, but one was to change his life and that of his whole village forever. In a book titled “Using Energy,” he found a picture of a windmill. So he began to build one. This was the beginning of an heroic African story: William was invited as a TED speaker, was able to finish his education at a top school in South Africa and study in the USA. He became a media sensation, wrote a book about his life and went on a world tour. Our film charts all his achievements, but also shows how he has kept his feet on the ground. Footage of his village and parents’ house are interwoven with scenes from his new life in America.