News - The boy who harnessed the wind
by Life Positive
Now, at age 22, he has been hailed as a ‘genius’ on TV chat shows and lauded by Al Gore and has shared a stage with musician and human rights activist, Bono.
When Kamkwamba stopped going to school because his family could no longer afford the fees, he went to his local library, found a DIY (do-it-yourself) guide to making a wind generator and built it from a tractor fan, shock absorbers, PVC pipes, and a bicycle.
He is now known as “the boy who harnessed the wind” - the title of his book.
“I managed to teach myself about how motors and electricity worked. Another book featured windmills on the cover, and said they were used to pump water and generate power. I was so inspired I began collecting scrap metal and old bicycle and tractor pieces. Many people, including my mother, thought I was crazy,” he writes in his blog. “Right now people are coming to my place and charging their mobile phones because that’s the cheapest way,” he told ABC News.
Local journalists found out about his windmill, and soon word spread around the world, and that landed him an invitation to TED, a small non-profit devoted to ideas worth spreading, a conference bringing together people from three worlds – technology, entertainment, and design. He had never flown in an airplane, used the internet or slept in a hotel before going to the TED conference, and nerves got the best of him. But at TED, he wanted to pass along a message to his fellow Africans and the poor who are struggling with their dreams – trust and believe in yourself, never give up.
Kamkwamba shows that innovation and resourcefulness are not lacking in the poorest countries, so much as the financial or physical resources.
|HOME | SUBSCRIBE | WALLPAPERS | ADVERTISING | POLICY | PRACTITIONERS | WRITERS | PEOPLE | ABOUT | CONTACT|