Erik Hersman, blogger, White African and Afrigadget (Read Full Review here)

“A rare and inspiring story of hope in rural Africa, a true story of youth challenging and winning against all of the adversity that life throws at it. William represents a new generation of Africans, using ingenuity and invention to overcome life’s challenges. Where so many tilt at windmills, William builds them!” (more)


Ethan Zuckerman, co-founder Global Voices, blogger, My Heart’s in Accra (Read Full Review here)

I thought I knew William Kamkwamba’s story. I was in the audience at the TED Global conference in Arusha, Tanzania when William took the stage to introduce himself and the remarkable windmill he’d built at his family’s house in rural Malawi. Like dozens of others in the audience, I was moved first to laughter, and then to tears by William’s explanation of how he turned some PVC pipe, a broken bicycle and some long wooden poles into a machine capable of generating sufficient current to power lights and a radio in his parents’ house: “I try, and I made it.”

And I’ve watched William’s life undergo an amazing set of changes – moving to Lilongwe to attend a top Malawian high school, being accepted to a pan-African academy in Johannesburg, travelling to the US to accept awards and visit friends he made through TED. I follow his blog, and get regular updates from Tom Rielly, one of TED’s organizers, who’s spent time with William in Malawi and the US, and taken responsibility for coordinating the amazing opportunities he’s now faced with.

On some level, I’d assumed that William’s story began on that stage in Arusha that day. In his new memoir, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, William makes very clear that nothing could be further from the truth. Written with journalist Bryan Mealer, a celebrated chronicler of African conflict and hope, William takes us to the small farming village where he grew up, to the maize and tobacco fields he tended with his father and sisters, and to the joys, sorrows and challenges of growing up in one of the world’s poorest nations. It’s a story about magic and science, hunger and hardship, creativity and discovery. The story I knew – a young man whose natural engineering talent and willingness to try our ideas everyone thought was crazy – is little more than a coda to his remarkable story.”(more)

July 15, 2009

Toby Shuster, Take, : Creating Currents of Hope: The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. (Read full story here)

William is a hero and his resourcefulness deserves to be recognized. Compensating for the local government’s void in empathy, William is able to become wholly self sufficient, sharing entertaining stories and customs along the way. William’s compelling and valiant character makes
it easy to read in one afternoon what one boy managed to change for an entire existence of people.