William Kamkwamba On Building A Windmill

Updated: October 17, 2008

In the past couple of days, I spent a good part of my time online reading and looking at different posts for Blog Action Day 2008. Questions were raised, stories were shared while some tried to give answers to this year’s theme, which is Poverty.

And then I come across the story of William Kamkwamba. An inventor from Malawi who at the age of 14, built an electricity-producing windmill for his family. By studying a book he got from the library and using spare parts and scrap, he was able to provide his home with enough energy to power a few light bulbs and a couple of radios.

While some blame society, the government and others for their state of poverty. A few chose to become proactive and look for ways to uplift their standard of living. Choices may be few for the poor but still, there are choices – they may not be easy to find but I believe it’s there.

Let’s now watch this short but inspiring video of William’s interview in TED Talks last June 2007.

This video made me reflect upon my own life. Oftentimes, I would blame the economy for the lack of financial opportunities. I would curse the rising prices of commodities to give myself an excuse for not having enough savings. But in the end, I believe that what truly matters is what I am doing to change and upgrade my life.

I cannot sit back and wait for the economy to improve nor start acting when the right opportunity comes. Being proactive means creating our own opportunities and working towards our goals regardless of where we are and how our society is. Do you agree?

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TED stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design. Visit their official website to learn more about TED Talks.


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