Author, inventor and inspirational speaker William Kamkwamba shared his vision for overcoming obstacles and the importance of using knowledge and in a visit to McCallie on Friday, Sept. 9.
In his talk to the Upper School students, Mr. Kamkwamba told the story of his life in a poor African farming village and how he used education and perseverance to overcome his circumstances and help his family and community.
Mr. Kamkwamba was raised in the nation of Malawi in a small village with no power. When he was 14, he built a windmill using spare parts and scrap — working from plans found in an old library book — to generate electricity that powered four lights and two radios in his family home.
As word of his achievement spread, Mr. Kamkwamba was invited to talk about his invention and reams at TEDGlobal on a fellowship, and he later told his story in the best-selling book book and film "The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind."
His efforts brought attention to the needs of his hometown, and he has been able to continue to build and improve the power supply in Malawi.Thanks to the help of those moved by his efforts, Mr. Kamkwamba was able to continue his education, graduating from Dartmouth College in 2014, and he continues his work to inspire others and continue helping his homeland through his Moving Windmills Project.
“The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind” was the all-school summer reading book for McCallie this year, making his visit that much more special for boys in the Upper and Middle Schools.
Mr. Kamkwamba visited with students during lunch and then paid a visit to the Middle School where he discussed his childhood and how his hard work had helped him achieve his dreams and make the world a better place.