1 day ago
#WilliamKamkwamba was born August 5, 1987 in #Dowa , #Malawi , and grew up on his family farm in #Masitala Village, Wimbe, two and half hours northeast of Malawi’s capital city. The second eldest of Trywell and Agnes Kamkwamba’s seven children, William has six sisters, Annie, Dorris, Rose, Aisha, Mayless, and Tiyamike.
William was educated at Wimbe Primary School, completing 8th grade and was then accepted to Kachokolo secondary #school. Due to severe famine in 2001, his family lacked the funds to pay the $80 in annual school fees and William was forced to drop out of school a few months into his #freshman year. For five years he was unable to go to school.
Starting at 14, rather than accept his fate, William started borrowing books from a small #community lending library located at his former primary school. He borrowed an 8th grade American textbook, Using #Energy , which depicted wind turbines on its cover. He decided to build a windmill to power his family’s home and obviate the need for kerosene, which provided only smoky, flickering, distant and expensive light after dark. First he built a prototype using a radio motor, then his initial 5-meter #windmill out of a broken bicycle, tractor fan blade, old shock absorber, and blue gum trees. After hooking the windmill to a car battery for storage, William was able to power four light bulbs and charge neighbors’ mobile phones. This system was even equipped with homemade light switches and a circuit breaker made from nails, wire, and magnets. The windmill was later extended to 12 meters to better catch the wind above the trees. A third windmill pumped grey water for irrigation. #Africanentrepreneurs #Blackentrepreneurs #Entrepreneur #Youngentrepreneur #Africa