A Conversation with William Kamkwamba ’14

Dartmouth Now

January 23, 2012

By Jessica Chen

At age 24, William Kamkwamba ’14 has accomplished more than many can hope to achieve in a lifetime. The Dartmouth undergraduate built a homemade windmill in his native Malawi at age 14 to provide electricity to his family’s home; watched his book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind spend five weeks on The New York Times bestseller list in 2009; and on January 19 saw the release of a children’s version of his book, which the Wall Street Journal deems “ingenious” and the Boston Globe calls “powerful.” A documentary about Kamkwamba’s life, “Moving Windmills,” is also in the editing stages and the filmmakers hope to release it later this year.

Kamkwamba, who is majoring in environmental studies and minoring in engineering, recently sat down for a video interview (above) with Jessica Chen ’12, the Office of Public Affairs’ Whitney Campbell intern. Kamkwamba discusses what he enjoys about Dartmouth, the projects he’s working on, his hopes for the future, and why he wrote his books.

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