Production for William Kamkwamba’s movie starts


Staff WriterProduction of a movie about Malawi’s William Kamkwamba, a young man who invented electricity using a windmill, has started.

According to, the movie, which is an adaptation of the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, co-authored by Kamkwamba will depict the journey that Kamkwamba travelled as he worked around producing electricity using a windmill.

Chiwetel Ejiofor, the Oscar-nominated British actor, who starred as Solomon in the hit movie 12 Years a Slave, will be making his directing debut.

Chiwetel: Making his directing debut

Among those taking part in the movie are Malawi’s Lily Banda who will play the role of William’s older sister, Annie.

Others are Maxwell Simba, who will play young Kamkwamba, Noma Dumezweni (Hermione in Harry Potter and the Cursed Child) as Edith Sikelo, the librarian who helped bring William’s story to public attention; Aissa Maiga (Anything for Alice) as William’s mother, Agnes; Joseph Marcell (The Fresh Prince of Bel-Air) as Chief Wimbe; and Lemogang Tsipa (Eye in the Sky) as teacher Mike Kachigunda.

The movie is based on the book The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, tells the life-changing story of how the author helped save his village called Wimbe in Kasungu as a 13-year-old by constructing a wind turbine from bits of scrap metal, old bicycle parts and wood.

Said Ejiofor: “William’s story represents what has to be the future in countries like Malawi: developing countries, overflowing with beauty, and with potential that simply needs access to opportunity in order to be fully unleashed. William’s determination and inventiveness created something that not only meant the end of the ‘hungry season’ for his community, it also catapulted him into a future where all his potential could be realised.

“I want this to be a film that allows people to see that Malawi, and the world, will be all the better for everything William and those like him are able to contribute when they have the opportunities they urgently need to carve out their own extraordinary destinies.”

Reacting to the news, Malawians on Malawi Government Online face book page said they are pleased with the news that Kamkwamba’s story will be told in a world class movie.

Wrote Wellois Maere: “I don’t want his film; I need his work to be implemented now. He is a genius. I wish we could work together.”

Another Malawian commented: “Beautiful stories to hear. Looking forward to watching this film.” n

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