One my sons gave me The Boy who Harnessed the Wind for Christmas in 2010. We’ve shared it around plenty. It’s the true story of a Malawian boy, William Kamkwamba, who has to quit school because his family has no money for the fees. He learns this sad fact, like Joy in my work-in-progress, from his father, who is struggling in the fields to feed the family. It’s a depressing and common story in some African countries. Kamkwamba misses learning, so he goes to a small primary school library where he reads about energy and discovers windmills. “I tried and I made it,” he said, to cheers in a TED talk several years later. In time he got an engineering degree from Dartmouth. It’s enough to make the most cynical cheer.
So, what a delight to find that Chiwetel Ejiofor wrote the screenplay and recently directed a movie to tell Kamkwamba’s story. I recognize at least one Malawian name among the lead actors--and they speak Chichewa in the film. Go Malawi! Go Africa!
It should be on Netflix March 1 and I can’t wait to see it. I’m prepared to love it!