Malawi set to get spotlight with William Kamkwamba movie


The country is set to get the limelight with an interesting film of innovator, engineer and author William Kamkwamba.

Kamkwamba gained fame in 2002 when he built a wind turbine to power a few electrical appliances in his family’s house, Wimbe in Kasungu, using blue gum trees, bicycle parts, and materials collected in a local scrap yard.

His story is to be told through a movie which is set to feature Oscar-nominated actor Chiwetel Ejiofor, who also starred in 12 Years A Slave.


The team started shooting the film in Kasungu early this month. They are expected to finish next month, according to sources.

“Shooting started early this month and will finish end November. They have rented a lot of places for shooting,” sources said.

Secrecy has shrouded the shooting of the film to avoid disturbances.


The crew involved in the film has signed contracts not to speak about the shooting until the project is 100 percent through.

There are indications that the film will feature various activities including a political rally hosted by one of the former heads of state.

The Hollywood Reporter has revealed that Ejiofor will be taking a key role in his self-penned adaptation of the New York Times best-selling biography The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.

It further said that executive producers on this project include the subject of the film, William Kamkwamba, and Bryan Mealer, Kamkwamba’s co-author of the aforementioned bestseller.

The synopsis for the film follows 13-year-old Kamkwamba (newcomer Maxwell Simba) who is thrown out of the school he loves when his family can no longer afford the fees.

Sneaking back into the school library, he finds a way, using the bones of the bicycle belonging to his father Trywell (Ejiofor), to build a windmill which then saves his village from famine.

Since The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind was first published in 2009, Kamkwamba has become the focus of two TED talks, as well as a short and feature documentary.

Ejiofor’s film will cover the cinematic gap left by William and the Windmill and that the original account will take center stage here, as casting announcements reveal that his sister, parents, teacher and the librarian who helped Kamkwamba translate science books that inspired his resourcefulness are all key characters in the movie.

Ejiofor is said to have grand ambitions for this directorial debut and that he wants it to open audiences’ eyes to the idea that similar life-changing moments are in reach for so many people in developing nations.

His interest in Kamkwamba’s story can be traced back to January 2013, when news that Ejiofor was adapting The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind first broke.

The other members of the cast are Noma Dumezweni, Joseph Marcell and the country’s artist Lily Banda.

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