Oct 5, 2009

Kick in the Pants Monday!

This week's kick in the pants is brought to you by William Kamkwamba, a 14-year-old Malawian boy who wanted to bring electricity to his village. Despite lacking the proper tools, loads of money, or even access to the local education system (he was kicked out when he was unable to pay the $80 fee for attending school), he did just that.

After finding a book about windmills that generate power at the library, he spent several months collecting materials, making his own tools, and then building the windmill itself. Despite being harassed by villagers, he not only built the windmill, but got it generating power...then built four more windmills. The windmills now supply power and water to his village.

I don't know what you were doing when you were 14, but I highly doubt you were bringing electricity to an entire community. I doubt you're even doing that now. So get off your bum, and go do something productive!

Thanks, William, for the kick in the pants.


  1. Wow. Stories like those always make me feel like I'm superlame. Good for that kid.

  2. I agree that it's inspiring, but...I don't feel that it would be fair to compare a semi-comfy suburban upbringing (though I did spend the first 6 years or so of my life in a homeless shelter) with a third world childhood. Necessity is a mutha...of invention, ya know? My needs weren't quite that primitive -- they were more emotional and intellectual -- but they still required courage, effort, and creativity to address. I'm not discouraging inspiration, OR condoning indolence, and we should all definitely count our blessings, but no one can choose what socio-economic situation they're born into; all he/she can do is the best he/she can in his/her particular situation. William most definitely did that...on better days, I think I (and many of us) can say the same. Just sayin'. Who knows...maybe you or I would have built those windmills at 12 years of age. Still...a remarkable achievement. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Wow, it's so great that he had such a motivation and contribute something so big to the whole village when he's mocked in the first place. He has big brain and big heart too apparently. :)