Kamkwamba Slide Show - Winthrop University

William Kamkwamba’s
The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind
“‘I try, and I made it!’”
HMXP 102
Dr. Fike
William at Winthrop
• William Kamkwamba will speak in the
Richardson Ballroom (DIGS) at 11:00 on
Thursday, April 3rd.
• He will also speak in Dina’s Place (DIGS) on the
3rd at 2:00 and 3:30, and on the 4th at 9:30.
Handout of sentences.
Elements: Q @ I, purpose.
Writing in class about chapter 1.
– Discussion of magic (concept, interpretation, point of view)
– Environmentalism (concept, information, implications and
Heroism: concept and interpretation
Books: information
FBIs and Maslow
Connections to other readings
• Take a look at the handout of sentences. What
do they have in common?
• See Prentice Hall Reference Guide 131-35.
• Watch the videos on the Kamkwamba
• Show #2 and #5.
Writing in Class: Q @ I and Purpose
• Questions at issue: What question does William’s
book ask? Note that you will have to come up
with this yourself—it is not in the book.
• Purpose: The purpose (to do something) is stated
in the book. Can you put your finger on it?
• (Conclusions: These answer the Q @ I. They are
“the moral of the story,” the point or message
that the author is trying to make.)
• (See next slide for Dr. Fike’s suggested answers.)
Possible Answers
• Q @ I: How does William’s story suggest ways in which
Africa can be transformed from poverty to prosperity?
What lessons does he want us to take away from the
• Purpose: William’s purpose is to spread the following
message on page 8 in “A Great Adventure” (see the
back matter): “‘Trust yourself and believe. . . . And
whatever happens, don’t give up.’” He identifies this as
his purpose by adding that “the book and tour were
really about spreading this important message.”
• Conclusions: We will address these later in our
discussion. Note that conclusions answer the Q @ I.
More on Purpose
• 73: “‘When you go to see the lake, you also see
the hippos.’”
• 269: “‘I try, and I made it!’”
• 275: “‘Whatever you want to do, if you do it with
all your heart, it will happen.’” Moral of the story.
• 280: “I went to sleep dreaming of Malawi, and all
the things made possible when your dreams are
powered by your heart.”
• 8 in the back matter: “‘Trust yourself and believe,’
I told them. ‘And whatever happens, don’t give
Chapter 1: Writing in Class
• Why does the book open with stories about
bubblegum and a rhino? You may want to
address this question by considering the
following themes: magic, religion, colonialism,
patriarchy, environmentalism, heroism, and
• Write for 10 minutes and see what comes up.
We will discuss your discoveries.
Discussion: Magic
• What does the presence of magic in William’s
book tell you about the human experience?
• To what extent do YOU embrace superstitions,
perhaps alongside religion?
• At what times are you especially susceptible to a
nonscientific mentality?
• Do you feel superior to the young William
because you know better than to embrace a
magical mentality? Is your imagination the worse
for your skepticism?
Chapter 1
• What things get introduced in chapter 1? In
other words, why is chapter 1 an appropriate
way to open the book?
• Work in groups of 2-5 persons for 5-7 minutes.
We will then discuss your answers as a whole
More on Chapter 1
Note all the details that are introduced here:
Western influence (technology)
Participation mystique vs. science
Patriarchy (father, grandfather, great grandfather)
Superstition (wizards, Gule Wamkula, ghost trucks, magic hyenas, witch planes, the devil)
Presbyterian church
Childhood play
Theater—movies, popular culture
Power outages
Story telling
Point of View
• Note the tension between the Christian and the
magical points of view:
– Names: Noah (276), Moses, Charity, Ruth, Jeremiah, Mary,
Tiyamike (“Thank God”), devil
– References: Presbyterian church, prayers, father’s divine
dream (36)
– Allusions: the creation of light, Israelites in the desert
searching for Canaan (184), the parable of the sower (158)
– Magic: wizards, Gule Wamkula, ghost trucks, witch planes
– (The scientific point of view kicks in as William matures.)
Implications and Consequences
Water for irrigation, cooking
Dams (81)
Wind and solar power
Deforestation (82, 199)
Note that water is going to become a hugely important
natural resource in our century because of global warming
and the melting of the ice caps. It already is in parts of the
American west and in places like China and Africa. Even in
the U.S. water is a political issue, especially in the western
part of the country. The ground in the southeast is drying
out, and the aquifer is diminishing in the Midwest.
Group Work: The Concept of Heroism
• What is the evolution of William’s sense of heroism in
this book? What types of heroism (values) are
portrayed? Consider the figures on the next slide, who
are listed in no particular order. Mark your books as
you work through the list.
– Organize them (put them in groups or categories according
to types of heroism and then categorize each type as a
lower or higher form of heroism).
– Who does not fit these categories?
– Then ask: So what? What interpretation of William’s
development arises? How does his journey enact a
redefinition of heroism?
William’s Heroes
Michael Faraday 211 and Thomas Edison 278
Rambo, Chuck Norris, Delta Force, Terminator 15; Bolo Yeung from Bloodsport 176
Jesus 158
Moses 175; Noah 276
Mwase Chiphaudzu 6-7
Chief Wimbe 96-97
Father, Trywell Kamkwamba 5 and ch. 2;
Grandfather 9-11
Hastings Kamuzu Banda (25, 68); Bakili Muluzi (54, 155); Bingu wa Mutharika (237)
MLK 285-86; Obama on 5 in the back matter
Mister Phiri 41
Jeremiah (not the prophet) 53-54
Scientists 68, 167, 203, 205; (McGyver)
Dr. Mchazime 251; Mike McKay 257; Soyapi Mumba 263; Tom Rielly 265
Dr. Mary Atwater on 6 in the back matter
Chief Mwase 6-8
Types of Heroes
• Wizards: Chief Mwase Chiphaudzu 6-8
• Fighters/hunters: Rambo, Chuck Norris, Delta Force, Terminator 15; Bolo Yeung
from Bloodsport 176; Father, Trywell Kamkwamba 5 and ch. 2;
Grandfather 9-11; Mister Phiri 41
• Philanthropists: Dr. Mchazime 251; Mike McKay 257; Soyapi Mumba 263; Tom
Rielly 265
• Inspirational leaders/activists: MLK 285-86; Obama on 5 in the back matter
• Scientists: Michael Faraday 211 and Thomas Edison 278; Dr. Mary Atwater on 6 in
the back matter; see 68, 167 (Archimedes), 203, 205; (McGyver)
• Public servants: Chief Wimbe 96-97; President Hastings Kamuzu Banda (25, 68);
President Bingu wa Mutharika (237)
• Deliverers: Moses 175; Noah 276; Jesus 158
• Villains: Bakili Muluzi (54, 155); Jeremiah (not the prophet) 53-54
Interpretation: William’s Heroism?
• William tries the lower types of heroism (magic, fighting, hunting), but he
is not very successful. So her realizes that he must make his way in the
world by other means. Superstition, physical force, and subsistence-level
hunting will not suffice. The power of the mind, rather than the force of
arms, is the key to his success.
• William fits all the higher types of heroism: becoming a scientist leads him
to become an activist (he even becomes an inspirational leader via the
HIV+ play); he becomes a philanthropist and public servant; and he can
justifiably be called a deliverer of his people (cf. Noah on 276). Those
higher types of activities/heroism suggest avenues out of poverty for
• William does not behave irresponsibly like Jeremiah or the first and third
Books and Information
• You:The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind::William:science
• Did William’s book do for any of you the thing that science
books did for him?
• What sort of impact did his book have on you? Does it
make you want to help Africa? Be honest. What does
your answer tell you about our human experience?
• Reading can open a world of possibilities if we engage the
quality he mentions on 187: imagination. Has a book ever
had this effect on you?
• Law of Attraction: Imagination + desire + gratitude + hard
work = results. Are you trying to get through college
without all pieces of this equation?
FBIs: What impedes his progress?
• Superstition
• Poverty
• Famine
• The following slide will help you understand
how remarkable William’s journey has been.
He managed the higher without the support
of the lower.
Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs
Self-actualization: pursue inner talent,
creativity, self-fulfillment, growth,
Higher-order needs (the most internal)
Self-esteem: achievement, mastery,
recognition, self-respect, autonomy
Belonging-love (social stuff): friendship,
family, affection
External and internal
Safety: security, stability, protection,
freedom from fears
External more than internal
Physiological needs: food, water, shelter,
Lower-order needs (external)
• William achieves the top three categories in
spite of not having the bottom two. It is as if
he built a superstructure without a
Conclusions: The “Moral” of the Story
• Q @ I: How does William’s story suggest ways
in which Africa can be transformed from
poverty to prosperity? What lessons does he
want us to take away from the book?
• Answer this question: What are William’s
• See the next slide for suggested answers.
• Last page in the book: “African solutions to
African problems.”
• Education and technology are the keys to Africa’s
development. The same things that will help
Malawi will also help the world in general.
• Western assistance is essential.
• Helping one person enables that person to help
countless others. Paying it forward: positive
• How does William’s book relate to Rock Hill and
Winthrop University?
• Does your house use solar panels or wind
• Do you give to a charity that helps poor people in
Third World countries?
• If a teenager in Africa can built a wind generator
out of junk during a famine, what is our excuse
for not making the transition to alternative
energies like wind, solar, geothermal, tide power,
wave power, etc.?
• How does William’s story measure up to
statements in our HMXP anthology?
Daniel Quinn
• Par. 62: “‘You’re really not thinking, I’m afraid. You’ve
recited a story you’ve heard a thousand times, and
now you’re listening to Mother Culture as she murmurs
in your ear: ‘There, there, my child, there’s nothing to
think about, nothing to worry about, don’t get excited,
don’t listen to the nasty animal, this is no myth,
nothing I tell you is a myth, so there’s nothing to think
about, nothing to worry about, just listen to my voice
and go to sleep, go to sleep, go to sleep. . . .’”
• “‘I should have gotten you when you were seventeen.’”
• Does William listen to Mother Culture or not? Why do
you think so?
Ralph Waldo Emerson
• Par. 6: “Then, again, do not tell me, as a good man did today, of my
obligation to put all poor men in good situations. Are they my poor?
I tell thee, thou foolish philanthropist, that I grudge the dollar, the
dime, the cent I give to such men as do not belong to me and to
whom I do not belong. There is a class of persons to whom by all
spiritual affinity I am bought and sold; for them I will go to prison, if
need be; but your miscellaneous popular charities; the education at
college of fools; the building of meeting-houses to the vain end to
which many now stand; alms to sots; and the thousandfold Relief
Societies;—though I confess with shame I sometimes succumb and
give the dollar, it is a wicked dollar which by and by I shall have the
manhood to withhold.”
• What do you think about this passage now that you have read
William’s book?
Milton Friedman
• Friedman, par. 9: “Political freedom in this
instance clearly came along with the free
market and the development of capitalist
• Do you think that William would agree or
disagree with this statement? Does the
Malawi he depicts have political freedom?
How is capitalism depicted in his book?
Martha Nussbaum
• Nussbaum, page 189, par. 9: One’s education must
stress cosmopolitanism over nationalism. In
cosmopolitan education, you “are above all citizens of
a world of human beings,” which you “have to share . .
. with the citizens of other countries.”
• Does William’s book illustrate this concept? Does
Nussbaum’s concept carry social responsibility with
it? Does reading the book contribute a cosmopolitan
component to your own education?
“The Universal Declaration
of Human Rights”
• 23.3: “Everyone who works has the right to just and favourable
remuneration ensuring for himself and his family an existence worthy of
human dignity, and supplemented, if necessary, by other means of social
• 24: “Everyone has the right to rest and leisure, including reasonable
limitation of working hours and periodic holidays with pay.”
• 25.1: “Everyone has the right to a standard of living adequate for the
health and well-being of himself and of his family, including food, clothing,
housing and medical care and necessary social services, and the right to
security in the event of unemployment, sickness, disability, widowhood,
old age or other lack of livelihood in circumstances beyond his control.”
• 25.2: “Education . . . shall promote understanding, tolerance and
friendship among all nations, racial or religious groups. . . .”
How do William’s experiences measure up to these statements? What does
that tell you about the human experience?
Petty McIntosh
• She writes about white people’s unearned
privileges. An extension of her point is as
• Whites:blacks in the U.S.::U.S. and the
• In other words, we as Americans believe that
we are entitled to things that Africans do not
even have access to. Agree? Disagree?
Like WU’s GLI
• GLI: “By enhancing global education for our students with the
full support and participation of the University’s faculty, staff,
and administrators, we intend for Winthrop to become a
school of distinction for preparing our students to be
educated and involved global citizens, to understand their
place in global society and their responsibilities to human
society at large, and to take great joy at celebrating the very
rich cultures of their communities, their states, their regions,
their nations, and their world.” (http://www2.winthrop.edu/gli/)
• By reading and discussing William’s book, you
are participating in the GLI.
Final Slide
• Have you ever felt great conviction about
something that others considered crazy or
something that they considered garbage? See
188-90. What do you make of humans’ basic
conservatism, their resistance to any kind of
change even if it is in their best interest? (See 209
for an example of overcoming conservatism.)
• What’s your dream? Does it seem feasible? See
William’s comment on 224.
• I think that he would tell you to go for it.
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