William Kamkwamba was 14 years old when his native country, Malawi, was stricken by drought and famine. Using old science textbooks, abandoned pipe, scrap metal, tractor parts and bicycle wheels, Kamkwamba built a working windmill to provide electricity to his small, rural village.
Kamkwamba went on to tell his story in the 2009 best-seller, “The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind.” Now in his early 20s and a student at Dartmouth College, Kamkwamba, who has appeared on American TV and spoken at the World Economic Forum and universities around the world, is coming to Howard County.
On November 29, he will speak, answer questions and sign books at two free events sponsored by The Howard County Book Connection. At noon, he will appear at Howard Community College, and at 7 p.m., at Howard County Library System’s Miller Branch.
Lisa Bankman, the library’s events and seminar manager, and Alesia McManus, director of the college’s library, co-chair the Book Connection, which chooses one book per year as a focus for a multi-generational discussion. In the past, titles have included Rebecca Skloot’s “The Secret Life of Henrietta Lacks” and “When the Emperor was Divine” by Julie Otsuka.
Bankman expects several hundred people to attend each of the day’s events.
For information about the Howard County Book Connection program: http://www.howardcc. edu/about_hcc/book_connection