5 things I learned from The boy who harnessed the wind

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Just in case you are wondering, The boy who harnessed the wind is a 2019 Netflix movie. It is a true story film by Chiwetel Ejiofor.

I am amazed at how diversified Chiwetel Ejiofor is. He deserves every single award he has ever gotten and will get. The first time I saw him on screen was in Half of a yellow sun. O boy was he good. And then I saw 12 years a slave. I am in total awe of his acting, he is such a natural.

At first, when I saw The boy who harnessed the wind on Netflix, I brushed it off. This is a documentary, I thought. I am on Netflix to watch movies, not documentaries, that’s what YouTube is for, hahaha.

Yesterday, while I was searching through the Netflix 2019 releases, this popped up again. This is not to even mention the many times The boy who harnessed the wind has been recommended to me. The other problem I had with the movie was the title.

If this is going to be a movie like I see in the movie description, what sort of whack title is this? I pressed play just because…

Not only am I happy that I did but I am thrilled that it reminded me of the many things I have thought about in recent times about Africa. That movie is corroboration to Africa’s reality. It was both entertaining and loaded.

The boy who harnessed the wind movie trailer

Movie synopsis

William Kamkwamba is a 13-year-old boy born in Kasungu, Malawi. He is the only boy of a family who lives in Wimbe. During this free time, he goes through the village junkyard with his friend and fixes radios for neighbours and friends.

By the mid-2000s, famine hit the land and he saves the village with an unconventional windmill despite the many challenges that threatened to stop the actualization.

The boy who harnessed the wind movie cast

Chiwetel Ejiofor as Trywell Kamkwamba
Maxwell Simba as William Kamkwamba
Aïssa Maïga as Agnes Kamkwamba
Lily Banda as Annie Kamkwamba
Joseph Marcell as Chief Wimbe
Philbert Falakeza as Gilbert Wimbe
Noma Dumezweni as Edith Sikelo
Lemogang Tsipa as Mike Kachigunda

The real-life William’s story

Movie rating

IMDb – 7.6/10
Rotten Tomatoes – 85%
Common Sense Media – 5/5
Google users-97% liked The boy who harnessed the wind

Lessons from The boy who harnessed the wind

I would like to share with you, 5 profound lessons I gained from The boy who harnessed the wind.

1. Africa is full of talented people

While we were growing up, we were usually fond of castigating ourselves. The kind of discussions that happened in the lecture theaters was centered around why we are just a lazy, dumb set of people. Of course, the majority of people still believed that we had a problem with lack but wouldn’t dare vocalize that since for example, in Nigeria, we still can’t make toothpicks by ourselves.

This movie goes to prove that we have a problem with lack. And that we have to substitute standard procedures and equipment with crude ones, is to show that we were wrong all the while. We are ready to make things work. I remember how we had to work with substitutes in the laboratory and still end up with the same results. It takes brain to do that, things still manage to work despite unstandardized methods.

Now, unto the issue of lack, this will lead me to my second lesson from The boy who harnessed the wind…

2. Our main problem in Africa is corruption

Yes, corruption! The root isn’t lack, lack is just a problem. The root of all of the problems we have as a continent is corruption. I do not mean to imply that other continents are without countries with corrupt leaders. It is just that in corruption, they have still kept a part of their humane side.

African leaders are blindly corrupt! These fat-bellied folks are so corrupt that they would turn a blind eye to people dying in times of famine. This is why I do not pray that there is such a thing as famine in Nigeria. We do not have people with conscience at the top. We would have to fend for ourselves if so.

What they would do is lesson the burden on the land by traveling out to London for pizza.

3. The boy who harnessed the wind understood the place of persistence in the face of adversity

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I am indeed encouraged by this boy’s persistence. His dog died! Oh, that was the most emotional part of the film for me; and when there was water. He was so attached to the dog. It died and yet still found the courage and strength to pick up and get this windmill project started.

He had to face his dad head to head, beseech his sister for the Dynamo in her boyfriend’ bicycle, gather a scattering pack of friends, mourn a dog, damn the principal to get into the library, eat a teeny tiny ration of food. I do not know what you think of this but we are referring to an early teenager.  That’s some persistence!

4. You need a team, always

You know, when William Kamkwamba decided that it was time to get things to work, he had to make his friends understand that without them, he would be damned. Even his dog was a team player. When circumstances hit, he wouldn’t go all in alone, he would wait for a team to get on board with his idea, starting from his father.

I think this is a major life lesson. You can’t do life alone, let alone a windmill. You need a team in your life, at work, at school, in church, everywhere. So if you have to build and cultivate a dream, get you a team that is on the same page as you are. It doesn’t matter if it’s only one person on the team, say, your spouse or your sister.

5. Let the bird fly

It was time to decide whether to take a scholarship away from the community or remain in that community. I am glad that this dude’s father understood that you can not trap a bird, it will deteriorate. So, letting the bird fly will always be the better option. The best that William would be in that community was a local champion. This is a boy who would, with a scholarship learn a whole lot more stuff and work with other talented young people. If allowed to fly high enough, there was the chance that he would be exposed to a lot more resources. His father was a bright man to have enabled that.

Have you seen this movie? What do you think?

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