List of Characters



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The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind: Creating Currents of Electricity and Hope (by William Kamkwamba and Bryan Mealer)

List of Characters:

William: author of the book, born in 1988 (p. 37)
Chief Mwasa: Chief of the Chewa people (p. 6)
Chief Nawambe: Chief of the Ngoni people who was defeated by the Chewa people because they tried to conquer the Chewas for their food supply (p. 8)
Trywell Kamkwamba: William’s father; was a traveling trader before becoming a farmer (like his father and grandfather before him); nicknamed “The Pope”
Geoffrey: A cousin and good friend of William; his father, John, and William’s father are brothers (p. 17)
Gilbert: A good friend of William’s; he is Chief Wimbe’s son who has a beautiful singing voice who later recorded 2 albums
Albert Mofat (also known as Chief Wimbe or Charo): the leader of the village where William lives; is a Muslim and seen as the person to go to when there is a crisis of law or food
Mister Ngwata: Protector of Chief Wimbe
Hastings Kamuzu Banda: ruled Malawi for 30+ years; was given the title of Life President by the Malawian Parliament
David Livingstone: a Scottish missionary who came to Africa and was instrumental in ending slavery, opening Malawi up to trade, building good schools and missions where young men became educated and earned money; also instrumental in ending the fighting between the Yao and Chewa tribes so that they consider the people of each other’s tribes brothers and sisters.
Agnes Kamkwamba: William’s mother, who is Yao
Bakili: Agnes’ brother who warned her about Trywell when she became interested in him
Annie: William’s older sister
Mr. Phiri: a man who worked on Uncle John’s farm with superhuman strength (p. 41)
Shabani: Mr. Phiri’s nephew (p. 43)
Enifa (Jonesi) Kamkwamba: Uncle John’s wife who has 4 children; Geoffrey, Jeremiah and Charity are 3 of them
Musaiwale: older brother of Trywell who takes one of John’s mills and half of the cows before Jeremiah loses it
Socrates: one of Trywell’s brothers who is a welder and has 7 daughters.
Fannie and Edith: Trywell’s sisters who predeceased John
Jeremiah: John’s oldest son who is 20 when his father dies and he is given the business to run; does not like hard work and not very interested in school; often drinking; after 2 years, he loses his father’s entire business
Bakili Muluzi: the new president of Malawi after President Banda loses the election in 1994

Khamba: Uncle Socrates’ dog; all white with black spots across his head and body; he is fat and good at guarding chickens and goats
Maxwell: a man who once worked for Uncle John and taught the boys what to do if ulimbo sap ever got in their eyes
Charity: one of Uncle John’s sons who lives in the mphala, home for unmarried boys
Mizeck: a friend who lived with Charity; a big, fat guy who had dropped out of school and worked as a trader
MTL Wanderers: known as the Nomads, they were William’s favorite Malawi Super League soccer team (p. 63)
Big Bullets: rivals of the Nomads
Malawi Broadcasting Corporation: began around the time of independence, which was celebrated on July 6.
Aisha, Doris, Rose, Mayless, Tiyamike(which means “Thank God”): the names of William’s younger sisters
Mr. Godsten: the welder whose shop was in the trading center near the Iponga Barber Shop (p. 190)
Bingu wa Mutharika: the president who was voted into office in 2004 after President Muluzi stepped down
Dr. Hartford Mchazime: head official at the Malawi Teacher Training Activity (MTTA) in Zomba
Soyapi Mumba: software engineer and coder who brought the article about William to other people’s attention
TED: stands for Technology, Entertainment and Design; an annual meeting where scientists, inventors and innovators with big ideas get together and share them

Mister Rhonex Banda: headmaster of Madisi Secondary School where William was enrolled; he offered to spend extra time helping William catch up because he had missed a number of years of school
Emeka Okafor: Nigerian blogger and entrepreneur who was program director of the big conference called TED Global
Tom Rielly: in charge of organizing all the corporate sponsors at TED
John Doerr, John Gage, Jay Walker: some of the first investors in William’s future projects

[HINT: Look to see what companies these men represented!]


Gerry Douglas: a British-American computer scientist who completely revamped the Baobab Health Center
Chuck Wilson and Lorilee MacLean: William’s headmaster and teacher at African Bible College Christian Academy (ABCCA) in Lilongwe
Blessings Chikakula: William’s tutor while he attended ABCCA


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