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Chiwetel Ejiofor Will Indeed Make His Directorial Debut Adapting William Kamkwamba's Story

by Tambay A. Obenson
July 9, 2013 2:05 PM
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It was in January of this year when we first reported that Chiwetel Ejiofor is currently adapting William Kamkwamba's book The Boy Who Harnessed The Wind.

At the time, details were sparse as to what exactly Ejiofor's involvement would be - whether in front of, behind the camera, or both. 

Now thanks to a profile of Ejiofor posted on the UK's Telegraph website today, on his starring role as Patrice Lumumba, in Aimé Césaire's play, A Season in the Congo, at the Young Vic in London, we know just a little more about his film adaptation of Kamkwamba's novel.

The piece states that Ejiofor will direct the film adaptation, and not appear in it, making this his feature film directorial debut. He previously helmed a short film called Slapper in 2008, which we profiled on the old S&A site.

William Kamkwamba

I remember first writing about William Kamkwamba back in 2009, during the early S&A days. It was about a year ago when we learned and announced that, after much publicity, a book, and even a TED talk, he's was going to be the focus of a feature length documentary titled Moving Windmills.

The film, now titled William and the Windmill, which Ejiofor isn't involved with at all, is currently touring the film festival circuit.

A brief recap of his story...

When he was just 14 years old, Malawian William Kamkwamba built his family an electricity-generating windmill from spare parts, working from rough plans he found in a library book. Thanks to the attention he received around the world for his efforts, he co-wrote a book about the experience, encouraging global investment in alternate natural energy sources. The book titled, The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind, was published in 2009, and you can find it on sites like Amazon.

The documentary film follows William from this early invention to present day; the filmmakers (Ben Nabors and Tom Rielly) say that they worked with and followed William for almost 5 years.

I should mention that there was actually a short film version of William's story, also made by Nabors and Rielly, which played the film festival circuit in 2008 and won a number of awards.

As for Chiwetel Ejiofor's scripted fictional adaptation of Kamkwamba's book, no word on where exactly it stands currently, or when we can expect to see it. At least we now know that he's contributions will be strictly behind the camera as director.

Stay tuned...

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  • BLACKMAN | July 9, 2013 10:58 PMReply


    Its a matter of time before he picks up that Oscar.

  • Ava | July 9, 2013 5:58 PMReply

    this does indeed sound like it has great potential as a film. Big up to Chiwetel--his birthday is tomorrow, just like mine!

  • Micah | July 9, 2013 4:38 PMReply

    Wow this is an amazing story. I need to read that book. I hope Chiwetel doesn't spend too much time on the otherside of the camera.

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