The Daily Show featured William Kamkwamba, a Malawian high school student who built a windmill by looking at pictures in a book! I have always been a fan of jugaad, the idea of indigenous creativity using the detritus that seems to be a function of our modern world. And this is just an amazing story.

What is both incongruous and amazing is that we live in a world where there can be a terrible famine that a 14 year old has to drop out of school. And this boy finds a book at a library funded by some Western agencies, and looking at the pictures (he couldn’t read English very well) builds a windmill. The story ends up in the newspaper, and then hits the blogosphere. The kid ends up presenting at the TED conference in Africa!… and here is is on the Daily Show! Incidentally, Jon Stewart has a delicate balancing act as he tries to get this story across even while cracking jokes that his guest may not even understand.

Just how far Kamkwamba has come is best revealed by watching the video till the end… Watch for the discussion about Google.

The Daily Show With Jon Stewart Mon – Thurs 11p / 10c
William Kamkwamba
Daily Show
Full Episodes
Political Humor Ron Paul Interview

As he says, “Where was this Google, all this time?”