The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

Small dough cakes made from corn flour and water that are the foundation of every meal in Malawi and the mark of a successful Malawian farmer.

Nsima Quotes in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind quotes below are all either spoken by Nsima or refer to Nsima. For each quote, you can also see the other terms and themes related to it (each theme is indicated by its own dot and icon, like this one:
Rebirth, Recycling, and Reinvention Theme Icon
). Note: all page numbers and citation info for the quotes below refer to the William Morrow edition of The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind published in 2010.
Chapter 4 Quotes

Nsima isn't just an important part of our diet—our bodies depend on it the same way fish need water. If a foreigner invites a Malawian to supper and serves him plates of steak and pasta and chocolate cake for dessert, but no nsima, he'll go home and tell his brothers and sisters, “there was no food there…”

Related Characters: William Kamkwamba (speaker)
Page Number: 72-73
Explanation and Analysis:
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Nsima Term Timeline in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind

The timeline below shows where the term Nsima appears in The Boy Who Harnessed the Wind. The colored dots and icons indicate which themes are associated with that appearance.
Chapter 4
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
...the farm. By far the most important crop is maize, the main ingredient of the nsima that is the basis of every meal. Nsima is made by combining corn flour and... (full context)
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
Farming maize for nsima takes intense work from the entire family. Women work in the home doing all the... (full context)
Chapter 6
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
...mother brings just one large bowl to the table. It contains only one blob of nsima and some mustard greens, all of which is eaten in a matter of minutes. (full context)
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
After an unsatisfactory Christmas lunch of a blob of nsima, William goes to visit Geoffrey. Geoffrey now looks for ganyu each day instead of working... (full context)
Chapter 7
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
...rise, Agnes can make fewer hot cakes and the Kamkwambas’ profits shrink. The blob of nsima at dinner gets even smaller, and William’s seven-year-old sister Rose starts to take more than... (full context)
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
Malawian Culture and African Community Theme Icon
...money and food. One man even walks into the Kamkwambas’ dinner and eats half their nsima before walking away. In the market, people alternately stare at the traders with their small... (full context)
Chapter 8
The Business of Survival Theme Icon
...night, Khamba falls deeply asleep, waking only when William brings him a small pinch of nsima. Two days later, Khamba vomits up what food William can give him and William knows... (full context)