Half-Italian, half-British, Michela Wrong was born in 1961. She grew up in London and took a degree in Philosophy and Social Sciences at Jesus College, Cambridge, and a diploma in journalism at Cardiff.
She joined Reuters news agency in the early 1980s and was posted as a foreign correspondent to Italy, France, and Ivory Coast. She became a freelance journalist in 1994, when she moved to then-Zaire and found herself covering both the genocide in neighboring Rwanda and the final days of dictator Mobutu Sese Seko for the BBC and Reuters. She later moved to Kenya, where she spent four years covering east, west, and central Africa for the Financial Times newspaper.
In 2000 she published her first book, “In the Footsteps of Mr Kurtz”, the story of Mobutu’s rise and fall, which won a PEN prize for non-fiction. Her second book, “I didn’t do it for you”, which focused on the little-written-about Red Sea nation of Eritrea, came out in 2005 and was hailed as a “gripping political thriller” by Monica Ali.
Books in order of publication:
In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in Mobutu’s Congo – 2002
I Didn’t Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation – 2005
It’s Our Turn to Eat – 2009
Borderlines – 2015
Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad – 2021