|Birth||1961, Greater London|
Michela Wrong (born 1961) is a British journalist and author who spent six years as a foreign correspondent covering events across the African continent for Reuters, the BBC, and the Financial Times.
Her debut book, In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz (2001), covers the time she has spent in Zaire (now the Democratic Republic of the Congo) as it transitioned from the leadership of Mobutu Sese Seko to that of Laurent-Désiré Kabila. Her second book, I Didn't Do It For You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation (2004), is the story of Eritrea and its existence through Italian, British, American and Ethiopian occupation.
Her third book, It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower (2009), tells the story of John Githongo, a Kenyan journalist and civil society activist who, in 2002, took on a senior anti-corruption role within the newly elected government of President Mwai Kibaki. In this role, Githongo uncovered widespread evidence of corruption (notably the Anglo-Leasing scandal) located high up within the Kibaki government. The book also discusses the role of ethnicity in Kenyan politics and is strongly critical of the response of the international aid community to the Githongo case.
The World Bank and the British government's aid department (the Department for International Development) come in for particularly strong criticism, though notable exceptions are also highlighted, such as Edward Clay, the then British High Commissioner to Kenya. It's Our Turn to Eat was censored in Kenya, leading to PEN Kenya president and activist Philo Ikonya acquiring books and bringing them into the country for wider distribution.
Michaela has authored one novel, Borderlines, a legal thriller with a female lawyer protagonist. It focuses on a border dispute between two fictional states in the Horn of Africa. The film rights have been bought by Films in South Africa.
She was awarded the 2010 James Cameron prize for journalism “that combined moral vision and professional integrity.”
She currently lives in London and is regularly interviewed by the BBC, Al Jazeera and Reuters on her areas of expertise. She has published opinion pieces and book reviews in the Observer, Guardian, Financial Times, New York Times, New Statesman, Spectator, Standpoint Foreign Policy magazine, and travel pieces for Conde Nast's Traveler magazine.
She speaks fluent Italian and French. She is a consultant for the Miles Morland Foundation, which funds a range of literary festivals, workshops and scholarships for African writers, a trustee of the Africa Research Institute, based in London, and an advisor to the Centre for Global Development.
Until recently, she was the literary director of the Miles Morland Foundation, an organisation that actively supports writers and literary projects across Africa.
Wrong is also the granddaughter of Oxford historian Edward Murray Wrong and daughter of the eminent nephrologist Oliver Wrong.
- Wrong, Michela (2001). In the Footsteps of Mr. Kurtz: Living on the Brink of Disaster in the Congo. HarperCollins. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-06-018880-1.
- Wrong, Michela (2005). I Didn't Do It for You: How the World Betrayed a Small African Nation. HarperCollins. p. 448. ISBN 978-0-06-078092-0.
- Wrong, Michaela (2009). It's Our Turn to Eat: The Story of a Kenyan Whistle-Blower. Harper. p. 368. ISBN 978-0-06-134658-3.
- Wrong, Michaela (2015). Borderlines. Fourth Estate. p. 352. ISBN 978-0-00-814740-2.