Michela Wrong

Michela Wrong is the author of Do Not Disturb: The Story of a Political Murder and an African Regime Gone Bad, published by HarperCollins.

The truth about the Rwandan genocide

Today a solemn ceremony takes place in Rwanda’s capital. President Paul Kagame, flanked by international dignitaries – including our own development secretary Andrew Mitchell – will light a flame of remembrance at Kigali’s genocide memorial, where the bones of more than 250,000 people are interred. ‘Kwibuka’ (‘Remember’ in Kinyarwanda) – this act of commemoration –

The fresh, forceful voice of Frantz Fanon

‘If I’d died in my thirties, what would be left behind?’ is the question that keeps coming to mind reading this timely new biography of Frantz Fanon, the psychiatrist and philosopher who became an icon to leftist revolutionaries across the globe. ‘Would I want history to judge me by what I wrote at 36?’ For

Why were 80,000 Asians suddenly expelled from Uganda in 1972?

The mantelpieces of many an Asian family in Leicester and London, it is said, sport two framed photographs. One is of Idi Amin, the African dictator who expelled them from Uganda; the other is of Edward Heath, the prime minister who allowed them in. ‘This double gratitude,’ writes Lucy Fulford, ‘says thanks for throwing us

Michela Wrong, Emily Rhodes and Cindy Yu

21 min listen

This week: Michela Wrong asks whether anywhere is safe for Kagame’s critics (00:58), Emily Rhodes charts the rise of fake libraries (07:54), and Cindy Yu reviews a new exhibition at the British Museum on China’s hidden century (15:25).  Produced and presented by Oscar Edmondson. 

Is anywhere safe for Paul Kagame’s critics?

After weeks of travelling – first Paris, then Kinshasa – I was looking forward to my evening at L’Horloge du Sud in Brussels. Known for its poisson liboké (fish wrapped in banana leaf) and other African specialities, the restaurant is popular with the city’s African diaspora. I’d been invited by a Pan-African thinktank to discuss

The butcher of Chad who died in a private Senegalese clinic

Recent years have not been kind to the campaign for universal justice. The notion that some crimes are so serious that perpetrators should be hunted down and prosecuted irrespective of where the atrocities were actually committed has taken something of a beating since the International Criminal Court (ICC) opened for business in the Hague in

How much longer can Boris Johnson keep going?

41 min listen

In this episode: Is Boris going to limp on? In her cover piece this week, Katy Balls writes that although Boris Johnson believes he can survive the partygate scandal, he has some way to go until he is safe, while in his column, James Forsyth writes about why the Tories have a summer of discontent ahead

Priti Patel is playing into Paul Kagame’s hands

If President Paul Kagame has been tracking the furore over Priti Patel’s plan to send asylum seekers to Rwanda, he’s been doing it on the hoof. Kagame moves constantly these days: the news broke while he was en route to Barbados after a visit to Jamaica. In the past two months he has been to

Fraser Nelson, Michela Wrong and Mark Mason

25 min listen

On this week’s episode, Fraser Nelson starts by reading the leader. Britain has a labour shortage and our immigration system is a mess – why not have an amnesty for migrants without legal status? (01:00) Michela Wrong is on next. She found herself in the sights of Rwandan President Paul Kagame after she wrote a

Pleading with the emperor

Yetemegn was barely eight years old when her parents married her off to a man in his thirties. Before she could become a spouse, he first had to raise her. Her education involved beatings when she left the house, even if it was only to borrow shallots from a neighbour. At 14, she gave birth

Rwanda’s new tragedy

Never lighthearted, my African political exile friend sounded particularly lugubrious on the line from Washington. His voice was low and pensive. For the past few months, he said, he’d been hearing of plans hatched by the regime back home for his assassination. ‘They are very gruesome, very gruesome indeed.’ It was not the first time.

Our man in Africa

This novel comes with two mysteries attached, one substantial, the other superficial. The big mystery is the author’s identity. Gender-neutral, nominally Anglo-Saxon, almost provocatively bland, ‘C.B. George’ screams ‘pseudonym’ to any reader. A call to the literary agent confirms the suspicion: the author is keeping his identity secret ‘for personal reasons’, which may or may

Refugees and resilience: a story of Africa

I would love to sit in on a Jonny Steinberg interview. Over the years this South African writer has perfected a form of reverse ventriloquism, in which he becomes the mouthpiece for the Africans whose lives intrigue him. I’d like to know how he does it. The process must require relentless badgering, as interview is

Witnesses in the heart of darkness

When presented with a 639-page doorstopper which includes 82 pages of closely-written sources, notes and index, most of us feel a bit like a patient about to swallow a strong dose of antibiotics: ‘This isn’t going to be pleasant, but it’ll be good for me.’ First published in Dutch in 2010, translated into French and

How to get around South Africa’s many boundaries

There are writers whose prose style is so fluid, so easy, the reader feels as though he has been taken by the hand and is being gently led down a path by a guide who can be trusted to point out interesting landmarks, allow the odd meander, but always keep firmly on course. Mark Gevisser,

The making of a president

When presented with a title of this kind, many readers think they know what to expect: drugged-up child soldiers, wince-inducing brutality, ranting demagogues, rebels in women’s wigs. This, thankfully, is not that book. It is something more nuanced, elliptical and elegant. Ghana is in a different league from Liberia, Guinea or Sierra Leone, its traumatised