Mohammed Ghassani was born in 1977 in Pemba, Zanzibar. His father, who died in 1995 aged 72, was Bwana Khelef bin Mohammed Al Ghassani, and his mother is Bi Abeida bint Nassor Al Ghaithy.

A proud son of two mothers, Mohammed Ghassani was taken and raised when he was just two years old by Bi Salama bint Said Al Battawy, whom he considered his own mother.

Mohammed Ghassani is a renown Swahili poet, journalist and novelist. His poetry book, N’na Kwetu: Sauti ya Mgeni Ugenini (I Have My Own Home: A Stanger’s Voice in a Strange Land) earned him the inaugural award from the Mabati Cornell Kiswahili Prize for African Literature in 2015.

He has authored more than six books on poetry, as well as contributing to many other collections with some high profile Swahili writers such as Professor Said A. M. Khamis and Professor Ken Walibora. He has recently published his first novella, Mja wa Laana (The Cursed).

Apart from writing poems and novels, Mohammed Ghassani is a professional multimedia journalist working with the Swahili Services of Deutsche Welle in Germany, where he moved since 2010.

A learned translator, Mohammed Ghassani is a pioneer of Swahili language and Swahili culture and has written many online pieces on the matters.