Ribka Sibhatu writes in Tigrinya and Italian. Born in Asmara, Eritrea, in 1962, she was imprisoned for a year in 1979 and then fled the country in 1980. Travelling first to Ethiopia and then to France, Ribka Sibhatu moved to Italy in 1996 and settled in Rome, where she has lived ever since. She holds a Ph. D in communication studies from Rome's La Sapienza.
Ribka Sibhatu's first published work was Aulò! Canto Poesia dall'Eritrea (Sinnos, 1993), a collection of lyrics and prose poems originally written in Tigrinya and translated by the author into Italian. This bilingual meditation on her past life in Eritrea and subsequent experience as a migrant was followed in 1999 by Il Cittadino che non c'è. L'immigrazione nei media Italiani (EdUP): a sociological look at the Italian media's coverage of immigrant communities. Ribka Sibhatu speaks five languages and currently works as a social mediator for the city council, focusing on improving inter-cultural relations in state schools.