African poet who became the first prominent female writer from the Belgian Congo. Her literary works include Murmures, Les temps des amants, and Lianes.
She graduated from the University of Lovanium and later earned an advanced degree in African Studies from the University of Paris.
A Bantu literature and linguistics scholar, she was one of the founders of the International Centre for African Languages, Literatures and Traditions in Favour of Development.
She married and had five children; her family members are the subjects of many of her literary works.
She and Maya Angelou both became known for their poetic work.