Thomas Jing is the first son of a blacksmith. From the University of Yaounde I in Cameroon he earned a BA in History, specializing in Black studies, and worked as a secondary school teacher before earning an MA in translation from the University of Montreal in Canada. In the 1990s in Cameroon, he worked with the Ministry of Livestock, Fisheries and Animal Industries as senior translator, communications officer and head of archives and started writing for the Cameroon Post newspaper and Cameroon Life magazine. Amid rising political tension, in 1996 he left the country and worked for the South African Council of Bishops with refugees and asylum seekers and wrote for the South African Lawyers for Human Rights. Since 2000 he has lived in Canada and USA where he writes articles in English and French for publications around the world, notably The African Nation, a community newspaper in Maryland.