Fátima Bettencourt was born in Porto Novo, on the island of Santo Antão, Cabo Verde, in 1938. Her family later moved to Mindelo, where she completed her schooling. She studied early childhood education in Lisbon and taught at schools in Cabo Verde, Angola, Guinea-Bissau, and Portugal. She has also worked as a journalist and producer at several radio outlets in these same countries. She currently resides in Praia, Cabo Verde. Her latest book, Sonhos e desvarios, was published in 2019.