Godwin grew up with his family in white-ruled Rhodesia. He was conscripted by the British South Africa Police in 1973 to fight in the Rhodesian Bush War. He studied Law at Cambridge University and International Relations at Oxford University.
He wrote Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa, a memoir about growing up in Southern Rhodesia in the 1960s and 1970s during the Rhodesian Bush War. Mukiwa won the Apple/Esquire/Waterstones award, and the Orwell Prize.
In 2006, he published a second memoir, When a Crocodile Eats the Sun, which details the ebbing of his father's life, set to the backdrop of modern-day Zimbabwe, and his discovery of his father's Polish Jewish roots.
Godwin was formerly a foreign correspondent for the Sunday Times (London) and later a documentary maker for BBC TV.
"The Fear: The Last Days of Robert Mugabe"
When a Crocodile Eats the Sun
Mukiwa: A White Boy in Africa
"Rhodesians Never Die" The Impact of War and Political Change on White Rhodesia c1970 - 1980 (which he co-authored with Ian Hancock).
"The Three of Us" (co-authored with Joanna Coles.)
"Wild at Heart - Man and Beast in Southern Africa," (with photographs by Chris Johns.)