Nobel Prize laureate throws away his green card ahead of a Donald Trump presidency


On the day that Arik Air left me stranded at the Lagos Airport, I saw Wole Soyinka heading out on an American flight, and some of the people around me started asking “What is he going to do in America, Isn’t he the one that said he would throw away his green card if Trump won the US elections?”

Africa’s first Nobel prize winner for literature, promised that if Donald Trump won the presidency, he would cut his green card into pieces. Soyinka, who was living in New York City at the time, after Trump’s win said he would rip the green card on the day of Trump’s inauguration.

Well, Wole Soyinka can’t wait that long. “I have already done it,” the 1986 Nobel prize winner told AFP. “I have disengaged [from the United States]. I have done what I said I would do.”

Soyinka has lived in the US for more than 20 years. Most recently, he was a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs.

“I had a horror of what is to come with Trump… I threw away the card and I have relocated, and I’m back to where I have always been,” he said, possibly referring to his hometown of Abeokuta, in southwest Nigeria.

Although he has chosen not to live in Trump’s America, Soyinka described the green card as “useful in many ways” and was quick to tell others not to follow his lead. “I wouldn’t for one single moment discourage any Nigerians or anybody from acquiring a green card but I have had enough of it.”

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