Nobel prize winner Wole Soyinka throws away green card after Donald Trump win

Celebrated playwright previously said he would 'pack his bags' and leave the US if real estate mogul won the election

Olivia Blair
Thursday 01 December 2016 16:55
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Wole Soyinka
Wole Soyinka

The Nobel-prize winning author Wole Soyinka has thrown away his green card in protest of Donald Trump’s presidency.

Soyinka, who hails from Nigeria, became the first African to win the Nobel prize for literature in 1986. He has resided in the US for more than 20 years and is a regular teacher at prestigious universities such as Harvard, Cornell and Yale.

Prior to the US election, he vowed to throw away his green card – a permanent residence permit for the United States – and “start packing” should Mr Trump win and now that has happened he is sticking to his pledge.

“I have already done it, I have disengaged [from the United States]. I have done what I said I would do,” the 82-year-old told the AFP news agency at the Times Higher Education BRICS and Emerging Economies Universities Summit in Johannesburg.

“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,” reportedly meaning Nigeria.

He added that he would not discourage anyone from applying for a green card but, for him, Mr Trump’s presidency signalled it was the right moment to leave.

“It’s useful in many ways. I wouldn’t for one single moment discourage any Nigerians or anybody from acquiring a green card but I have had enough of it,” he said.

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