Akinwande Oluwole “Wole” Babatunde Soyinka needs no further introduction across the globe being the first African to be honored with a Nobel Prize award, in literature category.
He has been an outspoken critic of many Nigerian government even during the military dictatorship era;
The Nobel literature laureate Wole Soyinka has told students that if Donald Trump is elected president of the United States next week, he will leave the country.
“If in the unlikely event he does win, the first thing he’ll do is to say [that] all green-card holders must reapply to come back into the US. Well, I’m not waiting for that,” said Soyinka, who is scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs this autumn. “The moment they announce his victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up.”
According to the Guardian, when he was giving a seminar to students at Oxford University’s Ertegun House, he also laid into Brexit, saying it was a “ridiculous decision”, and part of an international rise in what he called “ultranationalism”.
“What is happening in Europe shouldn’t surprise any of us … It has happened before,” he said. “We were here when Enoch Powell was leading his thugs out to drive blacks from here … it’s a constant fight to try to get a nation to recognise its own noble persuasions, its own persuasions of the loftiness of human possibility. It’s for young people like you to say no to them whenever that happens.”
Now the elections are over, Uri Friedman of the atlantic said Soyinka told me that he has now rendered his Green Card “inoperable,” without going into further detail. “I don’t have strong enough fingers to tear up a Green Card,” he added. “As long as Trump is in charge, if I absolutely have to visit the United States, I prefer to go in the queue for a regular visa with others,” he said. “I’m no longer part of the society, not even as a resident.”
“Trump’s wall is already under construction,” Soyinka recently told The Interview magazine in Nigeria. “Walls are built in the mind, and Trump has erected walls, not only across the mental landscape of America, but across the global landscape.”
“As one grows older, one becomes more sensitive about such things, especially as one is inclined to close the world around one as much as possible … and therefore devote one’s time and energy to activity in congenial spaces,” he said. “The U.S. for me, watching that election—it was no longer congenial.”
In the mean time, Soyinka is retreating to Abeokuta, the Nigerian city where he grew up.
Culled from The atlantic and The Guardian.