Nigerian-born playwright and Nobel-prize winning author Wole Soyinka has destroyed his U.S. green card, fulfilling his vow to throw away his residency permit and permanently leave the United States once Donald Trump was elected the country’s 45th president.
Soyinka’s announcement that he had gone through with his promise came Thursday on the sidelines of an education conference at the University of Johannesburg in South Africa.
Last month, ahead of the recently concluded U.S. elections, Soyinka told students at Oxford University in England that he would personally rip up his green card in the event that Trump was elected president.
“If in the unlikely event he [Trump] does win, the first thing he’ll do is to say [that] all green-card holders must reapply to come back into the U.S. Well, I’m not waiting for that. The moment they announce his victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up.”
“I have already done it. I have disengaged [from the United States]. I have done what I said I would do. I had a horror of what is to come with Trump…I threw away the [green] card and I have relocated, and I’m back to where I have always been.”
Soyinka however stopped short of inviting others to follow in his lead, telling reporters that, “[A green card] is 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.”
The 82-year-old professor, who recently completed a term as a scholar-in-residence at New York University’s Institute of African American Affairs, previously served as an academic in several elite U.S. universities, including Harvard, Cornell, and Yale.
In response to the racial undertones of the Trump campaign, Soyinka was one of many public figures and celebrities who announced their intention to leave America if the GOP candidate became president.