The winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize for literature says he has fulfilled a pre-election promise to cut up his green card and leave the United States if Donald Trump was elected president.
“I have already done it, I have disengaged [from the United States]. I have done what I said I would do,” Wole Soyinka, an 82-year-old Nigerian poet and playwright, told Agence France-Presse at an education conference in South Africa on Thursday.
“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,” he added.
Soyinka, who recently completed a stint as a scholar in residence at New York University, made his pledge to cut up his green card — which provides permanent legal residence status — just days before the Nov. 8 election.
“The moment they announce his [Trump’s] victory, I will cut my green card myself and start packing up,” he said at a conference in London, according to news reports from earlier this month.
[dcquiz] On Thursday, Soyinka, who has also taught at Harvard and Yale, said that he does not plan to call on other green card holders to follow his lead.
“It’s useful in many ways,” he said of the green card. “I wouldn’t for one single moment discourage any Nigerians or anybody from acquiring a green card…but I have had enough of it.”
Soyinka is one of only a few famous people who have followed through with pre-election promises to leave the U.S. if Trump won the presidency.
Civil rights activist Al Sharpton and actress Amy Schumer are two of the most prominent American celebrities to backtrack off that pledge. (RELATED: Al Sharpton: I Was Just Kidding When I Said I Would Leave US After Trump Win)
Sharpton said that his pledge to leave in the event of a Trump win was said “in jest.” Schumer, who said before the election that she would move to London if Trump won, also said her remarks were made “in jest.” (RELATED: Amy Schumer Is Not Following Through On Promise To Leave America After Trump Win)