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Saturday, 4 November 2017

Wole Soyinka returns to America after ‘destroying’ Green Card


Nobel Laureate, Wole Soyinka is traveling back to America a year after he claimed he tore his Green Card, following the victory of Donald Trump at the Presidential election.

The novelist will be delivering the Richard D. Cohen Lectures at Harvard University Centre for African Studies from November 14 to 16.

“I’ll go in as an alien, an alien from outer space. I love that designation,” Soyinka said in an interview with Financial Times of London published on Friday.

The lectures will be in three parts, under the theme: BEYOND AESTHETICS: Use, Abuse and Dissonance in African Art Traditions.

“My life has been involved with the diaspora on a very personal and visceral level,” he said of his interaction with prominent African-Americans.

Soyinka had promised to tear his Green Card and leave America if Donald Trump emerges as President.



He said in 2016, ”I was in New York during the run-up to elections. I watched this face, its body language, listened to his uncouth, racist language, his imbecillic harangues, the insults to other peoples, other races, especially the Hispanics, Africans and Afro-Americans, even citing once – I was told – Nigeria as an instance of the burdensome occupation of global space. I watched and listened, disbelievingly, since this was America, supposedly now freed to a large extent – as we like to believe and have a right to expect – from its lamentable history of racism.”

Soyinka also has said he ought to have died going by his lifestyle. The Playwright and Poet disclosed that he doesn’t drink water.

While responding to question on how long he intends to live, the 83-year-old said:

“By all logic, I should not be alive right now because of my lifestyle.

“I flout everything they teach at medical school, including the fact that I don’t drink water. I eat only when I want to.

“I don’t obey the rules of cholesterol.”

He further revealed that he used to smoke hard cigarettes such as Gitanes, Gauloises, cigars and cheroots, but he had quit smoking.

“I lost interest several years ago,” Soyinka said while also revealing an argument he once had with the late Cuban leader Fidel Castro on the perils of smoking.

He added, “I had an argument with Fidel Castro about it. By that time Castro had got religion about the perils of smoking and he rounded on a guerrillero, saying, ‘This is bad for you. I have medical evidence.’

“I said, ‘Wait a minute. Leave the man alone. Let him find his own time.’

“Castro loved to argue. But I think that day he met his match.

“The following morning a box of cigars — Cohiba — arrived at my hotel. It just said, ‘With compliments of the Cuban government.’ Who did it? To this day, I’ve no idea.

“But I still have some of them in Abeokuta. That’s the story of my smoking career.”




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