According to an account allegedly belonging to Abdulrazak Gurnar, the winner of the Nobel Prize for Literature in 2021, Wole Soyinka died on Monday.
“I received a phone call from Nigeria. Wole Soyinka passed away unexpectedly just a few minutes ago. The news was “awful,” according to the post.
The usage of a countable noun article for “news” — “a… news” — was the first red flag.
A Nobel laureate would realize that “news” is uncountable grammatically.
In a short time, the post received over 150 retweets and 250 likes.
“Since last week, the rumor has been circulating. “Last I checked, Soyinka was still alive,” he said.
The account that made the message has 14,000 followers and was formed in August 2021.
The BBC had linked the phony account in its announcement of Gurnah’s Nobel prize triumph on Friday, but Nigerian author Lola Shoneyin quoted the tweet, pointing out that Gurnah is not a Twitter member.
“During my recent brief conversation with Prof Abdulrazak Gurnah, he indicated that I am not a Twitter user. “Please keep this in mind,” the message continues.
During my short exchange with Prof Abdulrazak Gurnah a few minutes ago, he stated, “I am NOT a @Twitter user.”
Many users commented on the post about Soyinka’s “death,” with some offering condolences and others claiming that the news is false and that the account does not belong to Gurnah.
The page’s whole content has been removed.