Ekpeki Denied Visa for Worldcon

Nigerian editor and author Oghenechovwe Donald Ekpeki, a multiple Hugo Award finalist this year, has been denied a visa by the US and will not be able to attend Chicon 8. He explained the situation in a post on Facebook:

Why I won’t be attending Chicon 8 – Chicago Worldcon 2022. I can’t. Got denied visa to the Worldcon by U.S. Mission Nigeria today. & it’s not the denial that’s an issue, but the how.

This is despite being quite literally the most awarded SF writer, editor and publisher on the continent. I was a finalist in The Hugo Awards this year in editing & fiction categories. You don’t have to be CIA to know why this is important. Simple Google search. They invented Google right? Why not use it? Or better yet, just read, since I even brought everything to you. If you don’t want to do the barest minimum & crosscheck.

Something that’s only happened for 5 people in the profession’s history. The last time, in 2001, 21 years ago. I’ll be the 1st BIPOC to get that honour, the 1st non-American, and the only person to, this year. If I win both, I’ll be the 1st & only person in the genre’s history to. Cuz of this I said to try to attend WorldCon. Be there when I possibly make history, again. But naaa.

Apparently that’s not enough reasons to get visa to attend the WorldCon. If I had been considered & denied I wouldn’t even have worried as much. But I don’t feel I was even considered at all.

With the help of Jason Sanford, Ekpeki successfully raised over $7,000 in a GoFundMe campaign to pay for the trip. Ekpeki is also scheduled to be guest of honor at the 44th International Conference on the Fantastic in the Arts, to be held March 15-18, 2023 in Florida, but that trip is in jeopardy as well. This is a recurring problem for the international SF/F community, and there is an upwelling of support on social media right now to help secure the visa.

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