Qoboza, Percy

Beginning life in a township that was completely destroyed in Sophiatown, South Africa, Percy Qoboza was a famous editor that made a name for himself in the best way possible. He studied theology and journalism in college, allowing him to become the editor of The World newspaper in 1974. He began writing a highly anticipated editorial column called "Percy's Pitch" and directed The World to increase circulation as it became the most read newspaper by blacks in South Africa. The minority government began seeing this as a threat, however, and in 1977, The World was banned and shut down. Percy was put into jail for 6 months and when released, he was told to leave the country.

Percy moved to Washington, D.C. and began working for the Washington Star in 1980. In 1984, he returned to South Africa and became the editor of City Press. His writing style and voice had a strong influence on the political struggle and fight to end oppression. He was known for his astute writing style. He passed away from a heart attack in 1987.

The International Press Institute named Percy one of the World Press Freedom Heroes in 2000. The National Association of Black Journalists began the Percy Qoboza award in 1989. They award this to the journalist who best demonstrates the essence of Percy and who overcomes incredible obstacles.

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