Zhuri Bryant PPS ’21's Duke highlight was singing with Duke’s premiere African Chorus, The Duke Amandla Chorus. The chorus introduced the former Deputy Chief Justice of South Africa Justice Dikgang Moseneke to the Duke community on January 21st 2021.
Start of interest in political protest
“I went to Morocco and Tunisia with Duke in the Arab World. But then we studied Arabic in Rabat and we took a citizenship class and learned about the area and what it means to be a citizen in Morocco and what it means to be a global citizen. We also went to Tunisia and we had this amazing opportunity to talk to the revolutionaries there about how they sparked the Arab Spring and how they’re building their democracy. We had the chance to go visit the Ennahada party which is an Islamist party within Tunisa. It was—you know, we finally got to see what people were talking about, but we saw it for ourselves as opposed to making assumptions. It helped me not to otherize them so much. I found it so interesting to listen to them talk about their political beliefs because that was never anything I had ever heard in the states.”
Decision to join Amandla Chorus
“Duke Amandla Chorus is Duke’s premiere African Choir. We sing songs from throughout the continent and in the language from respective countries. I’m an American but it was the first time that I kind of got that taste of: there’s something more out there than just my experiences. Even though it’s just singing, it’s more of a movement. There’s only so many African students on campus and we give a voice to their cultural experiences and what they go through in their everyday life.”
Thoughts on singing for a famous political prisoner
“Moseneke was one of the youngest prisoners in Apartheid in South Africa. We’re going to sing Nkosi Sikelel which is the South African national anthem. We have South African students in the choir, so we’re able to really understand the song and perform it correctly. This is how we’re going to introduce him and thank him for coming. ‘We acknowledge what you’ve done, we acknowledge what you’re still doing, and hopefully this little gesture will show you how much we’re grateful.’”
Zhuri works currently as a Growth Development Associate at Veris Insights.