The Performance Team Behind Bela Musana

November 5, 2018  

Performance team Matt Gould and Griffin Matthews have a heart for Uganda. They’ve run a nonprofit focused on education there for the past twelve years, and they wrote a documentary musical called the Invisible Thread, which explored the concept of staying connected across oceans. When Laurie DeJong saw that musical, she knew she had found kindred spirits.

One of the songs in the musical is called Bela Musana. It’s a Lugandan phrase meaning “be shining like the sun”.

“We used it in our songwriting because I think it’s a charge to the audience and to us as performers to continue to shine in the face of darkness,” said Griffin Matthews.

When they learned what Paper Fig Foundation was doing, they realized they had a lot in common. While Paper Fig Foundation focuses on economic empowerment through fashion and Gould and Matthews are more in the realm of education, their perception of East Africa is where they find common ground.

“There’s this idea that going into the developing world is depressing,” said Gould. “We align with Paper Fig because that is not our experience. Uganda is a place filled with light and joy and it’s not one culture helping the other, but two cultures coming together to create something more beautiful, more shining. That’s a place where we feel we really align.”

Learn about Matt and Griff's take on The Invisible Thread, and why they stay connected to the Paper Fig Foundation, by checking in on Wednesday.