Motivation behind StreetBiz and Be a Nelson Movement.


As the 2014 National Coordinator, I took the South African team of 16–17-year-olds to participate in the World Championship for Student Entrepreneurs in Moscow, Russia. They competed against the best from 35 countries and achieved a 4th place! This was a remarkable accomplishment because the team came from township communities which are black, segregated areas of poverty which are a legacy of Apartheid’s racist forced relocation policy.


That moment, “in 4th place, South Africa!”, changed my life. Keep in mind that these teenagers came from township schools which are regarded as the lowest standard of education. It suddenly dawned on me that enormous potential is hidden within Black youth, locked up in townships with literally nowhere to go.


Since 2014, I dedicated my life to research and address this situation. To explain the problem, I will use Dr. Richard Osmer’s 4-question framework (2008) which asks four questions: “What is going on? Why is this going on? What ought to be going on? How might we respond?”





MasterPeace is a global grassroots movement, active in over 44 countries worldwide, that inspires and mobilizes people to become social activists for peace and sustainable world. The four pillars of the MasterPeace methodology are music, sports, arts and dialogue. In December 2013 UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki-moon awarded MasterPeace as the most innovative peace project.


The core values of MasterPeaceare: positivity, impartiality, co-creation and “walk the talk”. The model of MasterPeace is a unique ‘upside-down pyramid’, a bottom-up network and leadership training for young people. In 2021, MasterPeace Clubs implemented 375 projects with direct impact on local communities.


It takes YOU & ME to ACT! That's MasterPeace!


We believe that the world has 7 billion talents rather than 7 billion issues. Therefore, we use the SOFT POWER of music, art, sports and play to mobilize and inspire young people. We believe that there is more that we have in common than what separates us.

Therefore, we organize DIALOGUE within and between communities and stakeholders. We believe that the lack of perspective triggers polarization, extremism and conflict. Therefore, we create PERSPECTIVE through capacity-building. The model of MasterPeace is a unique ‘upside-down pyramid’, a bottom-up network and leadership training for young people.


About the MasterPeace / Be a Nelson Movement Walk


A MasterPeace Walk is 6 days walk in nature in a local MasterPeace Club area and it offers the participants experiential learning in three main focus areas: CULTURE, NATURE & PERSONAL DEVELOPMENT.


Guiding Principles from MasterPeace for the walk.


-    MasterPeace identity to be protected in the walk.
-    The experience is about cultural exposure and to create respect for other cultures.
-    To be disconnected from modern civilization
-    Experience in nature and listening to the voice of nature
-    Storytelling is central to the experience.
-    To provide time and space for reflection.


Desired Outcomes for a MasterPeace walk:


   For the individual:   


-    Not to be a normal holiday
-    Elements of physical / emotional / spiritual
-    Transcending Boundaries
-    Growth mindset
-    Cross-cultural friendships
-    Value of silence to be explored
-    Awareness of nature
* Area: unique eco-system in the world   * Professional visitor/s to enlighten us  * Create individual “voice for nature”  * “Nature is the biggest prophet” said Rumi, St Francis and Carl Jung.


  For the group:


-    Networking
-    Dialogue
-    Insight to South Africa’s culture
-    Stimulate Social Innovation & Social Entrepreneurship
* BaN to find a unique way of showing appreciation for international visitors sponsoring their participation
-    Peace building
-    Communication: listening & questions: Story Circles: meaningful conversations
-    Spirituality in a neutral space with respect to each other  
-    Local food & local people


About Be a Nelson Movement & StreetBiz Foundation: Background:


StreetBiz is an official license holder of MasterPeace with “Be a Nelson” a project of MasterPeace. Be a Nelson concept is based on the Nelson Mandela legacy, world icon and most important social asset of South Africa. Also underutilized in South Africa.StreetBiz made a study of the mindset development of Nelson Mandela which led to his legacy. StreetBiz registered short courses (3 months) at Huguenot College in South Africa, which could be presented online to all MasterPeace Clubs in the world and others interested.


A network, Be a Nelson Movement, was established by StreetBiz Foundation in South Africa among young Black dynamic community leaders, aligned with the goals of MasterPeace, the legacy of Nelson Mandela, and the UN SDG’s. The Long Walk project was a social-scientific research project, according to the principles of Ethnography and got published in a book, “No Fit: My 1,700-Mile Walk from Apartheid”.


From the research among Black youth in South Africa, information got filtered and simplified:     


1.    “Please ask the older generation to let go of their grudges &conflicts”
2.    “Please create opportunities for us” (unemployed rate a human disaster)  
3.    “The Education system underestimates us”
4.    From headmasters at +/-200 schools, “your focus on entrepreneurship mindset, is exactly what we need”.  
5.    My personal realization was that of the incredible potential among Black youth, hidden, locked-up, isolated, in South Africa. Feels like a discovery of a gold mine. Sometimes surreal in my awareness process, always challenging perceptions but confirmed over and over.


These insights brought me to the critical juncture of decision-making, to dedicate the rest of my life to open up these opportunities to the best of my ability, using my privileged background and education. Every idea and action of StreetBiz are made accountable to these research outcomes of the Long Walk project, which became a global award winner.  This includes a strong spiritual foundation with a challenge to the presence of ample religious institutions in South Africa. So much more can be done but lack of mindset shift, prevents that. Strategy has to change from the dependency culture to the entrepreneurial mindset.


Exposure will change this, not confrontation. South Africans are used to confrontation, and they can handle that. Real change comes with exposure, such as the walk and other interventions aligned with this such as the OSUN course (Open Society University Network). During the Nepal walk (2022) I realized the value such a walk will present to the Be a Nelson Movement. This is exactly what they need. Exposure and networking in an environment where they have the time to relax, become themselves, and can interact with visitors who can introduce them to the “world outside”.


To really understand this, one must replace yourself in the context where the only reality you know, is your immediate environment. Which is a direct outcome of the political system of the past, Apartheid, that restricted movement and created an isolated existence with a mindset of “find a job” and not to “create a job”. To broaden the mindset is at the foundation to address the situation. A new mindset creates new energy.


When you are inspired by some great purpose, some extraordinary project, all your thoughts break their bonds: your mind transcends limitations, your consciousness expands in every direction, and you find yourself in a new, great, and wonderful world. Dormant forces, faculties and talents become alive, and you discover yourself to be a greater person than you ever dreamed yourself to be.

Indian Philosopher Patanjali




1.    To address the culture of isolation among BaNelsons
2.    To create growth mindset experiences
3.    To unleash unexplored potential among Black youth of Be a Nelson Movement
4.    To explore the potential of the Nelson Mandela legacy in South Africa and as always to share it with the world (international visitors)
5.    South Africa provided the world with a miracle story of peaceful transition in 1994. There is so much to explore further in the presence of MasterPeace international visitors with their positive intention.
6.    To crack world views of all participants and open new possibildities.
7.    SA is a social laboratory of the world, for social experiments to:
  a. White supremacy and Equality
  b. New global leadership required (what will new look like?)
  c. Culture of corruption with self-orientated political leaders
  d. To develop new thinking (what is this?)
      i. Global orientated related to earth and nature (global warming, climate change), refugees to the next level, AI, resources, new economy (25% less), 4th Industrial Revolution, nationalism vs globalism, etc.
     ii. People oriented instead of self-interest
    iii. Democracy needs to be redefined (losing ground)  
  a. You can become involved as a coach to one of the “Be a Nelsons”.
  b. The Be a Nelsons start with a weekly online course, “Social Entrepreneurship”, from September 2023 to December 2023.
  c. Be a Nelsons from South Africa will perform among students from 10 Universities from all over the world, such as BRAC University in Bangladesh, Al Quds University in Palestine, the American Universities of  

     Central Asia (in Kyrgyzstan) and of Bulgaria, Ukraine, Universidad de Los Andes in Colombia, and Bard College, NY.
  d. They are highly excited about this breakthrough, giving them the opportunity to Higher Education, for the first time and like never before! They are also anxious and nervous. They are crossing a threshold, into

     the scary unknown. The Be a Nelson team is the biggest team but the risk for dropout is high.
  e. They need support and there is no more powerful way than having a personal coach. You can have a personal session with one of them, every second week, to encourage, listen to their experience and find a

     way to make them walk tall. Please let me know ( and I can connect you to one of the Be a Nelsons.  
  f. No words, verbal or in writing, can give you as a coach the knowledge and insights you will gain about grassroots leadership in Africa, as this opportunity.


More about the Be a Nelson Movement?


The Be a Nelson Movement is based on the legacy of Nelson Mandela and focuses on Black youth mindset for entrepreneurship development in South Africa. Immense potential lies dormant in Black township youth who tragically swell unemployment statistics year after year once they leave school. There is ample good INTENTION in South Africa, which needs DIRECTION, to get to the desired DESTINATION. Achieving this outcome is the vision and mission of the Be a Nelson Movement, an initiative of the nonprofit, StreetBiz Foundation.

With a prototype established, a pilot program provides data for research which could verify and validate the StreetBiz strategy, crucial for scaling Be a Nelson Movement. A pilot program from July to December 2023, is proposed with a core team of 20 Be a Nelson’s, from all over the country, covering the different cultures, which is important in South Africa.     

Be a Nelsons will raise funds for their projects from their local community, inclusive of all cultures. They all have the capacity to become a trainer of the entrepreneurial mindset in their communities, demonstrating the “ripple effect”, as they demonstrate what they have to offer. It will be an unfolding reality for all of us.


This strategy is in a continuous process of development, integrating data from continuous research and observation to maximize the context for performance stimulated by access, opportunities, coaching, social leverage, accountability, and the Mandela mindset. As self-identity grows, it is increasingly possible to explore options using imagination and creativity.


Again the statement: The Legacy and Mindset of Nelson Mandela is underappreciated and underutilized in South Africa.

Fifteen ambassadors from around the world and 15 Be a Nelsons will undertake this pilgrimage together, creating a unique opportunity for mutual expansion, friendship, and new possibilities. As I heard from township youth mile by mile of the long walk, the starting point is to provide access and opportunities so that young people can cross the threshold, take ownership of their lives, and show what they can bring to the table. Stimulation, guidance, and support will create the context for ongoing growth and performance.

More about the Be a Nelson Movement strategy:

The familiar phrase, “Sailing the Seven Seas” has become a metaphor for 7 components, “Sailing the 7 C’s”, of the Be a Nelson Movement methodology. Our vision is to support the imagination, sense of adventure, desire to grow, and the vast potential of countless social entrepreneurs, informal leaders, and Black teens living in townships throughout the country.  This multi-faceted approach will enable the dreams, capacity, and mindset of at-risk Black youth to expand as they become community role models referred to as “Be a Nelsons”.


“C 1”    CONFERENCES and BOOTCAMPS: Bringing people together to share, learn, and have new experiences raises to a higher level one’s energy, sense of possibility, and inspiration. One participant described the 1st Be a Nelson conference, held during February 2022 as “liberating the mindset”. See his business plan, one year after the Conference.

“C 2”    COURSES: Three online/in person courses were designed and registered at Huguenot College, South Africa. “Be a Nelson Leadership”, “Mindset for Social Entrepreneurship” and “Pilgrims Theology”, with contemplative actions integrated.
“C 3”    COACHING and MENTORING: Personal interest and reflection create impact. A Coach could be from anywhere in the world.

“C 4”    COMPETITIONS: Competitions contribute energy, recognition, enhance self-confidence, identify talent, projects, and fun. This is a popular strategy, coordinated by Be a Nelsons in their communities with entrepreneurial ideas, music, art, dialogue, aimed at Nelson Mandela Day, International Peace Day, Day of Reconciliation, Heritage Day, and South Africa Day.  

“C 5”    CONNECTIONS and CONVERSATIONS: Inspiration comes from being connected with interested, and interesting people from outside orbits, in-country and global. The walk will have a huge impact.
“C 6”    CURRICULUM: “ACCESS ONLINE BUSINESS ACADEMY”: The content gets informed by research at township grassroots level with the mission, to give access to knowledge and tools. Two examples to illustrate the need for a unique form of business school is career counselling and a safe place to submit entrepreneurial ideas as it seems that ideas get stolen from the poor.

StreetBiz obtained the services of experts for both, willing to participate in the Access Academy. A global Patent Law firm designed a safe and secured online “room” for entrepreneurial ideas, to be investigated and even find investors with full protection of rights.

“C 7”    CONTEMPLATION: Contemplation taps into the presence of spirituality in South Africa, a thread to run through the Seven C’s, integrated in various ways such as rituals, symbols, pilgrimages, labyrinths, in nature, with simplicity, in silence, exploring the art of reflection.




An independent research consultant will deliver a professional service in monitoring change, progress and outcomes, to adjust interventions for maximum impact. Research will happen on a continuous basis throughout the program.

A monitoring and evaluation technique called The Most Significant Change (MSC) is to be applied, meaning participatory monitoring and evaluation. Participatory because many project stakeholders are involved with a whole spectrum of data to be analyzed. Research occurs throughout the program cycle and provides monitoring data to assist management and assessment via collection of significant change stories emanating from the field.

Domains of change are to be aligned with the Be a Nelson character, allowing researchers to examine the context and contributing factors for the change, and increase our understanding of “what will move the needle”.


Book: No Fit: My 1,700-Mile Walk from Apartheid (Amazon & Kindle)

This book captures the story of the Long Walk for the Entrepreneurial Mindset project and it is highly recommended for all participants to read it before the walk in 2024. It will provide insights and knowledge about the South African culture. As people demonstrated a need to have discussions about the No Fit concept in various ways and as another way to be self-sustainable as a non-profit Foundation, StreetBiz now also has a booking system on the website, where individuals and groups can book time with the author. The financial contribution is to support the work of StreetBiz Foundation with the Be a Nelson Movement. Also see