Virtual Nation Builders

Our Digital Alchemists

Pascal Nyasha
Chairman

Currently serving as Chairman of Virtual Nation Builders, Pascal is a Thought Leader, Strategist, Entrepreneur, qualified Social Worker, and an author of five published books (namely: Reaching New Horizon, Leadership, Wisdom from the Jungle: Strategies for Life and Survival from Wild Animals, Nuggets to a victorious life; and Leadership and Life Lessons from ancient Generals and Emperors). He has been a columnist for the Business Herald with 90 000 weekly reaches. He wrote for the SME and Entrepreneurship magazine with a 415 000 monthly print run, circulating in Singapore, Indonesia, Malaysia and Brunei. He wrote for ‘The Accountant’, a magazine published by the Institute of Chartered Accountants and was a weekly guest in the SME Times in India with a 3,5 million online weekly reach.

Pascal has addressed organisations such as the International Trade Centre at WEDF2017, Impact Hub and ACCA among many other leading organisations, governments and NGOs. He has been recognised twice by Junior Chamber International (JCI) as an emerging leader. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work.

Maurice
Maurice A. Crespi 
Chief Executive Officer

Maurice is an experienced legal practitioner with a sound knowledge of commercial, property, labour, IP, tax, corporate and Fintech law. He is a highly experienced and established corporate litigation attorney with several reported judgments in both the Supreme Court of Appeal and Constitutional Court and has been a partner of Schindlers Attorneys since 1998.

Maurice provides guidance to international banks, companies, governments, NGOs and other global pillars of society in respect of the legal and tech gauntlet that is required to become competitive in the fourth industrial revolution.

In 2017, recognising the impact that exponential technology would have on the world, Maurice began to pivot and increased his areas of practice from mainly litigation to also becoming a specialist in Fintech, blockchain technology and blockchain law. In the same year he founded Schindlers’ Blockchain Department, it being the first in South Africa.

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Adam Craker
Adviser – SAtion 

Adam is the CEO at IQbusiness, the largest independent management and technology consulting firm in South Africa.  Adam joined IQbusiness in 2009 and became CEO in 2010.  Under his leadership, IQbusiness has grown both organically and through acquisition to a team of over 1,000 living its purpose to grow people, grow business and grow Africa.

As part of the IQbusiness ethos to drive performance with purpose, Adam is an ardent lobbyist for government and business collaboration and most recently, the SAtion and the COBRA (Covid Business Rescue Assistance) social enterprises. Adam is the CEO of both SAtion (NPC) and COBRA (NPC), each with independent Boards.  

SAtion is a multifaceted national ecosystem, established by Business Unity South Africa (BUSA), with IQbusiness as the Enabling Partner, that focuses on facilitating the digitaliSAtion workstreams of the Economic Reconstruction and Recovery Plan. SAtion (www.SAtion.org.za) works in collaboration with partners to ensure the rapid implementation, outcomes, and impact of the national initiatives towards South Africa’s digital economy.

COBRA was conceptualised and initiated by IQbusiness, Schindlers Attorneys, Sirdar Group and Engaged Business Turnaround and the COBRA Consortium was formed on the same day, 19 March 2020.   COBRA was established with a shared value proposition to South African businesses to co-ordinate bank, government and stakeholder engagement through a structured business support process.

Angella Ruth Nyasulu
Assistant to Legal Counsel

Angela Is a Candidate Attorney at CRD Attorneys. She has a keen interest in Commercial Law, particularly Intellectual Property.

She is passionate about advancing Social Justice Rights, particularly advancing Children’s Literacy Rights.,

In her spare time, she volunteers at the Social Justice Network and FABWE, where she offers research, grant proposal drafting and mentorship assistance.

She is a Wits University BA and LLB graduate.

 

 

 

Candice dawkshas
Chief operating officer

Candice is an admitted attorney who began her career at Bowmans, one of the Big 5 leading law firms of South Africa, in 2001. 

Candice holds a BComm degree from Rhodes University, an LLB degree from RAU and an accredited Mediator Court Aligned and Commercial Mediator certificate from the University of Cape Town. 

Candice is also the Chief Operating Officer of Dispute-It and runs her own legal practice, CRD Attorneys. 

She is an independent trustee of many trusts and specializes in Blockchain, Mediation, Commercial Law, Litigation and Estates. 

She is currently deep learning to become a Certified Blockchain Expert and studying Blockchain through Consenys Academy. She is a member of the South African Institute of Blockchain practitioners. 

Chantelle Gladwin-Wood
Community Development and Land Affairs Legal Counsel

Chantelle Is an admitted Attorney, Notary, Conveyancer and Academic. She currently serves as Chairperson of the Joburg Attorneys’ Association and the Gauteng Attorneys’ Association. Chantelle is South Africa’s foremost expert in Municipal Law and runs the Municipal Law, Pro Bono and Discrimination departments at Schindlers Attorneys.

She serves as a sessional lecturer at WITS and is an integral part of an initiative amongst several senior lecturers from institutions all over South Africa to manage and innovate the teaching and learning space as COVID has indelibly changed how lecturers deliver material across all legal fields.  She has also recently been nominated to serve on the Safety and Security Sector Education and Training Authority (SASSETA) Chamber Committee.

She is currently pursuing an LLD at the University of Pretoria, in which her thesis is focused on Public (Municipal) Law.

damon batiste

Born to one of America’s largest familial musical powerhouses stands percussionist and New Orleans cultural icon, Damon J. Batiste.  Surrounded by talented musicians his entire life, his mother was responsible for the creation of the beloved Batiste Brothers Band.  But before that, his father David led the famed David and the Gladiators. First cousin Jon Batiste swept the 2022 Grammy’s including Album of the Year.

Now 54, Damon also played an instrumental role in the development of music venues along the famed Frenchmen Street in NOLA. He has also performed at the iconic New Orleans Jazz Fest over the years with the Batiste Brothers Band. The culture runs deep within him. Like the Nile River, Damon’s musical and cultural ties extend to the motherland of Africa (83 Visits to date). Founder of the New Orleans South African Connection, Inc. NOSACONN is a non-profit comprising business, civic, community and entertainment industry leaders – both in New Orleans and in the Republic of South Africa.

Damon has performed with other prominent New Orleans bands as well – primarily featuring the djembe drum.  He’s also played with George Clinton and the P-Funk Allstars for HBO Sinbad Funk Festival.

Damon has committed his adult life to preserving and growing New Orleans culture and music through a variety of programs and venues including Music Appreciation and Cultural Enrichment for School Districts.  Mr. Batiste has also partnered with Metairie Sunrise Rotary Association. 

Motivated by music, he employs every creative asset to preserve, teach and promote the culture that is New Orleans using his Gifted hands on the LP Drums.

 

 

Danmari Duguid
Company Secretary

Danmari is an admitted Attorney of the High Court and serves as the Company Secretary for Virtual Nation Builders.

She has previously worked as a Commercial Litigation Attorney representing businesses and individuals in a wide variety of legal disputes and transactions. She has strong planning, project management and public speaking skills, which have contributed to various business projects over the last few years. She is ambitious, future-focused and passionate about making a positive change in society.

She holds a BA and LLB degree, both obtained at the University of Pretoria.

 

 

 

 

Darryl Epstein
Consultant – Mixed Reality

Managing Director, Structural Engineer and Digital Engineering Expert for Delta Scan, Darryl is a professionally registered Structural Engineer. He is obsessed with technological innovation and 3D workflows, disrupting the world of design and monitoring of infrastructure through digital technology.

Coming from a ten-year background in Civil and Structural Engineering, coupled with an addiction to tech, he turned to robotics, artificial intelligence and game design to rewrite the rules of engineering and bring in a new era of asset maintenance. 

Darryl’s obsession with 3D and digital design led him down a path to become a photogrammetry expert and to pioneer the use of digital twins for the inspection and management of commercial and industrial infrastructure. Darryl is also well equipped in Artificial Intelligence as well as Cloud computing. 

In a few short years, Delta Scan went from being the new kid on the block to developing world-class software platforms for the management of infrastructure on the cloud. Darryl has a deep knowledge of engineering design practices and understands how the latest technologies can drive efficiencies and innovation in a market that is generally resistant to change.

He regularly presents at conferences and keynotes pushing the boundaries in engineering design and the adoption of digital workflows.

He holds a BSc in Civil Engineering from Wits.

Dayle Pedro
Consultant – Mixed Reality

Dayle is the Business Manager for Delta Scan.

Although not part of the initial team, He has always been seen as a founding member of Delta Scan. Dayle, who comes to us from the Garden Route, has 6 years of experience in designing workflows specific to the use of remote sensing to replace conventional workflows that prove to be inefficient and not cost-effective. Dayle is a travel bug and runs Delta Scan from all four corners of the country, from onsite project management to developing new data collection techniques to optimise data processing and client deliverables. He is the backbone of Delta Scan, supporting Darryl with strategic decisions and always acting quickly to keep Delta Scan dynamic.

Dayle’s responsibility within Delta Scan is ultimately to manage and lead the development of commercial service offerings, integrating new remote sensing and digital technology in our perspective industries. Access to these industries has arisen from his strong ability in creating key strategic relationships in vertical sectors. 

Additionally, Dayle’s portfolio includes project management, financial control and coordination with suppliers. He commits himself to the personal responsibility of project deliverables and brings a wealth of knowledge to onsite remote operations and complex industrial undertakings.  Dayle is a qualified drone pilot and RPL holder and also holds a degree in Financial Management from Stellenbosch.

jeffrey barbee
journalist

Jeffrey is the CEO of the plastic-to-energy startup, ScarabTECH. He is the founder of Alliance Earth, an independent not-for-profit environmental and scientific reporting initiative funding science reporting for the world’s media.

He works as the Managing Director of Alliance Earth’s Dung Beetle Project. The project drives science education that is fun, fiery and unforgettable from a plastic-powered mobile stage that converges art and education.

Jeff’s past work as a writer, photographer and filmmaker, with over 18 years of reporting experience in 27 countries, has garnered him numerous international awards. He has worked on assignments for The New York Times, Time, Newsweek, The LA Times, Vanity Fair, The Guardian, The Chicago Tribune, The Telegraph, BBC and many others.

Since 1995 he has led expeditions around the world that have mapped icefalls and discovered new species of plants and animals which have helped shape national policies around conservation. He is a fellow of the US Explorer’s club and works out of Colorado and South Africa.

jk du toit
consultant – data

JK started in IT and trained as a Web Developer which lasted one project before realising he enjoyed business more than core development. JK then decided to pursue a career in finance as a base to launch his career.

JK became a qualified Chartered Management Accountant (financial accounting wasn’t creative enough!), trained in a FTSE100 company in the UK and specialised in Public-Private Partnerships, from bidding to hand-over of full operations which included the design and deployment of a number of SAP modules. He has subsequently been approached by a well-respected headhunting company that has the human capital contracts for a number of the well-known banks where the core banking systems were being reconsidered. He was tasked to align human capital with core banking requirements.

JK’s portfolio increased from SA to cover the EMEA and APAC regions and extended to biochemicals, FMCG, manufacturing, engineering and insurance clients. During the period, he noticed that the quantification of Human Capital was not managed in corporate and decided to start his own data company which quantifies people risk for organisations. Today he runs nine product ranges and his clients include government, forensic accountants, pension funds, insurance companies and well-known technology companies.

justin schoeman
consultant – data scanning and mixed reality

Justin is one of the founders of Delta Scan. To sum his expertise up he is our engineering software integration genius.  Justin is a mastermind when it comes to Building Information Models (BIM) and other products in the digital world of twenty-first-century engineering.  He comes with 15-years of experience in detailed engineering drafting and design and has mastered everything from CAD to ultra-realistic renders and animation.

Justin weaves the technical wizardry of Computer-Aided Design in multiple disciplines across many design and creations suites. As with the ethos of the team, he thrives when presented with a challenge.

james howard 
consultant – terra ops

During James’ years at the University of Johannesburg studying architecture, he developed a passion for technology and more specifically drone technology.

During his masters years in 2018 and 2019 James employed drone technology and based his architectural thesis on drone scanning and inhabiting the virtual world.

This developed his passion for the drone industry even further to the point where James decided to pursue it as his full-time career and thus the inception of Terra Ops. James is a fully licensed commercial drone operator and has operated on sites across South Africa within the mining, construction and agriculture industries. He has a passion for working with people and looking for opportunities and problems within any industry and finding innovative ways to better and grow those industries as well as himself.

kenric gladwin-wood
Consultant – Structure Engineering Technologist

Kenric is a structural engineering technologist with over 8-years’ experience in residential, commercial, and retail engineering consulting. He is the co-founder and director of SYNEVO Inspections (Pty) Ltd and a technically proficient professional and analytical problem solver. His technical insight and understanding of the different aspects of the built environment drive his ability to offer clients effective and efficient investigations as well as failure root cause assessments. 

Kenric’s extensive theoretical grasp and practical expertise in the design, construction and applications of structures of the South African National Building Standards as well as various International Building standards has enabled a skills set particularly well suited to the investigation and assessment of existing infrastructure and its potential for failures. 

Observant, insightful, detail orientated and able to anticipate problems within his area of expertise, Kenric is driven by a commitment to providing safety, awareness and education within the structural engineering sector. He does this by providing logically reasoned reports on defective structure investigations, predicting hazards identified through formal structural inspections and offering educational presentations to various official bodies participating in the built environment sector in South Africa.

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Michela Ferreira

Michela plays an integral role in bringing together technology initiatives. Whilst she possesses a strong  knowledge of brand development, strategy, consistency and standards, she is proficient in design, multimedia, frontend and backend UI and UX design, frontend development/engineering and the formulation of strategies to synthesize the physical and cyber. 

She is passionate about modern culture and how technology transforms internal and external business systems to enhance efficiency and growth.  She also consults top international luxury brands thereby ensuring local market appeal and top quality identities in their operating markets.

Michela co-founded her first cryptocurrency in 2018 and is devoted to transform the African technology space to be one that gives all the opportunity to be included within a global digital economy.

Michela co-founded the SAFCOIN eco-system and is devoted to transform the African technology space to be one that gives all the opportunity to be included within a global digital economy.

Mic Mann
Consultant – Mixed Reality and NFTs

Mic believes that the future will be abundant as the power and potential of exponential technologies increases and their price gradually drops to zero, ultimately democratising numerous industries and improving the lives of all.

As co-founder of Mann Made, an award-winning experiential brand agency that has worked with top global and local Fortune 500 companies. Mic has 19 years of experience in the media, marketing and eventing industry. Mic is a prolific speaker and strategist on exponential technologies, the future of work and the changing role of professionals.

After completing the Singularity University Executive Programme in 2015, he realised that in order to #futureproofAfrica we need to embrace exponential technologies.

He and his partners subsequently brought the SingularityU Summit – the first of its kind on the continent – to South Africa. Mic’s passions are entrepreneurship and break-through technologies. He is also involved in the local start-up and maker community.

Mmuso Mafisa
Lead 4IR Officer 

Mmuso has over 9 years of experience in the TV & Entertainment industry. He graduated at the University of Johannesburg with a BA in Audio Visual Communication. He is the CEO of a production company which does numerous forms of photography, cinematography and online video editing for a number of shows and films. He sits on the board of two vibrant companies that specialise in Augmented Reality & Blockchain Development. He has an audacious goal to help underserved communities in South Africa acquire exposure to digital assets and emerging markets. Moreover, he is deeply focused on curating NFT’s for global artists as this has presented unique opportunities to merge Distributed Ledger Technology, Art and Web Monetisation.
In 2021 he was selected as an official council member for an international NFT Marketplace, “Artano”, which is built on the Cardano Network. He is a curatorial specialist tasked to select some of the most talented artists on the continent to participate in this regenerative economy. He believes NFTs are crucial instruments to help decentralise wealth redistribution in Africa. At its core, innovation is really exciting. It involves a new way of operating that can bring the promise of greater efficiency and access for all whilst ushering in a future where value will be tokenised. He is on the forefront of this ground-breaking Art Revolution on the continent,  capacitating young people with knowledge of Web3, its applications and economic opportunities. He believes that Africans have a deep desire for financial inclusion, and NFTs will assist to heighten the educational curve around financial literacy and the 4th Industrial Revolution.

NeilF1
Neil Ferreira

A passionate leader, Neil is always ready to ensure that innovation meets high quality standards.

His grit, combined with innovative brilliance has led the teams he has worked with to produce numerous cutting-edge projects.

With 20 years of experience in the technical and e-commerce milieu, he has an intense understanding of business operations, payment structures, systems development and dealing with bottlenecks – his mission being to transform these systems for the better.

Neil co-founded his first cryptocurrency in 2018 with its own wallet and crypto ecommerce payment gateway.

Ray Harli
Consultant – Architect 

Ray is an architect focused on the intersection between technology, design and development economics with computational, architectural and economic degrees from Wits University, UCT, Harvard and UCD in Ireland. He is a licensed architect in the UK, Ireland and South Africa and has successfully completed several award-winning projects across a wide array of typologies.

Ray is a recognised industry leader in the use of computer visioning technologies and their application in architecture and design. Together with Harvard University, he was part of a group of VR specialists that pioneered the use of VR for spatial training at the Graduate School of Architecture.

He has a keen interest in the use of artificial intelligence to aid the design process and spends his spare time developing space in the metaverse, an alternate digital reality where people work, play, and socialize. 

Ryan Sun
Consultant – Terra Ops 

Ryan has a graduate diploma in Engineering from Wits and a master’s degree from the University of Johannesburg.

He initially started out his career in academia as a university lecturer where his passion for innovation had led him to eventually venture into industry to help uplift companies in engineering, construction and even drone technology.

Ryan gets a thrill out of creating solutions for needs in any industry. He is constantly interested in expanding his own knowledge and experience through involvement with various research and development projects.

Ryan maintains a love for teaching and engaging with all sorts of people — a trait that has just remained with him since his academic lecturing days.

Samantha Sheldon
Digital Designer

Sam is a Johannesburg based Graphic Designer and Illustrator, she has 3 + years of experience working

in-studio and independently as a freelancer. Sam has helped build brand identities and promotional material for small businesses as well as created well-rounded illustrations, advertising campaigns and digital products for corporate companies.

She has a wide creative background. She studied communication design at FADA (Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture) before advancing her skills as a Graphic Designer at London Business School, participating in a course on Brand Management: Aligning Business, Brand and Behaviour. Since finishing formal education she has worked in advertising and branding and currently is a designer for Virtual Nation Builders.

TonyF1
Tony Ferreira

Tony is well equipped to implement organizational strategies, holding valuable knowledge and hands-on experience in building operational mechanisms for growing teams.

Tony co-founded his first cryptocurrency in 2018.

Tony’s strength is that he ensures that every customer within our networks are taken care of and receives unsurpassed customer support by driving effective internal support methods.

Trevor Coltman
Chief Technology Officer

Trevor has worked with some of the most advanced technologies out there today, using everything from Gartner leading RPA solutions to customised automation suites through and developing tailor-made solutions from the ground up using micro service architecture and edge computing techniques to deliver realtime cognitive services.

Trevor has been responsible for enterprise wide RPA cloud solutions; nation wide financial sector automation and document validation and extraction solutions. Recently, Trevor has been developing solutions to disintermediate legal systems focusing on dynamic consent and adding decentralised architecture to create a fully transparent, fair and just society in the conscious network we are a part of.

Trevor is currently working on certifications focusing on Smart Contract and Solidity Development. He holds a BComm degree in Economics, Management and Information Systems and a post graduate degree in Information Systems from Rhodes University.

Our Royal Advisory
His Majesty King Makhosoke II
His Majesty of the Ndebele Kingdom

 

His Majesty King Makhosoke II is King of AmaNdebele Nation as a whole, as proclaimed by the Republic of South African Government and Gazetted on 5 November 2010 (Gazette no: 33732).

The Ndebele Nation is one of the eight nationalities confirmed as kingship in South Africa. As a Prince and Heir to the throne, he was called to join the Public Services of Manala MBongo Traditional Authority in 1983. His Majesty was nominated as a representative of the late Regent King Alfred Mbhedlengani Mabhena in the then Kwandebele Legislative Assembly in 1984.

He served the Ndebele Nation through numerous Parliamentary contributions including, amongst others, opposing and speaking in the Kwandebele Legislature against proposed independence of the then Kwandebele Homeland. The later contribution and others are recorded in the Hansard detailing the debates in Legislature. His Majesty King Makhosoke II succeeded the Regent King Alfred Mbhedlengani Mabhena who was a younger brother to His Father, the late King William Mbongo II in 1986.

His Majesty King Makhosoke II is the Chairman of the ARM’s MP Trust of the Hon Mr Patrice Motsepe, whom The King has provided portable water units to fifteen schools through the system of boreholes in the former Kwandebele Homeland areas. The beneficiaries (schools) had no portable water prior to the project.

Queen Sekhothali Mabhena
Queen of the Ndebele Kingdom

 

Born Princess Sekhothali Seeiso from the Kingdom of Lesotho, married 2019 in the Ndebele Kingdom and became Queen (Indlovukazi) Sekhothali Mabhena.

She is a member of the UN Women Africa under African Royals, traditional and spiritual leaders in Ending Child Marriage and Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) [2018- current], Ambassador of Menstrual Hygiene and Sexual Reproductive Health with the Sex Rights Network under the AIDS Foundation of South Africa.

In 2017 she became an Executive member of the Council of Traditional Leaders in Africa (COTLA) [2019-current].

“We strive for economic freedom for our people and sustainable  development too.

While we are assisting where we can we venture and tap into  sustainability to create a stable Kingdom that one day will be free of poverty.”

Zakhele G Mthethwa
Ndebele Kingdom Advisor

 

Zakhele is the founder and chief enabler of Inceku Yenkosi Pty Ltd. Inceku Yenkosi is a Nguni word meaning ‘’Steward of a King’’. Currently the Economic Advisor of King Makhosoke II, the King of Amandebele as a whole.

He is an ardent lobbyist for rural and township economic development through business collaboration to enable economic activation in places and communities that are currently excluded in the mainstream economy of South Africa.

He is a University of JHB graduate in NDIP chemical engineering, with 15 years of experience in water treatment and sales in both the UK and RSA.