Model for the Meaning of Life 

All of us long to lead a good life, and a fulfilling one at that. But which ingredients do you need to accomplish this? Isn't it bizarre that even after thousands of years’ progress by man, there is still no elementary model, no pure and simple guideline on how to lead a fulfilling and happy life? 

According to Bert van Dam, this model does exist. The makbuntu-model is a secret which was hidden away in Africa. It revealed itself during a visit to the Serengeti where Van Dam and his family witnessed a huge herd of wildebeest cross the Mara-river. With this spectacle, Mother Nature disclosed various clues which eventually lead to the makbuntu-model. The epiphany Van Dam had been after for 25 years. And it hit him right between the eyes. BAM! 

The word "makbuntu" is a combination of the Arabic word “maktub” (= it is written in the Universe) and Zulu “Ubuntu” (= to be one with your surroundings). The makbuntu-model is based on three ingredients: to create, to love and to enjoy. Every person is on this planet (1) to create from the heart - your creation is what you contribute to the world; (2) to give and to receive love, and (3) to enjoy all creations in existence. 

This circle of giving and receiving is in perfect harmony; on par with the Laws of Nature. When you abide by makbuntu, your life will become worthwhile and fulfilling. Many people lack a day-to-day balance. They live their life doing work that doesn’t meet their heart's desire (resulting in alienation and stress), they overly focus on worldly goods (not giving enough love) and or don’t enjoy the beautiful things life offers. These people can be found everywhere – reduced to empty shells. Human beings who in time will look back on their life with countless regrets. 



makbuntu figuur

Fortunately, there is another way. "We all have two lives; the second one begins when we realize we only have one." So stop muddling about and settling for a mediocre life. You deserve top-notch, this is why you should embrace makbuntu. It will brighten the world - perhaps that is the true "purpose" of makbuntu. Shining examples can be found all around us…

In this book, you will find practical methods that you can deploy right away. As soon as you've finished reading, just set off to make your life the best life possible!

The crossing

"A young wildebeest calls out, the first are cross

"The first of the herd safely reached the other si

"The crossing full steam ahead"

My quest for makbuntu basically started in the early 90’s when I read an interview with Paul Fentener van Vlissingen, a successful CEO at multinational SHV. The topic drifted from business issues to the Taoist tapestry on the wall of his executive office. Until then, I was an out-and-out businessman, but this article introduced a new playing ground (philosophy/spirituality).  Prior to this, I had only been familiar with the corporate game. The contents of the interview changed – Q&A about subjects that really matter! What’s more: it turned out you could actually combine the two fields. After all: Paul was doing just that! This was when the makbuntu-seed was sown.

As mentioned, I used to be a die-hard businessman. I also possessed a strong craving to apply my knowledge and expand on it. Which meant wanting to climb the corporate ladder, to become Managing Director. After all, the MD is the one who pulls all the strings. However, when I reached that point at Planet Internet, and consequently on a larger scale at Phonehouse Europe, I realized that telecom was not really my cup of tea. My true passion lay in wanting to help people live their best life possible. This was ultimately my personal "river". Over time, I became restless, had difficulty sleeping, could no longer enjoy daily life. Towards the end of 2013, I made up my mind to turn the tables; to set myself free!


In October of 2011, during a safari trip in Tanzania, it all came together. Beside my professional career in business, I had been in search of a model for the Meaning of Life for 25 years. In hindsight, it dawned on me that upon marveling the wildebeest herd crossing the Mara-river, the missing pieces finally fell into place. The model only required a cycle; it had to comply with the Laws of Nature, the source of which lies in Africa. I decided to dedicate myself to this project only, instead of also keeping my day job. However, being a Libra, I tend to measure everything out thoroughly (elaborate on it first!) before reaching any major decision. This is why it took another two years before the ax fell.

Towards the end of 2013 - four months into being CEO Europe Carphone - I felt the time had come for me to take a stand. I told my wife and a few friends of my plans. At that moment, the Universe stepped in; the synchronism baffling me. Early 2014, Dixons merged with Carphone, an event which offered me the chance of a graceful exit. A friend of mine put me up to writing a book (I was already in the process of setting up a makbuntu social network). Within the hour, I had the outlines in place (Summer of 2014). Basically, just going with the flow of my personal "river". It felt great!

Looking back, everything makes complete sense. What started in the early 90's with a Taoist tapestry slowly but surely unfolded. Also, there was that specific moment in 2000 at Ashridge (a leadership training at which I was confronted with the question: "How do you want to be remembered after you die?") when I impulsively wrote "As a contemporary Western philosopher". The ultimate meaning of the wildebeest crossing I witnessed back in Africa. My mission: to help people live the best life possible. By telling the chronicle of makbuntu, a down-to-earth model for a good and fulfilling life. This is my creation, my contribution to the world. Everything I have accomplished so far - i.e. my corporate career – will motivate me to spread  makbuntu tirelessly. I am looking forward to the second half of my life and all it has to offer. At this point, I can say with confidence that I am prepared. Brimming with happiness and gratitude

Bert van Dam, summer 2015

The “How and Why” behind BAM!

Makbuntu is meant for people who want to lead the best life possible. Not just mediocre but top-grade.
The makbuntu-model is a basic navigator which indicates the path to the best life for you. It will be serve as an excellent tool to transform your life into a work of art. A masterpiece to look back at with pride and gratitude.