Maarten would have not become a great geoscientist if it was not first because of South Africa’s geology. He came to study the Makhonjwa Mountains in Barberton, which preserves some of the oldest and most complex rocks on Earth. He became passionate by learning from their ancient stories such as in particular how life first started and evolved, and how can we test cutting-edge science experiments to try and get more information. This was a lifetime job that expanded to global tectonics, ecological geodynamics, geopolitics and interactions from all around the world but specially focus on the mother continent of Africa. It was in the center of his Gondwana supercontinent reconstruction, which for the first time reunited the geology of Africa with that of South America, Antarctica, India and Australia. Maarten’s enthusiasm about encouraging thinking outside the box touched many lives over the years, leading him to become an excellent professor. Many students gained from his mentorship and will pass it on in many ways.