About Xasa Facilitating


Xasa in Zulu means to help, support and sustain. There are arguments about the spelling xasa or xhasa. The older, more conservative people I have spoken to plump for xasa. But younger people and language graduates plump for xhasa as it is also used in isiXhosa.

But that’s not really relevant here.

I was introduced to the term while I was a student and while on a trip deep into the Impendle Location in 1970. I had to take an elderly waiter back home. On my way back I provided a Zulu trader with assistance after his truck (a Ford F 100 if I recall it correctly) came to a halt in the middle of a strongly running stream. Water had entered his ignition coil and I dried it all out and restarted the truck. Then I briefly explained to him how the truck’s ignition system worked and showed him how to test for a spark.

He was entranced -this had been a mystery to him. Then he used a phrase including the word “xasa” to thank me. I wasn’t sure what it meant and took it back to waiters and kitchen staff at the country hotel I was working for.

I was told that this word “xasa” represented a high level of appreciation for how I had helped him. So when I started my company in 1998 I tested it out with a number of Zulu-speaking government officials with whom I was working at the time. They all agreed that I was xasa-ering and gave the name their blessing.


In 1995 I was nominated to be a co-facilitator of the NQF Pilot project for Engineering and Manufacturing Process. It proved to be a seminal learning process for me. I had to shift myself into a highly contest environment and mediate between a variety of interests and somehow keep the process momentum going. I developed a range of techniques and tools, some general, some very specific to balance stakeholder demands.

I started to write a book about it in 1997 calling it the “ringmaster” in appreciation of how that person sulls together a performance. I never finished it but the thinking process help define in my own mind what facilitation really meant.

What we do now

We specialise in guiding and supporting development processes.

We have developed a lot of expertise in tapping into the wisdom of groups to bring out thoughts, ideas and impulses to achieve particular purposes.

We’ve done a lot of work with a variety of organisations and other groups. We have worked with individuals, organisations, industry bodies, NGOs, government and aid agencies.

A lot of our work has focused on the development of qualifications for the National Qualifications Framework, in particular professional, occupational and trade qualifications.

We are currently focusing on the implementation of such qualifications within organisations as well as the improvement of education and training practices and the development of teachers and facilitators.

Workplace learning – our real passion

We’ve spent the last 2 decades linking formal and workplace learning. This learning goes beyond the traditional qualifications and is critical to operating in the new business paradigm where constant change, complexity and disruptors are the order of the day.