Saturday, October 23, 2021
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Xena L

American Idol Reveals

I recently watched a re-run of the finale of a season of American Idol. As the winner sang his victory song he stopped half way, fighting back emotion and holding back the tears during an overwhelming moment in his life.

Just before the end of his celebratory song, overcome by emotion and unable to continue singing he stepped away from the mic, took off his guitar and made his way down the stairs to his family.

They encircled him and gave his the biggest and longest hug of his life, pouring praise and love all over him. This was his family, his support circle, his people.

It is not unusual for me to burst into tears at moments like these. You can imagine that I was overwhelmed with emotion as I watched the scene being played out in front of me, even though I had seen it before. But then a thought dropped into my brain, a small voice in my head said ‘everyone has been given a team of people’

Wow! We all have people who have been given to us to be OUR people.


Now, these teams of people obviously don’t hold a standard shape or form. Some are family and have the same genetic coding, some share a clan name, but some are just tried and tested friends.

They are generally an unlikely group of people who love each other unconditionally, who stick with each other through hard times. They motivate and cheer each other on, who rally in times where courage is needed and who praise with reckless abandon at the smallest success’. These people are a people who we call our own, our team, our people.


If just one person believes in you. Deep enough, and strong enough, believes in you. 

Hard enough, and long enough before you knew it,
someone else would think, if he can do it, I can do it.

Making it…Two! Two whole people who believe in you.

And if two whole people believe in you. 
Deep enough, and strong enough believe in you. Hard enough, and long
enough there’s bound to be some other person who believes in making it a threesome.
Making it… Three… 
People you can say, believe in me.

And if three whole people, why not… Four.

And if four whole people, why not more, and more, and more.

And when all those people believe in you, 
deep enough and strong enough believe in you,
hard enough and long enough it stands to reason you,
yourself will start to see what everybody sees in you.
And maybe even you, can believe in you, too.


I love this song from Snoopy: the Musical, it holds such truth and speaks right into every person’s heart. Everyone needs unconditional love and unconditional support.

The truth of it all is that everyone needs a team.

You may not have a team, you may not have a bunch of people who are your people but the truth is, you can have one.

Just ask us, just ask God

All Access Africa Introduces Inspector Tech

Lady Lee and Xena decided it was high time we introduced you to some of the important people who make up All Access Africa so we are bringing you a series of videos we would like to call The Hot Seat.

Today we introduce you to Steven Lee, our resident techie, who is featured in Inspector Tech on All Access Africa.

Steven Lee - Online Specialist - Inspector Tech

(You can learn more about Steven Lee at his website on web performance, SEO and security)

It is always important to follow your dreams, to pursue the goals you have set for your life and to be unafraid of pushing for those dreams and aspirations.

‘For God has not given us a spirit of fear and timidity, but of power, love, and self-discipline.’ 2 Timothy 1:7

The All Access Africa Crew would like to encourage you to push until something happens, to pursue your purpose and to live life with passion.

If you need some encouragement to chase your dreams you can contact us below or find us on

Stop Learning Start Thinking

The lack of quality education is one of the biggest challenges that the African continent faces. The statistics released by various organizations on the state of education in African countries paints a pretty bleak picture of our education system and subsequently the future of our nations.

With each passing year and with every delay in bettering the system, a generation loses out on getting a good start to their future.

Do you feel like you are losing out on education or losing a grip on your future? Perhaps you are hindered by schools closing, by domestic issues, civil wars or disruptions. Perhaps you feel like you are deprived of an education by your own physical disability? Don’t think that it is over…it’s not.

Listen to this talk by Jacob Barnett, speaking at TEDx Teen


To summarize the piece:

In 1665 Cambridge University had closed due to the plague so Sir Isaac Newton couldn’t be taught, couldn’t go to university and didn’t have a way to learn.

He had to take his education into his own hands.  Though he had to stop learning, he didn’t have to stop thinking.

In the years the university was closed he continued to ponder over problems that needed to be solved.  During this period while he was not learning he discovered and ‘created’ science. He developed the theory of physics, calculus, Newton’s 3 laws, the universal law of gravitation, the reflecting telescope and tons of other great scientific innovations. All this in the 2 years that he stopped learning.

Jacob challenges us to think of things based on our own unique perspective and do them in our own unique way. We just have to start learning, thinking and discovering on our own.

It is so easy for us to wallow in self pity and observe how bad or useless our future is due to the bad educational environment.

My challenge for us is this:

If no one has a curriculum for you, if no one has a syllabus for you and if no one can teach you, it doesn’t mean that you need to stop learning. Creativity and discoveries come from pushing forward and seeking new ways of learning.

Now, Jacob Barnett is in fact a genius, but he was born with Asperger’s disease.  He was written off by many people who believed that he would never be anything more than a child locked up in his own world. A loner who would never be able to communicate, read or even tie his own shoe laces. Now, at just 14, he is considered one of the best brains in science with an IQ higher than that of Albert Einstein!

Even so, he is determined that this transition between learning and thinking to creating is not exclusively for people who already have a mighty IQ but for anyone who is determined to acquire knowledge, to discover and to develop themselves.


Should we as Africans be sacrificing generations as we wait for a better education system or should we, as individuals, push forward to look at things from our own unique perspective? How can this inspiration change our continents way of approaching learning, thinking and discovery?

Let us know your opinion by commenting below…

You can read more about Jacob Barnett here:

AAA Kitchen Recipes: Easy Zimbabwean Vegetables


Easy Zimbabwean Vegetables

Featured Cook: Nobsie from Bulawayo


1 large tomato -finely chopped

1 large onion – finely chopped

1 bunch of Spinach -finely chopped

Enough oil to just cover the base of your pan

Salt & pepper to season.


Heat oil

Add onions to oil – fry until just transparent

Add tomatoes – fry until they are dead

Add Spinach – turn these vegetables regularly until cooked – (this should be 3-8min on medium heat.)

Add salt and pepper to taste


If the Youth are the Future Who are the Trendsetters?

How many of us are bored of the phrase: “the youth are the future”. It is often clichéd and overused and sometimes too vague. What is meant by “the future” and who are these “youth” that are responsible for it? There is no allocation of time or indication of age or maturity! It pretty much sounds like an easy out; an excuse so that anyone who gets pasts 35, or anyone who wants out can “pass the buck”, “escape from the race” or “get out of your responsibly quick”.

Why is it that some people bow-out after a certain age and declare that they no longer have a place in society? Who says that they are no longer able to influence or make a difference?

Whenever I speak to people who are older than 35ish, they keep talking about “the youth” and how the future of the country and continent depend on the youth.

The truth is the youth are still trying to figure out what they are going to do with their lives; they are pretty consumed with finding their own way in the world. It is not that they are selfish or self-absorbed, it is simply that they are youth; they are finding their feet. They need mentors and guidance and an older generation that can show them the way to go and can give them the inspiration to plough ahead with a good cause.

To give a personal testimony: my own personal inspiration, my personal vision and drive for a better future comes from my country’s political heroes: Steven Biko, Chris Hani, Neil Aggett, Nelson Mandela, Oliver Tambo, Walter Sisulu, as well as my dad, who was an activist against the Apartheid Regime in South Africa. These are my heroes, but more than that, these are the people that built the inspiration for my life. They are the ones who showed me the way to go, the way I should live my life, the values that I should have, and the cause that I champion all my life.

Any dream that we have for our community, nation and city has to start with us and then the vision has to be caught by others.

Our elders, leaders and activists are not our saviours, they are just the starting point, the spring board.

We are not the only one to make it happen. Although I might have the vision, or it might start in my small ground-breaking group, if it isn’t planted and rooted in others it will die with you. Revolutions only happen when everyone stands behind the one that has the idea.


The truth is we are the beneficiaries of what our parents and forefathers saw.

The truth is every generation is the trendsetter for the generations that follow.

The truth is the youth are the future but they need someone to set the trend and spark the vision.

What trend are you setting?


AAA Kitchen Recipes: Kefta (Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

Cooking Kefta (Middle Eastern spiced meatballs)

With Our Featured cook: Leon 

Makes 4 to 6 servings or about 20 meatballs


  • Ground lamb or beef, or a mixture of the two — 2 pounds/around 900 grams
  • Onion, minced — 1
  • Fresh parsley or mint, finely chopped — 1/2 bunch
  • Ground cumin — 1 tablespoon
  • Cinnamon — 2 teaspoons
  • Allspice (optional) — 1 teaspoon
  • Salt and pepper — to season
  • Oil — 1/4 cup



  1. Place the ground beef or lamb, onion, herbs, spices, salt and pepper in a large bowl and knead together well. Wrap in plastic and chill for 1-2 hours to allow the flavours to mingle and make the meat easier to handle.
  2. Form the meat mixture into balls, patties or ovals the size of a small egg.
  3. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium flame and, working in batches, sauté the meatballs until browned on all sides and cooked through. Browned meatballs can also be finished in a 350ºF oven.
  4. Serve as is or in pita bread as a sandwich with tzatziki sauce.

Here is some interesting trivia about this dish: Spiced meatballs are common in one form or another from Morocco in the west through the Middle East (kefta or kufta), to Greece (keftedes), Turkey (köfte), Armenia (kyufta), Iran (kufteh, or koofteh) and all the way to India (kofta) in the east. All names for these little balls of wonder derive from the Persian verbkuftan, which means “to grind.”

Want An Exclusive Peek Into The All Access Kitchen?

Want an exclusive peek into the All Access Kitchen?
Check out this video to see the dishes made on the show, the guests cooking them and the craziness Xena and Lady Lee get up to with their guests!
Let’s explore Africa through her culinary delights!
If you would like to have your recipe showcased in the All Access Kitchen simply submit them to or submit them below in the comment section!
We would love to feature them on the show!!

Sometimes Democracy Doesn’t Work

We often have discussions in our office about the best way to do things. We get into massive discussions about how we should work and what protocol we should follow. The problem with these discussions is that EVERYONE has an opinion!
I am sure this happens in your work environment as well. Everyone has an opinion, no one is totally happy with the conclusion and inevitably there is tension and irritation.  Whether it’s concerning relationships, family decisions, group work at school, the way things are run at your place of worship, or even the fundamentals of our faith, there will be deep discussion as to what is the best way of doing things, and these deep discussions have been going on for centuries.
In fact, I wouldn’t blame someone for looking at us in these situations and saying: “You can never make up your mind! You always have so many different opinions. There is always a compromise that won’t suit everybody”.
To these outside observers your family may look like it is unstable, your faith may look weak and shaky or your work environment may look like it is utter chaos.
But is it really utter chaos?
Perhaps not, perhaps it is democracy at work. Isn’t true democracy in action when everyone is able to share their thoughts and understanding, where everyone gets to make up their own mind?
Yes, but then democracy says we follow the majority.
What if the majority is wrong?

Honestly, I think when it comes to the law of the land or the rules of the office the answer is yes, you have to do what the law of the land says and you have to follow the office protocol.  Democracy in those places is good and right and correct. Even if the majority are wrong in your opinion, it is still the authority and therefore we need to respect it.
But when it comes to your own work style, your own mind and faith decisions, sometimes democracy doesn’t work. Sometimes it is up to us to decide what we believe, how we are going to run our lives, how we are going to act and think.
I love the wisdom, and consequently the freedom that Jesus gives us when He says ‘Everything is permissible but not everything is beneficial’.
Isn’t it our prerogative as a responsible citizen/organization/country to allow each person to work out what is best for them and then release them to follow it whole heartedly?  Allow them to discuss the right and wrong, have the negotiations and then let each person decide what they are going to adopt as their own value?
In these vital and lifelong decisions perhaps it is best to make the decision personal and not go with the majority, but choose the way that calls to your heart and is beneficial to your life.

Words of Wisdom

Words of Wisdom

We are talking about old people today, their wisdom and advice. We are wondering if there are any proverbs, sayings or motto’s that they used while they were growing up that would help us as we are growing up?

Let us know your favorite sayings or proverbs and lets build up a library of good advice!

Advertising, Media and the Manipulation of the Nations

Advertising, media and the manipulation of the nations

We live in a media driven generation, even more so than in the previous decades where everything we learnt came from the television.  Now everything we learn comes from the friends we have on social media, the nonsense or brilliance uploaded onto Vimeo and YouTube channels.

Media is now not really an industry for a few elite members, it is not just for radio jocks, television personalities or film makers.  Media industry professionals can now no longer claim to have the ultimate influence over the nations.  We are all affected by media, all involved with advertising and everyone has the potential to greatly influence the world.

So when it comes to the world of media, advertising and social media, what is it that we are learning? What are we really discovering?

Most of the time I think we are learning how to make a great sales pitch, how to convert others to our way of thinking or how outrageous one needs to be to claim our 15 minutes of fame. We don’t learn from a select few who feed us well researched truth, we don’t get exposed to all the facts, we simply influence each other by our own assumptions.

There is nothing wrong with storytelling, there is nothing wrong with using rhyme and rhythm to make a strong statement.  There is nothing wrong with putting together an amazing piece of media but why do we do it and what is the long term effect?

What is it really doing and is it changing people for the good? Do you really care about the person that you are influencing? Do you really care about your own integrity?

Perhaps your piece of media, film, tweet, blog post or status update is doing exactly what you intended it to do, perhaps it is convincing people to choose your product above another or perhaps it is converting people to your way of thinking! If that is so then your question to me may be ‘why should I change if it is accomplishing what I want it to? Why should I worry about how it is affecting the viewer or listener if I am getting what I want out of it?’

Well, let’s say you do ‘convert’ someone to think whatever you want them to think and do it with incomplete information, sensationalism, half-truth, exaggeration or from an ignorant stand point.  At the end of the day, when the truth is discovered there will be egg on your face and the face of the product that you are trying to sell or the view point you are trying to convert people to.

The truth will always come out and at the end of it we will all have to be responsible for the influence, be it good or bad, that we leave in the wake of our own agenda.

What are we really saying and what are we building with the voice that we have, how are we building the nations and influencing the next generation?


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