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14 May 2019 | Story Thabo Kessah | Photo Tsepo Moeketsi
Prof Ashafa
Prof Ashafa’s research documents plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments.

The Phytomedicine and Phytopharmacology Research Programme (PPRP) in the Department of Plant Sciences on the Qwaqwa Campus researches the biological effects of medicinal plants used in the folkloric medicine of the Eastern Free State, particularly to explore the values and contribution of indigenous knowledge systems (IKS) towards broader scientific research. This is according to the programme’s principal investigator and researcher, NRF C2-rated researcher, Professor Anofi Ashafa. 

 “Our research is mainly aimed at documenting plants used by the Basotho in the management of different ailments and to further discover, isolate, and purify active phytoconstituents that are responsible for disease curation or amelioration, thereby assisting in the global promotion of accessible and affordable medication in developing countries,” said Prof Ashafa. 

Since 2012, the PPRP has worked extensively on Basotho medicinal plants (BMP) used as antimicrobials, antioxidants, antidiabetics, antitubercular, anticancer, anthelmintic, and antidiarrheal agents, starting from biological activities up to the  evaluation of the toxicity of these plants for the kidney, liver, and heart functions in order to establish safe dosage parameters. These activities have led to the discovery of four potent antidiabetic biomolecules that are awaiting the processes of patency and commercialisation. Additional outputs include 104 published peer-reviewed articles , 7 postdoctoral fellows, 6 PhDs, 9 master’s, and 16 honours graduates. 

“Our research informs teaching and the development of expertise in ethnobotany, 
phytomedicine, and phytopharmacology in order to contribute to the National Development Plan (NDP) through human capacity development, skills, and knowledge transfer.

The group is also investigating some medicinal plants on the endangered red list of the South African National Biodiversity Institute (SANBI), through micropropagation and field trials as well as proposing conservation strategies to preserve these valuable species.

The PPRP consists of postdoctoral fellows, PhD, master’s, and honours students and research is done in collaboration with several local and international universities as well as the Agricultural Research Council of South Africa. 


News Archive

Armentum and Emily take honours in first combined SingOff attempt
2017-08-24

Description: SingOff Tags: McDonald's SingOff, Emily Hobhouse, Armentum, Villa Bravado, Harmony, Soetdoring, Vishuis 

Emily and Armentum were crowned as best combined group,
and were also the overall winners of the 2017 McDonald's
SingOff finals.  Photo: Johan Roux


A few months before the McDonald's SingOff finals, they almost didn’t have a group. But on 19 August 2017, Emily Hobhouse and Armentum were the big winners in the Kovsie Church.
In the second annual SingOff – with many new additions – combined serenade groups could take part for the first time. Emily and Armentum were crowned best combined group, and were the overall winners. Armentum followed up their 2016 performance when they won their first ever serenade competition as best male residence.
According to Tato Mpeteng, RC Arts and Culture of Armentum, the praise must go to Zoë Adonis. “She is a Music student and the RC Arts and Culture of Emily. She was our coach. She didn’t ask for any fee, and we put her under a lot of stress. She sacrificed a lot,” he says.

“We almost didn’t have a SingOff group two months ago, because we didn’t have participants.”
Villa Bravado was the best male residence and finished second overall, while Kagiso was second in the combined group category. Harmony took the honours as best female group, with Soetdoring the runners-up. Vishuis was the second-best male residence. 

Click here for a highlights video of the 2017 McDonald’s Bloemfontein SingOff Competition.
Click here to watch all the performances from this year’s SingOff Competition finals. 

SingOff 2017 results: 

Best social media campaign: Arista and Khayalami 
Best McDonald’s promo: Kagiso 
Best costume design: Harmony 
Best male soloist: Katlego (Villa Bravado) 
Best female soloist: Luthando (Emily Hobhouse) 
Most entertaining show: Villa Bravado 

Male 
Best prescribed song: Villa Bravado 
Best own composition: Vishuis 
Second place: Vishuis 
First place: Villa Bravado 

Female
Best prescribed song: Harmony 
Best own composition: Harmony 
Second place: Soetdoring 
First place: Harmony 

Combined groups
Best prescribed song: Emily and Armentum 
Best own composition: Emily and Armentum 
Second place: Kagiso 
First place: Emily and Armentum 

Overall 
Second place: Villa Bravado 
First place: Emily and Armentum

 

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