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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

Odeion: The Fortepiano in the late 18 th century - A lecture recital by John Reid Coulter, Monday, 27 October 2008
2008-10-01

The Fortepiano in the late 18 th century - A lecture recital by John Reid Coulter
Monday, 27 October 2008
Odeion
19:30


with
Deirdré Blignaut ~ soprano
Carmi Nel ~ violin
Piet van Rooyen ~ violoncello
Nicol Viljoen ~ fortepiano

including songs & solos by
W.A. Mozart, F.J. Haydn, C.P.E. Bach
& four Scottish & Irish folk song arrangements
by L. van Beethoven

John Reid Coulter is one South Africa’s leading exponents of historical performance practice. He completed his studies in harpsichord with Jacques Ogg at the Royal Conservatory in The Hague. He has taught at the universities of Potchefstroom, Witwatersrand and Pretoria. John has an avid interest in the building of early keyboard instruments and has built a number of harpsichords and a fortepiano. He has performed as soloist and continuo player in The Netherlands, Norway and Germany. His baroque ensemble ‘Banda di Giovanni’ has premiered a number of works in South Africa, the most recent being the cantata ‘Apollo e Dafne’ by G.F. Handel in 2004 and the Serenata à tre ‘Mio cor, povero cor’ by Antonio Vivaldi in May 2007. John is also well known as an adjudicator at music festivals and as a composer has won numerous awards.

Deirdré Blignaut obtained a BA (Languages) degree from the University of the North West in 1988. She graduated cum laude and was awarded Best Student, Faculty of Arts. She began her career as translator at Transnet and later joined the Department of Arts and Culture as terminologist. In 1995 music become her full-time career and field of study. She studied singing with Prof Werner Nel until 2000 and repertoire with the late Anna Bender currently she studies with Eugenie Chopin. In 2002 she obtained a Performer’s Licentiate cum laude and was invited to participate in the Unisa International Bursary Competition. Deirdre is currently she is working towards a MMus (Performing Arts) through the University of Pretoria. She teaches voice at Pro Arte Alphen Park, lectures Methodology of Singing at the University of Pretoria and was recently appointed voice lecturer at the School of Music, North West University.

The fortepiano used in the concert was built by John Reid Coulter in 1986 and is a copy of a Stein fortepiano ca. 1780.

Admission: Free

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