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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

Rugby, die Ga(y)me (Afr), 25-29 August 2009
2009-08-07

Rugby, die Ga(y)me (Afr)
25-29 August 2009
Scaena Rehearsal Room
19:30


“Rugby, die Ga(y)me”, is a brand new script out of the pen of award winning young writer, Ilne Fourie. It is the first time that Fourie puts her hand to a one-man show. The script tells the story of Jottie, a young boy who struggles with his own identity and with gaining recognition and support from his rugby infatuated father, who wants nothing more than his own little rugby hero on the sport grounds; the only problem is: Jottie doesn’t want to play rugby. The script delves deep into Jottie’s upbringing, exploring his first loves and his greatest losses.

“Rugby, die Ga(y)me” is directed by DeBeer Cloete, director of “MURE”, an avant-garde production earlier this year. Cloete has also been involved in two SPAT (Sanlam Prize for Afrikaans Theatre) winning productions (“Zollie” 2005 and “Lewensreg” 2007) and is awarded double University Colours in 2005 and 2006. The role of Jottie will be portrayed by Heinrich Keogh, a familiar face to Volksblad Arts Festival goers where he played the title role in “Boer Manie se Melk word Suur”. Other appearances by this young actor include roles in “Alladdin” (2008), “Romeo and Juliet” (2006) and “the Jubileum” (2008).

Tickets for this production are available through Computicket and shows will start at 19:30 every evening from the 25th to the 29th of August in the Scaena Rehearsal Room.

 

 

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