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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

‘Celebrating the music of our times’
2013-07-15



Esemble Trans.Z
15 July 2013

Programme (pdf)

The Odeion School of Music (OSM) is hosting New Music Week from 17 to 20 July 2013, celebrating the music of our times. Ensembles such as the OSM Camerata, the Odeion String Quartet, Esemble Trans.Z and the New Music Ensemble from NWU are scheduled to perform. They will perform during two gala concerts on 19 and 20 July 2013.

Workshops and lectures will also be presented during the week. One of these, Sound in Motion, will be presented by Esemble Trans.Z. This music improvisation workshop is presented in the form of a soundtrack for a silent film. The objective is an attempt to educate students about the technical and musical concepts related to New Music by means of free composition and mapped improvisation. Each member of Ensemble Trans.Z will be assigned to a group ofstudents according to their instrument of choice. Given a certain amount of time to learn and practice the techniques taught, students will have the opportunity to create a soundtrack for a short silent film.

See attached programme for details about workshops and lectures to be presented.

The following admission fee will be charged for the gala concerts:

R110 – Adults

R70 – Pensioners, students and learners.

Tickets are available at Computicket or at the door.

Enquries: Ninette Pretorius at PretoriusN@ufs.ac.za

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