Latest News Archive

Please select Category, Year, and then Month to display items
Years
2019 2020
Previous Archive
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 School of Music Camerata to perform in Russia
2013-07-31

 

31 July 2013

OSM CAMERATA "Die Spokewals" by Hendrik Hofmeyr under the baton of Jan Moritz Onken (YouTube)

After a successful audition, the Odeion School of Music Camerata (OSMC) received an invitation to participate in the 13th International Conservatory Festival which will take place in St Petersburg, Russia, from 1 to 9 November 2013. The festival is a yearly highlight on the concert calendar of the prestigious Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire.

The artistic panel of the festival, under the leadership of Prof Lydia Volchek, annually selects ten international conservatories to gather in St Petersburg for the festival. Some of the participants include the Tchaikovsky Conservatoire: Moscow, Conservatoire de Paris, Eastman School of Music NY and the Sibelius Academy in Helsinki Finland. According to the Rector of the Rimsky Korsakov Conservatoire, Prof Mikhail Gantvarg, it will be the first ever school of music hailing from Africa to participate in the festival.

The OSMC was requested to give two recitals of 40 minutes each during the festival. Maestro Jan Moritz Onken (Chief Conductor of the OSMC for 2013) will lead the ensemble to St Petersburg. OSMC members will have the opportunity to attend all concerts presented by fellow participants as well as masters’ classes presented by the masters of St Petersburg Conservatoire.

The festival is usually opened and closed with a grand concert presented by the St Petersburg Conservatoire Symphony Orchestra (70 plus members). Last year the opening concert was conducted by the celebrated master, Valery Gergiev (artistic director of the Mariinsky Opera and Symphony Orchestra), while the closing ceremony was conducted by Semyon Bychkov – reciting the Leningrad Symphony by Shostakovich. Both Gergiev and Bychkov are alumni of the St Petersburg Conservatoire.

All recitals at the festival will be presented in the Opera and Theatre Hall of the Conservatoire, as well as in the acclaimed Glazunov Concert Hall located within the colossal conservatory building.

The OSMC will recite a programme of mainly South African composers, with two new works commissioned by the OSM New Music Initiative. These were written by the prolific South African composer, Hendrik Hofmeyr: laureate of the Queen Elizabeth International Composition Competition, entitled Spokewals / Phantom Waltz and Notturno Elegiaco. Spokewals / Phantom Waltz is a challenging work where musicians simultaneously play, sing and speak.

A reworked edition for chamber orchestra of the original string quartet for piano and soprano, Liedere op Boesman-verse, by revered South African composer, Stefans Grové, will also be performed. To commemorate the centenary of composer Benjamin Britten this year, Cantus in Memoriam of Benjamin Britten by Arvo Pärt is also included in the programme.

After participating at the festival in St Petersburg, the ensemble will depart for a two-day visit to Moscow where the OSMC will perform an ’All South African’ programme.

We use cookies to make interactions with our websites and services easy and meaningful. To better understand how they are used, read more about the UFS cookie policy. By continuing to use this site you are giving us your consent to do this.

Accept