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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

Blood. Sweat. Tears. And six Kovsie artists at the cutting edge.
2014-04-02


Artwork: Hinder, Photograph by Chantal de Jager



Artwork: Immolations for our Carrion King by Antoinette Pretorius
Blood, sweat and tears – the theme of this year’s Absa L’Atelier Art Competition. Boldly taking up the challenge, six Kovsie artists gritted their way to a place in the national round.

Eight finalists were recently announced at the regional exhibition hosted by the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery on the Bloemfontein Campus. These artists will now proceed to exhibit their cutting-edge work at the Absa Gallery in Johannesburg in July. There they will compete nationally for the most prestigious art award in South Africa.


Winners


The names of our Kovsie regional winners are: 
  • Monet Bosma, fourth-year Fine Arts student;
  • Chantal de Jager, Kovsie alumnus, master’s degree in Architecture;
  • Johandi du Plessis, fourth-year Fine Arts student;
  • Louis Kruger, Kovsie alumnus, master’s degree in Fine Arts;
  • Adelheid von Maltitz, junior lecturer at UFS Department of Fine Arts and
  • Antoinette Pretorius, previous Kovsie student.
The two remaining spots were taken up by Helena de Waal (Underlying unity, Ceramics and mixed media) and Eljana van der Merwe (Diary of a white elephant, Oil on canvas).

 
Artwork: Sorting teas by Monet Bosma


Prizes


Artwork: Compulsive mourning by Adelheid von Maltitz
The highly-desired overall first prize comprises a six-months sabbatical at the Cité Internationale des Arts in Paris, France, including R150 000 during the stay.

The second prize is given to the most promising artist, which includes a three-month sabbatical at the Cité, French language classes and nationwide touring exhibitions.


Two additional merit prizes are awarded. The first carries a two-month residency on Sylt, the northernmost of Germany's islands, and the other a month-long Ampersand fellowship in New York.

The Absa L’Atelier Art Competition is presented annually by Absa in conjunction with South African National Association for the Visual Arts (SANAVA).

 

 

 

 

 

 

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