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

21 Icons: 21 Years of Freedom Collection at the University of the Free State
2015-09-02

   

In Prayer and Protest - Sophia Williams De Bruyn

The Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery, in partnership with 21 Icons, is hosting the 21 Years of Freedom Collection, an exhibition specially curated for the University of the Free State.
21 Icons celebrates a heroic past and inspires a hopeful future. The project was launched in 2013 as an initiative that uses film, photography and written narrative to celebrate the lives of extraordinary South Africans. It highlights people who have been catalysts in shaping society, on a local or global level and across a variety of contexts: in a social, political, environmental or artistic sense.

It is the brainchild of internationally renowned photographer and filmmaker Adrian Steirn, whose primary source of inspiration was the life of Nelson Mandela. In one way or another, all of the men and women featured in the project have extended his legacy, making a magnificent impact on South Africa and beyond.

  

Beautiful Sacrifice - Albie Sachs

21 Years of Freedom features 21 icons from the first and second seasons of the project. It includes the last official photographic portrait of Nelson Mandela and many of his friends and fellow struggle heroes. Behind each portrait lies a carefully planned concept that captures the essence of each icon, capturing their spirit and distinct legacy.

Among the other extraordinary South Africans featured in this collection, are struggle icons Ahmed Kathrada and Advocate George Bizos, Archbishop Desmond Tutu, human rights and environmental activist Kumi Naidoo, celebrated storyteller Gcina Mhlophe, Nobel laureate Nadine Gordimer, activist and musician Yvonne Chaka Chaka, gender activist Sophia Williams De Bruyn and artist William Kentridge.

    

The Full Report - Zubeida Jaffer

The 21 Icons was created as a movement for positive change. By sharing the stories of iconic South African men and women, the intention is to inspire new generations to follow in their footsteps.  With the country celebrating 21 years of democracy but still grabbling with injustices, the message that everyone can do something to make a difference, is portrayed in these powerful and inspiring stories.

Writer-in-residence and well-respected journalist, Zubeida Jaffer, who features among the collection of 21 striking photographs, opened the exhibition saying, “I feel like I’m surrounded by a circle of energy from which I have been fortunate to draw strength …It’s a choice that we make…whether to draw energy from those who are positive and forward looking or to surround ourselves with people who are fearful.  There is a lot to be fearful about in our country. We have lived through very fearful and difficult times.  But to cope with these times, those people and many others have kept their focus on hope.  They have kept their focus on what is possible…and what we would like South Africa to be in the future.”

For more information on 21 Icons: 21 Years of Freedom Collection contact the Johannes Stegmann Art Gallery at +27 (0)51 401 2706 or dejesusav@ufs.ac.za

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