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

Department of Education prescribes student’s novel to schools
2015-11-03


Ntshala Mahasa: The young storyteller

Three years ago Ntshala Mahase was an ordinary high school learner studying texts prescribed by the Department of Education. Now, other learners will be reading his brainchild, Life out of the Ordinary.

The third-year LLB student at the University of the Free State (UFS) officially launched his debut novel in July 2015 at the Bloemfontein Campus. Three months later, the work of fiction has reached a milestone of note. The novel has been selected as one of 12 books from young and emerging writers to form part of the Library and Information Association of South Africa’s (LIASA) Young Writers Programme.

LIASA is the regulatory body for South African public, school, and university libraries. Ntshala’s literary contribution is to be distributed to different school libraries, as per decision of the Western Cape and Gauteng Departments of Education.

About the book

The book narrates the transformational journey of a privileged suburban school boy who one day coincidently exposes himself to the harsh realities of an impoverished South African community. Tom then decides to make a difference and assist those who are less privileged. His experience out of his ordinary and secured Hyde Park life shakes him to such an extent that he falls into emotional anxiety and depression.

One in a thousand

Out of more than 200 entries, Life out of the Ordinary emerged as the only entry from outside the borders of the two provinces to make a set of 1 000 books recommended by LIASA to be prescribed by public schools as of 2016.

Ntshala was taken aback by the enthusiastic reception which his story attracted. “I am greatly humbled.This means it will rub shoulders with books by great South African authors like Niq Mhlongo, Zukiswa Wanner, Thando Mgqolozana, Zakes Mda and the likes,” he said. He is currently authoring his second novel.

 

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