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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

The King’s Singers: British double Grammy winners hosted by OSM
2017-01-24

 Description: The Kings Singers Tags: The Kings Singers

The King’s Singers regularly tour in Europe, North and
South America, Asia and Australasia. The group will be
performing in Bloemfontein on 14 February 2017.
Photo: Andy Staples

The King’s Singers, the acclaimed British a cappella vocal ensemble, are coming to Bloemfontein, hosted by the Odeion School of Music at the University of the Free State, for an unmissable performance.

Concertgoers from Bloemfontein and surrounding areas have the opportunity to experience this extraordinary vocal ensemble at the Dutch Reformed Church Universitas at a concert sponsored by the Arts Trust.

Named after King’s College in Cambridge, the group was formed in 1965, and for the past 48 years, their work, synonymous with the very best in vocal ensemble performance, appeals to a vast international audience.

The ensemble has performed for hundreds of thousands of people each season, and regularly tours Europe, North and South America, Asia and Australasia. Instantly recognisable for their immaculate intonation, vocal blend, diction and incisive timing, the King’s Singers are consummate entertainers.

The group’s repertoire has evolved to become one of the most diverse and compelling imaginable. They have commissioned more than 200 works, including landmark pieces from leading contemporary composers including Luciano Berio, György Ligeti, Sir James MacMillan, Krzysztof Penderecki, Toru Takemitsu, Sir John Tavener, Gabriela Lena Frank and Eric Whitacre. They have also commissioned arrangements of everything from jazz standards to pop chart hits, explored medieval motets and Renaissance madrigals, and encouraged young composers to write new scores.

In addition to performing to capacity audiences and creating highly regarded and much-loved recordings, the King’s Singers share their artistry at numerous workshops and masterclasses around the world.  

Double Grammy award-winning artists, the group were honoured in 2009 for their Signum Classics release, Simple Gifts, and again in 2012 for their contribution to Eric Whitacre’s Light and Gold album. Recently voted into Gramophone Hall of Fame, rave reviews and repeated sell-out concerts confirm that the King’s Singers are one of the world’s finest vocal ensembles.

Watch videos of the The King’s Singers:
The King's Singers - Overture The Barber Of Seville
2016 Pioneer Day Concert with The King's Singers - Primary Medley
A Christmas Songbook by The King's Singers

Date: 14 February 2017
Time: 19:30
Place: Dutch Reformed Church Universitas, Bloemfontein
Cost: R295 per person | R268 per person for group bookings of 10+

Tickets for the concert are available at Computicket outlets (Checkers, Shoprite shops), at the door, or online.

For inquiries or more information, contact Ninette Pretorius at +27 51 401 2504.

 

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