Tazara – Latest

This from Southern Times

China will will assist with rehabilitation of the Tanzania-Zambia Railway (TAZARA). In recent years, Beijing has on several occasions extended financial and technical assistance to TAZARA, which was built with Chinese money in 1976 but has been facing operational challenges and is operating far below capacity.

It is believed upgrading the line will encompass ensuring a ready route from landlocked Africa to the Indian Ocean – with possible links to lines going to the Atlantic Ocean – and that this will also greatly benefit China, which has huge economic interests on the continent. China’s Minister of Commerce, Chen De Ming recently said the assistance was another sign of that country’s commitment to Africa.

In a statement, Chen said the project would eventually link Eastern and Western Africa and help speed up industrialization.
The statement was released after a meeting with Zambia’s First President, Dr Kenneth Kaunda, in Beijing. Dr Kaunda was in China as President Michael Sata’s special envoy. Minister Chen said the port at Dar es Salaam, Tanzania would need to be overhauled to cater for increased cargo.

Experts have already conducted a feasibility study, which will be submitted to China’s President Hu Jintao. Dr Kaunda assured Beijing of Zambia’s goodwill and that despite widespread media claims to the contrary, China’s investments in the country were safe.The 1,870km TAZARA line links Zambia’s Kapiri Mposhi to Mbeya in Tanzania.

The authority running the line is exposed to the tune of US$700 million. Earlier last year, China provided a US$39m interest-free loan to TAZARA.


Pick N Pay Zambia

There have been consistent rumours of these people opening in Livingstone but as yet there are no definite signs. We have Spar (currently moving from Falls Park to the city centre) and two Shoprites but there are still plenty of basic items that it is difficult, if not impossible, to find. I doubt if there is enough business for a third chain store – unless of course they could compete on price and variety and put Shoprite or Spar out of business in the city. Business Live reports:

Retailer Pick n Pay has announced the opening of its third Zambian store in Lusaka, further signalling the group’s confidence in the Zambian economy. Pick n Pay opened its first store in Lusaka in July 2010 and its second in Ndola in March 2011. “The third store, which will be situated in the Levy regional shopping centre, is one of five planned for the country over the next four years,” the company said in a statement on Thursday.

According to Pick n Pay head of group enterprises Dallas Langman, the southern African region represented an increasingly attractive market. “As disposable income continues to grow, the region’s retail potential remains largely untapped and there is considerable opportunity for foreign investors who are willing to enter intro constructive partnerships with local communities, suppliers and government agencies,” Langman said.

“The incredible success of our first two stores and the enthusiasm with which it has been welcomed by our customers, has exceeded our expectations and has fully vindicated our decision to expand our presence in Zambia rapidly in coming months,” he added. A fourth store will open in Makeni on 1 December. “The combined investment of both the Levy and Makeni stores is in excess of R40 million, signalling our confidence in the Zambian economy,” Langman added.

Situated in Zambia’s second largest shopping centre, the 4,000 square metre Levy store will sell in excess of 20,000 lines ranging from fresh produce, clothing, home-ware and liquor. The store has created employment opportunities for a further 150 Zambians. “Investment in African talent, the growth of our employees and skills development is a crucial part of our expansion strategy and it has been gratifying to be a part of job creation and socio-economic development in Zambia,” Langman said. He added that at least 65% of stock was locally sourced while 70% of fresh produce was provided by Zambian suppliers.

“Pick n Pay has a total of 230 local suppliers in Zambia which include agencies which supply imported products to the company’s stores. “The company has a total of 10,100 grocery lines listed in its Zambian stores, of which 6,700 products are derived from local suppliers.” The range includes canned vegetable products, coffee, legumes and an organic range of sauces as well as processed meats.

“It has been very satisfying to be able to source much of our produce from local suppliers, particularly small scale farmers who have proved themselves more than capable of providing foodstuffs at a price and of a quality demanded by Pick n Pay’s customers.”


Charles Chulu – Ag Station Manager Zambezi fm

We were delighted to welcome the seemingly serious, studious Charles Chulu (pictured above) as the latest guest on the Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – that’s our regular Sunday night radio show airing live on Zambezi 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s leading local radio station at 20.30 hrs Zambian time and now streaming live on the internet too! 18.30 hrs GMT.

Charles had just been promoted from Programmes and Production Manager to Acting Station Manager and we were happy to be able to announce his appointment live on air. Mr Chulu is a 2009/10 graduate of the University of Zambia where he read Mass Communications and Development Studies. Whilst at University he gained experience working at the University radio station and served an internship with PANOS. He had been educated at St Clement’s High School in Luapula Province before attending University.

Charles told listeners that his long term challenge at Zambezi fm was to increase the listenership. In the short term the immediate goal was to host a car wash in Livingstone on the following Saturday to celebrate the 5th anniversary of Zambezi fm commencing broadcasting in 2006. Management, presenters and disc jockeys from the station would wash cars to raise funds for the Ebeneezer Orphanage in Livingstone. Charles thanked Chanters Lodge and others for the donations they had already received in this respect. Richard looked forward to Milli Jam washing his car at the weekend.

The music on the show was great! We opened with ‘In Your Bed’ by Mohombi. “Who’s in your bed?” I teased the Chanters Girls over the air. We followed Mohombi with the late, great Amy Winehouse and her classic ‘Back To Black’ speculating that the track might make the number one spot on the singles charts in UK that very evening. As it happened it didn’t. George’s local selection was O.C. ft Wendy Harawa with ‘Super XZ’ and Afunika’s ‘Ba DJ’. Good stuff! Milimo chose Natalie Imbruglia’s ‘Torn’ and Mya ft Sean Paul with the soulful ‘Rear View Mirror’.

Our ‘Oldie Of The Week’ was Celine Dion’s ‘Think Twice’ and we gave away a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge to the first person to text us the name of the artist on the track. The listeners struggled but the prize was won! We gave the usual information about Lodgeblog and Twitter where we are @Livilodge, as well as the UK and USA pop charts update. ‘Private Dancer’ by Chris Brown closed the show.

Milli Jam wanted to know if Charles was married. He replied that he was not. “So you’re available then?” Milimo continued as the Chanters Girls at the lodge perked up their ears. “No I am not” replied Charles “I am very much spoken for!” I could sense the disappointment at the lodge through the air waves! “What football team do you support?” Milli Jam asked. “Locally I support Mufulira Wanderers and in UK I’m a Man Utd fan” Charles replied. “Play some music” I instructed as we laughed and did just that! (It’s an Arsenal show of course!) cutting off our station manager before he could wax lyrical about Rooney et al.

“Where would you like to be and what would you like to be doing 10 years from now?” Milimo asked Charles at the end of the show. “I have a passion for mass communications” replied Charles thoughtfully “so I would like to be broadcasting internationally from my own radio station, but in the meantime I want to work hard for Mr Swithin Haangala to make Zambezi fm the best radio station in the land”! “Super!” We said.


Brian Chikontwe – ‘X-Boy’ on 107.7 fm

It was time to have a Zambian guest on The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George ‘Kaufela’ Soulchild. For the uninitiated that’s our regular Sunday night radio show, airing at 20.30 hrs every Sunday night on Zambezi FM, Livingstone’s leading local radio station, transmitting on 107.7 fm and streaming live on the internet. Why? Well for many weeks our guests had been international visitors! Brian Chikontwe aka ‘X-Boy’ made a different, lively and interesting choice.

“Why X-Boy”? Was the first question Milli Jam asked our guest and he explained that this was his stage name. He had created the name himself – ‘x’ marks the spot! Milli Jam wanted to know how long Brian had been a musician to which the answer was “I was born with music in my soul but about 7 years”! Brian hails from the Copperbelt and is married to Theresa. His father is a retired miner and now full time preacher. Brian told listeners that he has recorded about 12 tracks and hopes to produce his first album soon. He took time to explain to listeners how much of a problem piracy is in the Zambian music industry and confirmed that he would like to make his living from music. “How will you make ends meet in the meantime?” I asked. “I’ll hassle”! Was the quick reply!

We featured one of X-Boy’s tracks on the show which he recorded featuring Tamba Money. The track is entitled ‘Ayuba’ – ‘feeling good let’s party’. Just so happens this is the name of Livingstone’s leading night club managed by our very own Milli Jam. It’s a good track and we wished X-Boy well with it. George’s other choice of local track was Naked Face featuring Kaufela himself with ‘Pakusa Nga’ – ‘I was blessed to find you.’ Pretty much in-house our local selection this week!

Our oldie of the week was Michael Jackson’s ‘Smooth Criminal’ and we gave our weekly prize of a dinner for 2 at Chanters Lodge to the first person to text us telling us who was singing. There was a great response. We also played the UK No 1 – ‘Glad You Came’ by Wanted as well as R2Bees latest ‘Ayeeeei’. Kelly Rowland’s ‘All Of The Night’ and Usher and Ciara’s ‘Hot Tottie’ went down well.

Brian told listeners he supported Mufulira Wanderers locally and Chelsea internationally. He hoped that in ten years time he would have found recognition internationally as a musician and that he would have his own recording studio. We wished him luck.


Dutch Invasion!

Meet Chris Hendriks (front), his daughter Chikonda and Chikonda’s husband Tijerick Dood who made up the ‘Dutch invasion’ on the latest edition of our regular Sunday night radio programme – The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild – airing between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, Livingstone’s favourite local radio station, every Sunday evening. Chris, Chikonda and Tijerick, Guests staying at Chanters Lodge, kindly agreed to appear on our show, though Chikonda claimed to be ‘shy’. ‘You don’t seem shy’! Milli Jam commented early on in the affair. Giggles!

Chris answered most of the questions on the show and explained that he and his family had come to Zambia to visit a project in Chinsali, Northern Zambia, in which they were involved, setting up a Trades Training School in conjunction with a friend married to a Zambian. The school would initially teach brick laying and plastering to 20 students. Chris said it was hoped to extend the courses later to cover tailoring, agriculture and computers. “Of course” continued Chris “we couldn’t come to Zambia without seeing the mighty Victoria Falls, though my daughter and I have seen it before – Tijerick hadn’t but he has now”! “Why have your children got Zambian names”? Milli Jam wanted to know. Chris explained that Chikonda and her brother Chintu had both been born in Zambia at the time he was teaching at Chadiza Secondary School in Eastern Province, then later at University of Zambia. When they turned 18 the children had been given the option of dropping their Zambian names but had refused to do so! “Good on them”! We said.

The music on the show was great. We opened with ‘Give Me Everything’, by Pitbull ft Ne-Yo, Afrojack and Nayer, (the current UK number one), back to back with Lady Gaga’s ‘Marry the Night’ from her smash hit album ‘Born This Way’. George chose his own track Kaufela’s ‘Pass Me By’ and told listeners he hoped his CD would soon be released. Milli Jam chose ‘Plantain Boy’ by Timaya (plantain – ‘big bananas’ I explained, when asked by the guys) and ‘Play Back’ by Collie Buddz. Diana Vickers with ‘Four Leaf Clover’ and Mohombi’s ‘Fade Away’ were also on our play list and we closed with Kelly Rowland’s ‘Motivation’ ft Jeremih and Lil Wayne.

Chris explained to listeners that he’d left Zambia in order to be able to educate his children in Europe and because he wanted a change from teaching. Before branching out on his own as a consultant he’d been responsible for setting up the computer centre at University of Rotterdam. He was now retired, living comfortably on the coast in Spain just south of Valencia. Tijerick told listeners that he worked at an oil terminal in Rotterdam and that he and Chikonda have two children.

While they’d been in Livingstone the family had spent a whole day at Victoria Falls, taken a game drive in the Mosi-o-Tunya National Park and had lunch at the Arts Cafe to eat Zambian food and watch traditional dancing from around Zambia. They intended taking the sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone before they left for Europe the following Tuesday.

Before we closed we gave listeners Twitter and Facebook updates, plus local and international chart news, including news of the Dutch charts (in English!) We gave away dinner for two at Chanters Lodge, as we do, to the first listener to text us telling us from which country our guests came. Crispin won. This kind, generous, charming Dutch family told us they’d felt at home during their stay at Chanters Lodge and we were happy!


Kristine Klemmensen & Havard Lohne in Zambia

Meet Kristine and Havard pictured above, a cute, hot and happy couple from Bergen in Norway, currently visiting Zambia with other family members to attend the wedding of Harvard’s brother Jostein to a Zambian girl, Angela Nakamba, on the Copperbelt this coming weekend. The family were staying at Chanters Lodge for a few days to see Victoria Falls before proceeding to Kitwe. Harvard and girlfriend Kristine were kind enough to agree to appear as guests on The Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio show, airing between 20.30 and 21.30 hrs on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm. I co-host the show which is a lively mixture of music and chat! Check out the station’s great new website on that link!

Harvard and Kristine met at Hoxskolen i Bergen where they’re both students of Energy Technology in the second of a three year degree course. Plans for post graduation? Kristine seemed to be thinking in terms of further studies while Harvard favoured leaving University and getting a job. Was it love at first sight we wondered. “Yes”! Said Kristine. “No”! Said Harvard. “Oooo”! Said we!
The couple told listeners that they’d really enjoyed the sunset cruise on Lady Livingstone which they’d taken with the rest of the family that afternoon. Was it true Milli Jam wanted to know, that they’d kept Richard up until 02.00hrs that morning and if so why? They admitted that their group had arrived at Chanters in the early hours due to underestimating the drive time between Lusaka and Livingstone and were starving when they’d arrived. The lodge staff had kindly (very actually) waited until their arrival and then fed them, leading Richard to miss some beauty sleep. “Awwwwww”! They said.

Going back to the wedding we wanted to know whether Jostein had paid ‘lobola’ for Angela and if so, how much in cash or cows! No details were forthcoming but we estimated the value of a cow in Zambia these days at about K2 million (Milli Jam being a Tonga knew all about this) and we assured Harvard and Kristine that they were, traditions or no traditions, going to have a ball at this Zambian wedding and that Zambians really knew how to partaaay! They do too!

The music on the show was top drawer – ‘ET’ by Katy Perry featuring Kanye West back to back with ‘On The Floor’ by Jennifer Lopez featuring Pitbull got us off to a cracking start, being the current number one hit tracks in the USA and UK respectively. George’s local selection of ‘Facebook’ by Oga Family and ‘Ubuchende’ (‘infidelity’) by Ty2 and JK went down well. Adele’s ‘Promise This’ and Natasha Bedingfield’s ‘Shoot For The Stars’ were Milli Jam’s personal selection. ‘Where Dem Girls At’ by David Guetta featuring Flo Rida and Nicki Minaj is latest and so too ‘Someone To Love Me’ by Mary J Blige and Lil Wayne and these tracks would have had the Chanters Girls dancing back at the lodge – if they hadn’t been busy, busy! Ha Ha!

Harvard and Kristine gave us some more detail about their families and tastes. Musically Harvard favoured Dire Straits and Bruce Springsteen – Kristine Rihanna and Lady Gaga. They still had lots of things on their mind to do while they were in Livingstone – a walk with lions, helicopter ride, quad biking and the gorge swing amongst other high adventure activities available in these parts.

Where would this super young couple like to be and what would they like to be doing 10 years from now? “With great jobs in Norway in the field of renewable energy and married to Harvard with 4 children” replied Kristine quickly. Harvard nodded and gave her a quick kiss! “Awwwwww”! We said!


Lawrence Muleka – The Doc If You Like!

Meet Lawrence Muleka – DJ name ‘The D.O.C. – The Doc if you like’. Presenter of Breakfast Time, Monday to Friday on Zambezi Radio 107.7 fm, as well as a founder member of the exclusive band of presenters who’ve been with the radio station since its inception. The Doc (we do like!) was the most recent guest on our regular Sunday night radio show on the same frequency – The Chanters Lodge Experience with The Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George Da Soulchild. “Why did you invite Lawrence on to the show”? Milli Jam asked me at the start of the programme. “I wanted to know why he’s called ‘The D.O.C – The Doc if you like’.” I replied. “Well, why are you called that”? Milimo asked Lawrence. “I’m not really sure” was the totally unsatisfactory and unbelievable reply! Oh well!…..

It was a good show. We like to turn the tables on the 107.7 fm staff from time to time and Lawrence went straight from reading the news at 20.15 hrs, to the other side of the console at 20.30 hrs as we bombarded him with questions. Was he married? Yes very! How many children did he have? 3 – 2 girls and 1 boy. His eldest had just written her Grade 12. What was his training? Mass communications at ZAMCOM – no surprise there. What tribe did he belong to? Toka-Leya from Chief Mukuni. Lawrence told listeners that he’d spent a lot of time on the Copperbelt when he was younger – his dad had been a civil servant and subject to constant transfers before his retirement. The Doc had come to Livingstone as a DJ having spent time in sales for various companies and had established an outfit called ‘Vinyl Masters’ with Milli Jam – something I didn’t know. He’d joined Radio Mosi-O-Tunya, Livingstone’s very first local radio station, before being poached away to 107.7 fm when it opened in 2006.

The music on the show was good. ‘Miss Right’ by Ne-Yo went down well and Willow Smith’s strange ‘Whip My Hair’ with Nicki Minaj was fine, though not as good as the video by all reports. George chose two tracks by his friend, the late Crystal Shawn – the tender ‘Sweetest Temptation’ and his own duet with Shaun ‘Change For the Better’. George will write a blog about Crystal this week – he died, apparently from heart failure, last week age just 27, three months after his wedding, leaving behind a wife and a six week old baby. Really sad – George and he were very close. ‘Remember When’ by Alan Jackson and ‘The Silence’ by Alexandra Burke seemed to be appropriate follow ups.

The shock of the show came when Milli Jam asked The Doc which international presenter he most admired and Lawrence answered Eamonn Holmes. Eish! I wasn’t impressed! I still suspect it had something to do with Manchester Utd though this was denied at the time. Let me tell you we moved quickly on – after I’d expressed my total disgust! The Doc’s favourite music – hip-hop. Favourite stars? Drake and Eminem. Ambition? To have his own radio station. I had no arguments with that anyway!


Sandra Ammitzboll & Charlotte Hall

I’m lucky aren’t I getting to be on radio with all these cute young Scandanavian girls!? But, would you like to know what was the best thing about last Sunday’s Chanters Lodge Experience with the Milli Jam Ingredient featuring George da Soulchild, our regular Sunday night radio show which I co-host with these two great DJ’s? Well, apart from our two delightful Guests pictured above, Sandra and Charlotte from Sweden, it was the fact that after several months the lift was working to the studios located on the 6th floor of Livingstone’s tallest building. Funny though, I think I rather missed the climb! Or did!??!

On with the show! As mentioned our guests were Sandra and Charlotte, two students from Lund University in Sweden in their 3rd year of a degree course in social studies. They were taking a week off, staying at Chanters Lodge, having spent seven weeks in Chingola on the Copperbelt assessing the implementation of the UN Charter for Human Rights for Children. They had been interviewing grade 11 and 12 children and on the whole found that their rights were well looked after in Zambia. The girls talked of the rights to protection and participation amongst the 64 or so human rights for children mentioned in the charter. Awesome stuff!

Sandra and Charlotte told listeners they’d undertaken several activities since they’d been in Livingstone and raved about their breakfast visit to Livingstone Island, where they’d swum in Devil’s Pool and dangled over the edge of Victoria Falls. “Weren’t you scared”? We wanted to know. Terrified! They agreed, but they’d loved it! They’d also been to the new Arts Cafe in Livingstone where they’d watched dancing from around Zambia and had been roped into drumming and dancing themselves too! This wasn’t the only dancing they’d done since coming to town – on Friday night they’d hit the clubs and had a great time, they said! During their last few days of their visit they were toying with the idea of bungee jumping and/or a game drive – as you do!

The music was good as usual. ‘Christmas Lights’ by Coldplay was topical, and we dropped it back to back with ‘Love Letter’ by R Kelly. George featured his own music with two tracks by Kafuela ‘Your Smile’ and ‘Sky Is The Limit’. Great stuff George we all agreed! Milli Jam featured Justin Bieber’s ‘Latin Girl’ and the heavily censored ‘Run Away’ from the new Kanye West album. Rihanna’s ‘Man Down’ made our Swedish guests sit up and take notice and coupled with ‘Count On Me’ by Bruno Mars these were two of my ‘tracks of the moment’.

Did the girls have boyfriends back in Sweden? The guys wanted to know. Hesitation…..’not really’ seemed to be the answer. I, for one, didn’t believe that, or perhaps Swedish blokes are really slow! Ambitions? Sandra would like to work for an international outfit such as Save The Children, Charlotte seemed more interested in family therapy as a future career. Where would the girls like to be and what would they like to be doing 10 years from now? Married with loads of children they agreed!

What sports were the girls interested in? Dancing!

As usual we gave chart news, including the current top three singles in Sweden – all unpronouncable, as well as the top three in UK and USA. We greeted guests and staff alike and gave away our usual dinner for 2 to the first person to tell us where these lovely girls came from. Sweden of course was the sharp answer from Mohammed, who told us their names and what they were doing here too! Some people really want to come for dinner at Chanters Lodge!!


George Soulchild – Guest Blog

Here’s George Soulchild’s guest blog for the week. The photo is of an Ngoma Award statuette. I was lucky enough to win one in 2008 for my contribution towards the development of Zambian musicians!

“The National Arts Council of Zambia (NAC) and other stakeholders have started organizing the 14th Ngoma Awards show to take place on December 3 in Lusaka. This year’s theme is ‘Growing the Creative Industry’. The event has more than seven categories – visual arts, creative writing, media arts, music, drama, children’s theatre, traditional dance and theatre comedy – just to mention a few. The creative industry is growing tremendously and this year there will be about 24 awards given to the most deserving artists in the country.

The Ngoma Awards shows started in 1997 and were first held in Lusaka, Zambia. Then they were known as National Honours Awards but in 1998 the name was changed to Ngoma Awards. The first awards show was held at Lusaka Intercontinental Hotel. In the past two years the awards shows were held in Livingstone and Kitwe respectively, in the Southern and Copperbelt provinces of Zambia. The show is held every year to honour Zambian artists who have done exceptional work deserving to be recognised and appreciated.

Alpha Romeo – A new kid on the block
Alpha Romeo is the new kid on the block, his music style is mainly hip-hop sung in Nyanja and he is quite popular with young people. His first single ‘Will’ was released some time late last year. His lyrics are full of social commentary and his most popular song at the moment is ‘’Rumour’’ produced by KB for K-Amy Entertainment. We played this track on the Chanters show as our second local number. Alpha’s14 track album ‘President’ drops next week and is something all hip-hop fans should look out for.
Crystal Shaun – The most underrated artist
Crystal Shaun aka Webster Chilufya has been in the local music industry since the late 90’s when he was still doing his secondary education at Mpika Boys School along with fellow local artistes Runnel and Danny. He dropped his first album in 2004 – it carried the smash hit song “Elina” featuring Runnel produced by TK of Romaside Studio in Lusaka. His follow up album was released under David Sling Studio also based in Lusaka. Crystal Shaun is one of the most underrated artists on the local scene as he’s got so much more to offer. If you take some time to listen to any of his work you’ll agree with me. His style of music is soft raga sung in Bemba and Nyanja. He is currently in the studio cooking up his new sound. On the Chanters’ show we played a song titled ‘’Chimami’’ from his forthcoming album which still untitled.”

Thanks George for your usual entertaining and interesting insight!


Lowden Lodge, Luanshya

Recently we had Janet Kay and husband Lee staying with us for one night at Chanters Lodge. Janet runs Lowden Lodge near Luanshya on Zambia’s Copperbelt. They have 13 rooms and a great reputation. Here’s about it:-

“Lowden Lodge is a small private guest house offering first class hospitality with a genuine home from home atmosphere on the copperbelt in Zambia.

Conveniently situated 20km from Ndola. A warm welcome awaits you where you can relax in our peaceful rustic surroundings. Accommodation is in spacious and comfortable en suite rooms. If you prefer privacy we offer three cottages with a self-catering option.

Rates include breakfast, dinner available on request supplemented by our own home-grown fresh produce, a feature of our excellent cuisine.“

Now, I can’t find a picture of Lowden Lodge, and I can’t even find a decent picture of Luanshya – only of the sprawling copper mine, apparently about to re-open under Chinese management. So here’s another picture of Derek Dawson – a friend of Janet’s who introduced us, with partner Pam who’s “ex-Luanshya” (as those who are, call themselves!)

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