Archive for November, 2011


November 21, 2011

ENYOKENI, SOUTH AFRICA – 12 September 2010: A group of young VIRGINS during the annual Reed Dance at King Zwelithini’s palace at eNyokeni, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa on 12 September 2010. (Photo by Gallo

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Fantastic insights into Zulu Culture …

Annual Reed Dance

King Shaka Day

Faces of Zululand

-::- Guide No: ACT1058 -::- Coast to Coast – Page 223 -::- Alternative Route – Page 129 -::-

Zululand Eco-Adventures takes you on the kind of tour that you will never forget. We give you an insight into Zulu culture that you will talk about for the rest of your days! With us, no one is waiting for your arrival to perform. This is how it is. Experience the real thing.

Daily Tours

> King Dinizulul Township Tour: Visit the King Dinizulu Township, a creche, arts and crafts shops and different projects. R295 pp
> Zulu Village Overnight: Experience real Zulu life during an overnight stay in a rural Zululand traditional village. R495 pp
> Zulu Village Day Tour: Experience a day of contemporary Zulu life. School & Church amongst other day to day happenings. R350 pp

Weekly Tours

> Sangoma Healing Ceremony: Visit a very vibrant and colourful Woman priest (maXulu Ndwandwe) and watch her talk in tongues, listen to drums, music and great chanting. (Wednesday and Sunday afternoon) R295 pp
> Traditional Zulu Ceremonies, Zulu Weddings, Coming of Age and others: be part of a traditional Zulu ceremony as a special guest. (every Weekend) R 350 pp

Annual Celebrations

> Reed Dance: Singing and dancing, thousands of Zulu virgins deliver reed sticks to the King (September)
> King Shaka Day: A colourful and exciting celbration with the Zulu King, Royal family and all the Zulu dignatories (24th of September)
> Shembe Celebration: Thousands of faithful gather at Judea near Eshowe to honour their religious leader (October)
> Zulu Kings First Fruits Ceremony: The Zulu Monarch, King Goodwill Zwelithini, eats the first fruits and prays to God to bless the land to produce abundant good food for His people (early December)

The Zululand Outback Tour

Spend three days on a Zululand on a tour that touches the nerve of Africa. The tours are designed around what is happening in rural Zululand. Here you are as far as you have ever been from life as you know it. Zulu cultural life as it is today. Scenic beauty that you can only imagine. This Tour will alter slightly to accommodate the events taking place in the community. Travel in an area where very few tourists go.

The tour includes rural Zulu cultural life, Zulu village and marketplace, Zulu ceremonies, visit a Sangoma, Mission Station and Missionaries, upliftment projects, Tugela Valley, Mbongolwane Wetlands, Dlinza Forest Aerial Boardwalk, beautiful scenery, potters and/or beaders at work, medicinal plant growing projects, Fort Nongqayi, Zululand Historical Museum and much much more! Don’t miss this unique Zulu experience!

Variation in costs depends on where you stay. Price for 3 day tour from R2450 to R3450. Includes all meals and accommodation for two nights.


Tel: 035 474 4919





November 21, 2011




November 10, 2011

Biko nu, onye obula jisie ike subakwa Igbo!

—– Forwarded Message —-
From: chinelo ugochukwu
Sent: Thu, July 1, 2010 4:03:02 AM
Subject: [IgboWorldForum] When Promotion Of Igbo Language Got The Biggest Boost Ever

To: IgboEvents@yahoogro
Date: Wednesday, June 16, 2010, 11:02 PM

When Promotion Of Igbo Language Got The Biggest Boost Ever

By Chukwujekwu Ilozue

The former Vice Chancellor of Nnamdi Azikiwe University, Awka, Professor Pita Ejiofor, has almost devoted his entire life to the promotion and survival of Igbo language. Ejiofor said he began the crusade when it became a shame that most children of Igbo extraction could neither speak, nor write their language. This is coupled with warnings from the United Nations and a study by the Oxford University which revealed that if no extra effort is made, Igbo language will go into extinction.

Thereafter, Ejiofor championed the cause for the revival and sustenance of Igbo language among Igbo people in Nigeria. This led to the formation of ‘Otu Subakwa Igbo’ (a group that champions speaking of Igbo language) on February 14, 2006. As his campaign spread throughout Igbo land, Subakwa Igbo soon changed to Suwakwa Igbo, which Ejiofor explained is the central Igbo spoken across the entire Igbo land and he has devoted his time and resources to the course ever since. Ejiofor has a fore-runner though, in late Chief Chidozie Ogbalu who was one of the foremost promoters of Igbo language and culture through writing of several text books in Igbo language. Also before now, the State House of Assembly passed a resolution entrenching the conduct of the House business in Igbo language on Wednesdays.

Nevertheless, the biggest boost to promotion of Igbo language and culture ever was recorded Wednesday, Afor market day, 26 May, 2010 when Otu Suwakwa Igbo was launched at the Women Development Centre, Awka by Governor Peter Obi. That day, Obi not only threw the weight of the state government behind Otu Sawakwa Igbo, but publicly signed into law a Bill to Enforce the Speaking and Writing of Igbo and Wide spread Usage of Igbo Language among Ndigbo in Anambra and Diaspora. It is to be cited as ‘The Igbo Language Usage Enforcement Law 2010’, which had earlier been passed by the state House of Assembly and was supposed to have come into force on May 11..

The law provides that Principals of secondary schools in Anambra State who promote pupils from Junior Secondary School III (JSSIII) to Senior Secondary School I (SSSI) without those pupils passing Igbo language are to be removed from their positions and fined N5,000, for each of the pupils so promoted.

Also, any state or privately owned tertiary institution in the state which is found not to have established an Igbo language department or made Igbo language a mandatory general studies course by September, 2011, shall pay a fine of N100,000 for every month in which the offence continues.

Among other things, the law banned administering of corporal punishment to students who speak Igbo in schools in the State. It made Igbo Language compulsory in all the categories of educational institutions in the State just as English and Mathematics. Also a head of the relevant department who finds a staff of that department dressed in Western attire in contravention of the provisions of a particular section of the law shall send that staff home to change into Igbo traditional attire. However, the law excludes some professional bodies like judicial officers and nurses whose dress code is bound by the law.

From the commencement of the law, every Wednesday in every week shall be observed as a week’s Igbo day. That means that every staff of the state public service shall dress in Igbo traditional attire and all business and transaction in all offices and departments of the public service, including proceedings in the legislative chamber shall be conducted in Igbo language that day.

The explanatory note of the law states that it is meant to ensure and enforce such level of fluency and vibrancy in the usage of Igbo language as befits its status as one of the three officially recognized indigenous languages of Nigeria pursuant to the constitution of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, 1999, such that the language will once more be proudly spoken and written by Ndigbo in Nigeria and Diaspora, and used for broadcasts in reputable international media.

Besides, Obi promised to send a bill to the House of Assembly to make it compulsory for job seekers on Grade Level 07 to possess at least a pass level in West African Examination Council (WAEC) examination or National Examination Council of Nigeria (NECO) or General Certificate of Education (GCE) and other qualifications for other levels. Local Government Heads of Department should organize seminars and workshops on Igbo language, while the communiqué produced by Otu Subakwa Igbo should be implemented.

At the event, Governor Obi also promised to build Chief Chidozie Ogbalu Igbo Language School that will cost the government about N50.5million, for specialized and holiday programmes in Igbo. Last week Obi followed up his promise to build the Language school by launching it. The Chidozie Oghbalu Igbo Language Centre, he said is a school where children who do not know how to speak the language take short courses during holidays.

In his four page address written and delivered in Igbo at the occasion, Obi told the audience that as they have themselves heard that Igbo language will go into extinction in a few years to come did not sound nice. He said that no other tribe will save Igbo language except Igbo people themselves and time is now to do that as time and tide waits for no one. After asking the audience which was chaired by the Chairman of Traditional Rulers’ Council, Igwe Alfred Nnaemeka Achebe comprised about 70 traditional rulers, Ohaneze Ndigbo chieftains and many other dignitaries if they wanted Igbo language to survive and they chorused in the affirmative, Obi gave 12 options to promote the language.

Among them Obi said is that when two or more Igbo people are discussing their language of communication should be Igbo and not even an admixture of Igbo and English. Parents should use Igbo to communicate to their children at home and should at all times avoid such sayings as “say hello to uncle”, or “Junior does not understand Igbo”, as that is an insult to Igbo language.

As the state has already declared Wednesdays as Igbo week’s day when traditional dresses and businesses are conducted in Igbo, government he said was adding Tuesday to it because things have spoilt a lot.

The various towns and villages should write and present their address to government officials in Igbo. They should also write programme of events, orations, citations all in Igbo in ceremonies. He asked state owned radio and television stations to emulate their counterparts in the North and in the West in promoting the use of local languages

The Igbo video cassettes produced by Otu Suwakwa Igbo are to be mass produced by government and sold at give away prices to workers to listen to with their families and apply what they learn from them. Traditional rulers as custodians of Language and Culture should strive to protect the language during ceremonies and while receiving dignitaries of other states.

Obi announced immediate offer of employment for all holders of Bachelor’s degrees, Higher National Diploma and National Diplomas of Igbo language. He also announced annual award of N250,000, N200,000, and N100,000 to the three best Igbo students in Secondary Schools in Nigeria. He also gave cash donations and scholarships to University level to the two best Igbo students in WAEC recently namely: Mr. Kevin Anozie of Holy Child Secondary School, Isuofia, and Mr. Chika Echeta of Bishop Onyemelukwe Secondary School Onitsha.

Obi praised Otu Suwakwa Igbo for committing their intellect, efforts and resources in sponsoring, spreading and sustaining of Igbo language. He announced that from then on, government will give the group monthly subvention and recognize the efforts it has made so far.

Expectedly Prof. Ejiofor could not hold his joy that his dream of attracting enough attention and assistance in his struggle to keep Igbo language alive has come true. He thanked Obi for his interest in Igbo cause. Using statistics, he sought to prove that Igbo Language is retrogressing and that only Igbo people will stop the retrogression.

The President of Ohaneze Worldwide, Ambassador Ralph. Uwechue who was represented by the Anambra State chairman of Ohaneze Ndigbo Dr. Atamuo thanked the governor for his commitment to Igbo cause and the able way he pilots the affairs of the State and asked him to use his position as chairman of South East Governors’ Forum to follow his footstep.

Obi’s efforts in sustaining Igbo language has not passed unnoticed. A writer from Imo state, Mr. Eugene Iwuamanam described it as ‘innovative and a very sound idea of the Anambra State Governor, Peter Obi (Okwute) Obi to encourage sustenance of Igbo language and culture, it is no gain saying that he has written his name on the moon and sun”. Iwuamanam said Obi “has become an illuminating arrow that God perfected and shot directly into ala Igbo to illuminate its four corners, bringing loaves of bread of hope to the hopeless, and heal long time gaping wounds of despair”. He said he has read and heard several empirical achievements of this governor which shows that he leads even when his peers turn inwards looking into and out for their pockets. ‘Some times one feels like wishing that ala Igbo should return to the former East Central State with one Governor called Peter/ Okwute Obi”, he wrote.

Also a community leader, Chief Azubikes Okoye, who is also the President General of Agulu Peoples Union commended the measure and particularly Prof. Ejiofor for his committment to the project and the wonderful work he is doing through Suwakwa Igbo organisation.

Okoye lamented the gradual dying of Igbo langauge and blamed parents who would rather make sure their children learn English and other foreign langauges than Igbo and described as scandalous, a situation where in an Igbo family, English is the official language of communication.

He said that the signing of the law to promote the usage of Igbo in Anambra and Diaspora was a mastersroke by Governor Obi and everybody who is Igbo should be proud of the Governor, especially as he showed practical seriousness over the matter, by making Igbo language compulsory in all the schools, private and public, in the State; by making the langaueg a compulsory part of the General Studies in the higher institutions in the State; by offering annual cash awards in his personal capacity to the best candidates in Igbo language in all the secondary schools in Nigeria; by abolishing corporal punishments for those that speak igbo in their schools, among other measures.

He singled out the building of Ogbalu Igbo Langauge School by the Governor as one project all Igbo sons and daughters should encourage. Like Atamuo Chief Okoye appealed to Obi to use his good offices as the Chairman of the South East Governors’ Forum to persuade other Igbo Governors to replicate what he has done in Anambra State in their states. He also encouraged him to put on the agenda for the South East Governors forum future meetings the issue of Igbo langauge and culture#

Thu Jul 1, 2010 8:22 am

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November 10, 2011



The list of recipients for the 2010/2011 National Honours Awards is unique in so many respects. Not only did it break with tradition by selecting a non-top government functionary to be honoured with the second highest award in the land in the person of Alhaji Aliko Dangote, chairman and founder Dangote Group of Companies, having been accorded the coveted Grand Commander of the Order of the Niger.

The conferment of the nation’s second highest award on Dangote, an honour hitherto reserved for vice presidents, senate presidents and chief justices of Nigeria, marked a remarkable departure from the norm in the exercise that was instituted with the enactment of the National Honours Act No. 5 of 1964.

Notably, the National Honours Award Committee was also introspective enough to recognise the contributions of wide array of individuals ranging from retired armed forces personnel, academics and scholars to serving and retired civil servants, and Nollywood actors and actresses, who have made their mark in different spheres of life.

Among the retired military officer who will be decorated with medals of Commander of the Order of the Nigeria (CON) are Lt. Gen. S. Ibrahim, former Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral A. A. Madueke, former Chief of Naval Staff; Vice Admiral P.S. Koshoni, former Chief of Naval Staff; Air Marshal A.M Daggash, former Chief of Defence Staff; Air Marshal N.E. Eduok, former Chief of Air Staff; Air Vice Marshal I. Yisa Doko, former Chief of Air Staff; Alhaji Muhammed Gambo Jimeta, former Inspector General of Police; General D.Y. Bali, former Chief of Defence Staff; and Air Vice Marshal I.M. Alfa, former Chief of Air Staff.

Others are Air Vice Marshal C.A. Dada, former Chief of Air Staff; Maj. Gen. M.C Alu, former Chief of Army Staff; Rear Admiral S. Saidu, former Chief of Naval Staff; and Lt. Gen. Jeremiah Useni, former FCT minister.

Undeterred at the possibility of another rejection, the committee for the second time in seven years included literary icon, Professor Chinua Achebe, who again was honoured with the Commander of the Federal Republic (CFR).

This latest honour comes after Achebe in 2004 rejected the same honour bestowed on him by the administration of the then President Olusegun Obasanjo. He did not only turn down the award, he, in strong terms, criticise what he referred to as “the dangerous state of affairs in the country.”

In his two-page letter rejecting the award in 2004, Achebe was most critical about the situation in his home state of Anambra.

Also on the list of 364 Nigerians and foreigners that will receive the National Honours Awards are nine state governors, mainly on the platform of the Peoples Democratic Party, except the governor of Edo State, Comrade Adams Oshiomhole of the Action Congress of Nigeria and Mr. Peter Obi, governor of Anambra State who belongs to the All Progressives Grand Alliance.

PDP governors who were honoured are Senator Liyel Imoke (Cross River), Patrick Ibrahim Yakowa (Kaduna), Alhaji Ibrahim Shehu Shema (Katsina) Dr. Mu’azu Babangida Aliyu (Niger), Chibuike Rotimi Amaechi (Rivers), Chief Godswill Akpabio (Akwa Ibom) and Alhaji Sule Lamido (Jigawa) who will all be conferred with CON awards.

However, one name that was conspicuously missing on the list of serving governors was that of Lagos State governor, Mr. Babatunde Fashola, who is roundly acknowledged as one of the best serving governors in the country. The feeling among observers was that Fashola’s name was omitted for political reasons.

The 2010 and 2011 national honours list also recognised the contributions of other Nigerians from various sectors of the nation’s socio-economic and political life, including deputy speaker of the House of Representatives, Hon. Emeka Ihedioha, who will receive a CON.

Other notable recipients include Prof. Bolaji Akinyemi, a scholar, diplomat and former Minister of External Affairs (CFR); Mr. Kanu Agabi, former Attorney General of the Federation (CON); Maj. Gen. Mamman Tsofo Kontagora, former minister (CON); Chief Akin Olujimi, former minister and Attorney General of the Federation (CON); Chief Bayo Ojo, former minister and Attorney General of the Federation (CON); Mr. Basil Omiyi, first Nigerian managing director of Shell (CON); Prof. Emeritus John Festus Ade Ajayi (CON); and Chief Osayande Omotayo Akpata (CON).

The list also includes other accomplished Nigerians such as Mr. Arumemi Johnson, chairman, Arik Airline (CON); Dr. Tim Menakaya, former Minister of Health (OFR); Prof. Grace Alele-Williams, former Vice Chancellor, University of Benin (OFR); Prof. M.A. Daniyan (OFR); Alh. Muhammed Manga III, the Emir of Misau (OFR); Chief Olusegun Osunkeye (OFR); and Mr. Tunde Lemo, deputy governor Central Bank of Nigeria (OFR).

Other distinguished Nigerians to be honoured include Dame Comfort Chinezerem Obi, publisher and commissioner in the Police Service Commission (OON); Engr. Makoju Joseph, former managing director National Electric Power Authority (OFR); Sir Festus Remilekun Ayodele Marinho, first managing director of the Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (OFR); Mrs. Amina Sambo, former president of National Council of Women Societies (OFR); Chief Emmanuel Iwuanyanwu, publisher and industrialist (OFR); Mr. Reginald Ihejiahi, (OFR); Prince Arthur Eze, (OFR); Mr. Kase Lawal (OFR); Mr. Demian D. Dodo (OFR); Mazi Sam Ohuabunwa (OFR); Dr. Bright Okogwu, director general Budget Office (OON); Mr. Umaru Hamza, DG NDLEA (OON); Ms. Aruma Otteh, former Vice President African Development Bank, DG Securities and Exchange Commission (OON); and Chief Mrs. Eniola Ajoke Fadayomi, former Attorney General Lagos State (MFR).

For the second time in a row professionals in the entertainment industry made a respectable showing on the list of honourees. At least six Nollywood actors, actresses and producers were selected as recipients of the Member of the Federal Republic (MFR) award. They are Kanayo O. Kanayo, Iheme Osita, Amaka Igwe, Olu Jacobs, Stephanie Okereke and Genevieve Nnaji.

Also, among those who made the list are many serving and retired civil servants, including Dr. Granville Inya Inya-Agha, a retired civil servant (OON); Mrs Rhoda Nguhemen Tor-Agbidye, a former civil servant (MFR); Alhaji Hanafi Musa Moriki, civil servant (MFR); Mrs Georgina Murako, civil servant (MON); and Mr. Ekok Oyama civil servant (MON).


Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi is 80

* Rating: Unrated

Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi, Professor Emeritus of History at the University of Ibadan is 80 years old. Professor Ajayi is a distinguished Nigerian, African and a world citizen. He was born on May 26, 1929 in Ikole, Ekiti State to parents who by the standards of those days belonged to the elite of Ikole. His father was a post master while his mother engaged herself in buying and selling. They were one of the early Christians in Ikole and this early conversion was to leave permanent effect on young Ade Ajayi.

At a very tender age he was put in School and when he had reached the end rung of the ladder in a Christian School in Ikole, he was sent to the famous Central School in Ado-Ekiti which later metamorphosed into the famous Christ’s School. He lived with one of his father’s friends who looked after him while he was in school. In return, he served the latter as a houseboy as was expected in those days of service deserving its rewards. It was from Christi’s School that he took the entrance examination to Igbobi College Lagos where he stayed from 1940 to 1946. Throughout his years in Igbobi College he only came second once out of 12 semester examinations. He was the school librarian in his last year which was an attestation to his academic brilliance.

He gained entry into the Yaba Higher College in 1947 which was the only Higher Institution in Nigeria then. This was a sop to the nationalists who wanted a University type institution in Nigeria to satisfy the educational yearnings of the young and upcoming Nigerians. This institution established in the 1930s did not satisfy the demands of the people for higher education because the certificates issued were inferior to degrees even from Fourah Bay College in Freetown which was an overseas College of the University of Durham in England. Eventually the British granted the request of the nationalists and a proper university was established in Ibadan in 1948 to cater for the educational needs of West Africans. The young Ade-Ajayi was one of the pioneer students of this first attempt at higher education in tropical Africa.

Ajayi was one of the select few to be enrolled in Ibadan. He graduated in 1951 with a general degree in History, English and Latin. He could have become an administrative officer or an assistant district officer like some of his colleagues who graduated with him but right from the beginning he had planned for himself an academic life. He was determined to go for higher degrees abroad. He first set his eyes on Cambridge, but due to the short notice he had to mobilize funds that opportunity slipped away from his hands. He later went to Leicester University College of London to do an honours degree in History. He made a first which was rare and is still rare in the liberal arts.

With this academic distinction, he gained admission to the PhD programme of the University of London. He wrote his doctoral dissertation on Christian Missions in Nigeria, the emergence of a new western educated elite. This thesis was published in a seminal book of the same title. He returned to the University of Ibadan in 1958 and worked with Dr. Kenneth Onwuka Dike to radically change the direction of historical scholarship in Ibadan, Nigeria and Africa. Within a period of five years and at a relatively young age, Ajayi became a Professor. This was to be the beginning of years of further academic and administrative achievements in a life spanning 80 long years.

Ajayi can be said to be the founder of the Ibadan School of History and helped many former students and colleagues to revise their dissertations for publication by Longman Group as part of the Ibadan history series. This writer was a beneficiary of Ajayi’s editorial expertise. My 1970 PhD thesis on Nigeria in the First World War submitted at Dalhousie University in far away Canada was subsequently published as part of the Ibadan history series. Professor Ajayi has many publications to his credit and edited several books to advance the study of African history.

Before Dike, Ajayi, Roland Oliver, Richard Gray and others, Africa was dismissed as a continent without history. Some racists said African history could only be the activities of the Europeans in Africa. The absence of written documentation in most of Africa was used to condemn the entire continent as not being worthy of study. These euro-centric critics forgot to realize that Egypt the home of civilization was in Africa. They forgot Ethiopia and the Nile Valley with their written documentation in Geez was in Africa. The Saharan and Sahel part of Africa were not without Arabic and Ajami documentation. Even the rock paintings in the Namibian desert and the Nsibidi signs of the Ekoi in Cross River could be deciphered.

The absence of written documentation did not mean the absence of history. Oral history preserved by family and palace historians and griots were authentic sources of history. In societies without written documentation there were people specially charged to memorise ported history of the Kingdoms, and failure to recite this properly sometimes cost them their lives. Ajayi and others were able to marshal these points and also to engage in inter disciplinary effort with sociologists, anthropologists, economists, linguists botanists (ethnobotanists) zoologists (serologists) and archaeologist to unravel the past of Africa.

We owe Ajayi a debt of gratitude that he and others cultivated a nationalist historiography that helped give pride and confidence to nationalists in many African countries. Africans were made to realise that they were inheritors of the great civilizations of Egypt, Meroe, Axum, Ethiopia, Ghana, Mali, Songhai, Zimbabwe, the various pre and post Arab Kingdoms of the Maghreb and of course Oyo, Hausa land, Ancient Borno and Benin.

Ibadan was turned into the Mecca of African studies. Professor Ajayi’s expertise was greatly sought after in Europe and America where at different times he spent Sabbatical years. His country noticed him and between 1972 and 1978 he was appointed Vice-Chancellor of the University of Lagos and he more than any one built the University of Lagos whose reputation had been ruined by tribal conflicts that undermined the first years of its foundation. Ajayi also served as a member of the council of the United Nations University in Tokyo from 1974 to 1980 and for two years in 1976 and 1977 he served as its chairman. He and others helped to write the UNESCO general history of Africa and he edited the Volume VI.

The University of Leicester was so proud of his achievements that it conferred on him LL.D Honoris Causa in 1975. In 1984, the University of Birmingham followed suit with another D.Litt Honoris Causa. A grateful nation recognized Ajayi’s academic prowess by giving him a National Order of Merit (NNOM) in 1986.

At 80 Professor J. F. Ade Ajayi can look back and give glory to God. He is blessed with a wonderful wife who loves him dearly and without whose support he would never have had the peace of mind and encouragement for his stupendous achievements. He is blessed with a son, a physician, and four wonderful daughters who have excelled in their own different ways. It is a matter of joy to see a man so distinguished and venerated at home and abroad live a fulfilled life. This icon of academic distinction has not only made history, he has written history and lived history. Future generations would certainly know that a J. F. Ade Ajayi passed through this world in spite of having been born in a peripheral part of it.


November 10, 2011




November 2, 2011

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