African Royal Titles

A Compilation of various royal titles in local languages and address from common english substitutes. Note some may lack direct substitutes and meanings differ in different royal monarchies. Information may also be prone to errors in translation to english. The names may also mean differently from their address

NB. European colonial governments lower ranked our kings and emperors into paramount chiefs and chiefs. Unfortunately this has been continued by our modern African governments

Royal Prefix Salutations

Prefix salutations are a colonial import and majorly used in government monarchies. They are placed before the title

  • HM – His/Her Majesty, used in Lesotho 🇱🇸, Eswatini 🇸🇿, Morocco 🇲🇦, and others
  • HRM – His/Her Royal Majesty, used only by Nigerian kings
  • HIM – His/Her Imperial Majesty, was used in Ethiopia and now used only by Ooni of Ife and Alaafin of Oyo, Nigeria
  • HE – His eminence,used by Kings who are also Religious heads, like Sultan of Sokoto, Nigeria (heads of all muslims in Nigeria), Obong of Calabar, Nigeria (first Christian king in Nigeria)
  • HRH – His/Her Royal Highness, used by princes and princesses and chiefs. Used also by some queens like wives of king of Eswatini
  • HSH – His/Her Serene Highness, not used in Africa
  • HH – His/Her Highness, used rarely in Africa
  • HE – His Excellency

eSwatini (Kingdom of eSwatini)

King – Ingwenyama (lion, actual name for lion is libhubesi) or Inkhosi

praise – Bayethe wena Wapakhati Nkhosi

Queen Mother (King’s mother) – Indlovukazi (she- elephant)

praise – Nkhosi Ndlovukazi Mhlekazi

Reigning King’s wife – Inkhosikati with prefix HRH ,plural is Emakhosikati (also used to refer to married women)

Late King’s wives – Balodolozi

Prince or Princess – Umntfwanenkhosi (child of a king) or Lizinyane used for a child of a reigning King, Plural is Emazinyane. Lizinyane means lion’s cub

Chief – Sikhulu, wife is Inkhosikati. (Only men serve as chiefs, women can serve only as Regents)

Governor – indvuna

Prime minister – Ndvunankhulu

(Special Acknoweldgement to Hussein Mncedisi Arnold)

See here – Eswatini Royal Family

Lesotho (Kingdom of Lesotho)

King – Motlotlehi or Khosior Rabasotho

Queen – Mofumahali Motlotlehi

Prince – Khosana

Princess – Khosatsana

Paramount Chief – Moren eMoholo, wrongly used for Kings during the colonial period

Principal chief – Morena oa Sehloho

Chief – Morena

Chieftainess – Mofumahali (also used for married women)

(Special Acknowledgement to Queen Sekhothali Mabhena )

See here – Lesotho Royal Family

Morocco (Kingdom of Morocco)

King – formerly was sultan

Princess consort – title first given by King Mohammed VI to his wife Lalla Salma in 2001. Formerly Kings wives were never seen by the public

Crown Prince – title accompanied by Sidi

Prince – title accompanied by Moulay (male line)

Princess – title accompanied by Lalla (male line)

Lalla – title for female royal members of the male line

Sharifa – title for royal women born of female line

Moulay – title for royal men of the family

RWANDA (Kingdom of Rwanda)

King – Mwami/Umwami

Queen – Mwamikazi (title never existed before and was only used by Queen Rosalie Gicanda)

Queen mother – Umugabekazi

Prince – Igikomangoma

Princess – Igikomangomakazi

(Special Acknowledgement to Prince Mutijima of Rwanda)

See here – Rwanda Royal Family

BURUNDI (Kingdom of Burundi)

King – Mwami/Umwami

Queen – Mwamikazi

Queen mother – Mugabekazi

Prince – Muganwa

Princess – Muganwakazi

See here – Burundi Royal Family


Emperor – Negusa Nagast

Empress (Female ruler) – Negesta Nagastat

Empress consort / wife of emeperor – Itege

King – Negus ( Used by rulers of inflntial provinces/kingdoms under ethiopia)

Prince – Leul

Princess – Leelt /Leult

Duke – Ras

Bahr Negus – King of Medri bahri kingdom which was found Eritrea (means King of Sea)

Sultan – Title for the five rulers of Afar people of horn of Africa

(Source ; Wikipedia)


Zulu Kingdom of AmaZulu people, South Africa

King – Ingonyama or ISilo among others

Queen – uMkankosi (wife of King), uNdlunkulu (plural iNdlunkulu) used also by ladies who marry into the royal family,

Queen Mother – Indlovukazi (also applied to Queen regents)

Prince – UMntwana

Princess – UMntwana

Zinyane, Plural Amazinyane – children of a lion/King

Chief – iNkosi

Headman – Induna

Prime minister – Ndunankulu

(Special Acknowledgement to Princess Sinethemba Kazwelithini, Thami Zulu)

Thembu, Xhosa, Rharhabe, Mpondo, Mpondomise Kingdoms, South Africa

King – iKumkani

Queen – iKumkanikazi

Queen Mother / great royal wife – iNdlunkulu (Great royal wife/house), sometimes Indlovukazi

Prince – iNkosana

Princess – iNkosazana

Chief – iNkosi

Ndebele Kingdom, South Africa (Manala and Ndzundza royal clans)

King – iNgwenyama

Queen – iNdlovukazi (used for great wife of royal blood)

Non royal wife – Kosikazi, also chiefs wife

Queen Mother – Ugogo Wesitjaba (Manala)

ngu Gogo westjhaba Ndlovukazi (Ndzundza)

Prince – ikosana

Princess – ikosazana

Chief – iKosi, wife called ikosikazi

(Special Acknowledgement to Queen Sekhothali Mabhena and Princess Simangaliso Mahlangu)

BaPedi Kingdom of Pedi people, South Africa

King – Kgoshikgolo

Queen – Kgoshigadi

Queen Mother – Mma Kgoshi

Queen married as a Candle wife” or “great wife – Timamollo

Prince – Kgoshana

Princess – Kgoshatana

Chief – Kgoshi

Subchief – Tona

(Special Acknowledgement to General Bauba)

BaLobedu monarchy of Lobedu people, South Africa

King or Rain Queen – Khosikholo, Modjadji being the reign name which means ruler of the day.

Prince – Mokhololo (plural Bhakololo)

Princess – Mokhololo (plural Bhakololo)

Chief – Khosi

Also kings/queens and chiefs are called Bamosata as a sign of respect/praise name. Mosata is royal compound

(Special acknowledgment to Molodzwi, King Lekukela Modjadji)

VhaVenda, South Africa

King – Khosikhulu (Mphephu Ramabulana royal house)

King/Paramount chiefs – Thovhele/Khosi (Tshivhase and Mphaphuli royal houses)

Prince – Mukololo

Princess – Mukololo

Chief – Vhamusanda

(Special acknowledgment to Ondwela Tshivhase)

Tswana people, South Africa and Botswana

Tswana people of South Africa and Botswana are organized not under one kingdom but under many smaller kingdoms groups each with their own monarch. For this, some consider them chiefs others Kings. Tswana means to break away due to their history of breaking away to form their own tribes. Tswana groups include Bafokeng, Bakwena, Barolong, Bakgatla, Bama etc

King – Kgosikgolo sometimes simply as Kgosi

Chief – Kgosi

Queen – Kgosikgadi/Mmarona

Queen mother – Mohumagadi

Mmemogolo – Great mother. Title was used affectionatly by Bafokeng to address late queen mother Semane Molotlegi

Regent – Motshwaredi

Other Common titles

Kgosikgolo – King

Kgosi/Kgoshi/ Hosi/ Nkosi/ Inkosi / Inkhosi – Chief, some use it for King

Kgosigadi / Hosikazi / Inkosikazi/ Inkhosikati – wife of a Chief, some use it for Queen


Tooro Kingdom & BunyoroKitara kingdoms, Uganda

King – Omukama (actual meaning is Milkman)

Queen – Omugo (Wife of Omukama)

Queen Mother (King’s mother) – Namasole

Prince – Omubiito

Princess – Omubiitokati

Prime minister – Omuhikirwa

Buganda kingdom of BaGanda people, Uganda

King – Kabaka

Queen – Nnabagereka

King’s sister – Lubuga (installed with the king as advisor)

King’s sister – Nnalinya (incharge of royal tombs)

Queen Mother ( King’s mother) – Namasole

Prince – Omulangira (means male royal member)

Princess – Omumbejja (means female royal member)

Clan Chief – Omutaka

Prime minister – Katiikiro

Rwenzururu kingdom, Uganda

King – Omusinga

Queen – Nyabaghole

Ankole / Nkore Kingdom of Ankole people, Uganda

King – Omugabe

Queen – Omwigarire

Prime minister – Enganzi

Busoga kingdom of Soga people, Uganda

King – Isebantu Kyabazinga (Isebantu means father of the people)

Queen – Inhebantu

Chief of Bugabula – title is Gabula

Chief of Bulamogi – title is Zibondo

Chief of Kigulu – title is Ngobi

Chief of Luuka- title is Tabingwa

Chief of Bukono – title is Nkono

Chief of Bukooli – title is Wakooli

Chief of Butembe – title is Ntembe

Chief of Bugweri – title is Menha

Chief of Busiki – title is Kisiki

Chief of Bunha – title is Luba

Chief of Bunhole – title is Nanhumba

Prime Minister – title is Katukiro

Lango people

Paramount Chief – Won Nyaci

Acholi people

Paramount Chief – Rwot

Alur people

King/ Paramount Chief – Ubimu

Queen mother – Min Ubimu

Prince – WoRwoth

Princess – NyaRwoth

Chief – Rwoth

(Special Acknowledgement to prince Japamora)

BuGwere/baGwere people

King – Ikumbania

Kooki people

Monarch – Kamuswaga

Queen – Omugo

BaRuuli people

Monarch (King or chief) – Isabaruuli

Teso people

Monarch/ Paramaount chief – Emorimor

BaGisu/BaMaasaba people

Monarch – Umukuuka

Banyala people

Monarch – Ssabanyala or Omukama

Bwamba people

King – Omudhinginya (means Elephant)

Padhola people

Monarch – Kwar Adhola

Busongora people

King- Omukama previously Omubiito

Queen – Omugo

Queen mother – Omugabekati


Nigeria has over 500 traditional monarchjs each with their own title, see here Traditional Kings of Nigeria

  • Oba or Kabiyesi – King is gemerally for Yorubas and used as a prefix before their name but there are specific titles for specific monarchies
  • Igwe – King, is generally used for Igbo Kings and used as a prefix before their name but there are specific titles for specific monarchies
  • Emir – local titles Sarkin, Mai, Shehu are used for the islamic emirates Hausa Fulani in Northern Nigeria
  • Adele – Crowned princess who serves as regent after her fathers death before another male successor king is chosen. Ondo and Ekiti state

Local Kings and Emirs

Olu – King of Warri kingdom of Itsekiri people

Tor Tiv – King of Tiv people

Obong – King of Efik peple

Ndidem – King of Qua or Ejagam people

Omo N’Oba Nedu Uku Akpolokpolo Oba– King of Benin kingdom of Edo people

Ooni – King of Ife kingdom of Yoruba people

Alaafin – King of Oyo empire

Muri Munene – King of Efut people

Elegushi – King of Ikate kingdom

Alara – King of Ilara

Onisabe – King of Igbobi sabe

Sarkin (Emir) – rulers of most Northern nigeria emirates

Mai(Emir) – rulers of Northern Nigeria emirates

Shehu – Ruler of borno, bama

Etsu – Ruler of Nupe, Patigi etc

Oniru – King of Iru kingdom

Olowu – King of Igbara oke, King of Owu kuta

Oluwo – King of iwo

Peremabowei or Pere – King of Kabowei Kingdom

Oluboropa – King of Iboropa

Amayanabo / Amanyanabo – King of Kalabari , King of Ke, King of Ogichiri, King of Abonnema

Olofa – King of Offa

Abepa – King of Joga

Oliyere – King of Iyere

Timi – King of Ede

Obi – King of Oligbo

Odemo – King of Isara

Onipokia – King of Ipokia

Dein – King of Agbor kingdom

Ataoja– King of Osogbo,

Deji – King of Akure

see full List here – Traditional Kings of Nigeria


Omu – Queen Mother , highest royal title and position among the Igbo people of Anioma subtribe given to a woman as the leader of the women in the Kingdom

Olori – Title for queen consort /wife of Oba, used by Yoruba people

Lolo – Title for Queen consort , used by Igbo people

Iya oba – Title for Queen mother / Kings mother

Oloi – Title for Queen consort to Oba of Benin kingdom

Sarauniyar – Queen, Emir’s wife, Highest royal titled woman in Islamic Hausa Fulani Emirates, Northern Nigeria

Alamerefa – Title for Queen consort/wife to Peremabowei (King) of Kabowei

Amayanabota – Title for Queen consort /wife to Amayanabo

Erelu Kuti – Title for Queen mother of Lagos

Yeye Oodua – Title for Queen mother of Ife

Yeyelowu – Title for Senior queen of Olowu of Owukuta

Yeyesa – Title for Queen consort / Wife of Oliyere of Iyere

Ayaba – Title for queen consort of Oyo, Wife to Alaafin of Oyo

Anasi Obi – Title for Queen consort to Obi of Oligbo

Ya Gumsu – Title for Queen consort or first lady of Lafia emirate, wife to Emir of Lafia

child of king in Yoruba – OmoOba used by Prince and Princess

Benin Kingdom, Nigeria

Omo N’Oba Nedu Uku Akpolokpolo Oba – King

Edaiken of Uselu – Crown prince

Iyoba – Queen Mother/King’s mother

Oloi – Queen consort/King’s wife

Eson N’erie – senior queen leader of royal harem

Okoro – Prince

Uvbi – Princess

Iyase -Chief advisor to the Oba/Commander in chief of the warriors/Royal army

Isekhure – Chief priest

Uwangwe – responsible for the king’s attire and wardrobe

Enogie – Duke/ Head of a large Community

Odionwere – second head of a number of communities

Okaidunwun – Street head

Okhaemwen – Chief

Warri Kingdom, Nigeria

Olu – King in local language

Ogiame – title means King of the river as kings were custodians of the traditional worship of the River Goddess

Olori – Queen

Iye Olu – King’s Mother /Queen Mother

Ologbotsere – Prime minister

Uwangue –  man in-charge of the Olu of Warri’s wardrobe

Egogo – King’s Mouthpiece

Ojoye – Chief

CONGO Region

Mwenekongo -Title for King/Emperor of Kongo people/ kingdom (Corrupted by whites to Manikongo)

Mwami – Title for many kings and some chiefs of the tribal monsrchies in eastern DRC, similar to Rwanda, Burundi and western Tanzania monarchies

Mwami Naluhwindja -Title for King of Luhwindja kingdom

Mwami Nakaziba – Title forKing of Kaziba kingdom

Nyim -Title for King of BaKuba kingdom, Kuba people

Mwami nabushi -Title for King of Kabare kingdom,Shi people

Mulopwe – Title for emperor or king of Luba, King of Basanga

Mwaant Yaav – Title for Emperor of Lunda empire/ people

Kiamvu or Kiamfu – Title for King of Kasongo Lunda people

Mwami Msiri – Title for King of Gareganze kingdom of BaYeke people

Kiamvu – Title for King of Kasongo Lunda

Moe – Title for King of Loango Kingdom

see full list here – Traditional Kings of Congo

Kongo kingdom

Mwenekongo -Title for King/Emperor of Kongo people/ kingdom (Corrupted by whites to Manikongo)

Infante – Prince (adopted from Portuegese influence)

Mfumu – title meaning Lord or Chief

Ntinu – Title for lesser vassal Kings under Kongo eg King of Soyo

Soba – Title for Chief

Eastern DRC kingdoms (Cheferrie de)

Most commonly, other titles differ

King – Mwami

Queen/ queen mother – Mwamikazi

Luhwindja Kingdom, DRC Congo

King – Mwami NaLuhwindja

Queen – Makamba

Queen mother/Kings mother – Mwamikazi, becomes Mwamikazi after her husbands passing and is mother of the new king

Prince – Murwhali

Princess – Murhwalikazi

Chiefs –

Kingdom – Bwami (can also mean royal court or palace)

(Special Acknowledgement to HM Mwami Naluhwindja Tony Chibwire)

Kabare kingdom of Shi people, South Kivu DRC Congo

King – Mwami

Queen – Makamba

Queen mother – Mwamikazi

Prince – Muluzi

Princess – Muluzi Munyere

Chiefs – Bajinji

Kingdom – Bwami (can also mean royal court or palace)

(Special Acknowledgement to Prince Alexandre Kabare)

Bukumu Kingdom of Bakumu people, North Kivu DRC Congo

King – Mwami

Queen – Mwamikazi

Queen mother – Omugabekatsi

Prince – Mutwali

Kings brother – Muruti

Princess – Murutinyere

(Special Acknowledgement to Mwami Kahembe Isaac Butsitsi)


Nfon/Fon/Mfon – Title for King of Bamoun people, King of Bana, King of Balikumbat, King of Bafut, King of Babungo, King of Bafaw, King of Mankon, King of Oku etc

Neh Manju or Nah Mfon – Queen mother (Kings mother) of Bamoun Kingdom

Momamfon – Title for Princess Coheir (Bamoun people)

Fo/ Fo,o – Title for King of Baham, King of Bamendjou, King of Bakondji, King of Bafoussam,

FoA-Djo – Title for King of Bandjoun

Sultan – Title for Muslim rulers of Wandala/Mandara, Ruler of Logone-Birni, Ruler of Bouba, King of Bamon

Lamido – Title for Ruler of Bibemi, Ruler of Mokolo, Ruler of Maroua, Ruler of Mogode,, Ruler of Ngaoundere,

See full post here – Kings in Cameroon


Ingwenyama Inkosi ya Makosi – Title for King of Maseko ngoni,

Inkosi ya Makosi – Title for king of Jele ngoni, King of Ngoni of Tanzania. Literally means King of Kings/Emperor

Inkosikazimkhulu – Title for Senior Queen of Maseko Ngoni

Inkosikazi – Queen, wife of chief

Indlovukazi – Title for Queen mother of Ngoni clans,, also used for queen of Jele Ngoni

Themba la mathemba Chikulamayembe – Title for king/paramount chief of Tumbuka people means King of Kings

Ntemi gwa Batemi Kyungu – King/Paramount chief of Ngonde people

Mwene wa Mamwene – Title for Paramount chief of Lhomwe people

Inkosana – Title for Prince of the Ngoni clans

Inkosazana – Title for Princess of the Ngoni clans

Inkosi – chief both male or female

see ful list here – Traditional Kings of Malawi


Nabongo – Title for King of Wanga Kingdom / Abawanga

Haye ywe Ngaji  – Title for King of Pokomo

Haye – Title for King of WaIlwana tribe

Oloibon/ Laibon – Title for ruler of Maasai people, both spiritual and political

Orkoiyot – Title for Political and spiritual ruler of Nandi people

Mugwe – Title for Ruler/Spiritual leader of Meru people

Njuri Ncheeke – Title for Council of elders of Meru People

Rwoth/Ruoth – Title for Ruler/Chief of Luo people

Ker – Chair of Luo council of elders

Sultan – Title for clan chiefs of the somali clans

Sheikh – Title for rulers of historic coastal towns/sultanates of kenya


Most are now all known as Chifu (Chief in Swahili) but are Kings in their local titles

Ntemi/ Mtemi -Title for king or chief of the Chagga people, Nyamwezi people

Ngole – Wife of Ntemi

Mtwa -Title for King or chief of Hehe people

Sultan – Title for ruler of Zanzibar sultanate, also used in neighbouring Comoros and Seychelles

Mwami – Title for Kings of Ha people of western Tanzania, near Rwanda

Mfalme/Mfaume – King in Swahili language, also used in neigbhouring Comoros and Seychelles

Mangi Mkuu – Paramount King by the Chagga people (incorretly referred as Paramount chief by the white colonialists)

Mangi – King of the Sukuma tribes (incorretly referred as chief by the white colonialists)

MkaMangi – Wife of King/Mangi

Omukama – King, used by tribes/kingdoms in North western Tanzania near Uganda

Omugabe – King, used by Ihangiro kingdom

Inkosi ya Makosi – King of Kings/chiefs, used by the Ngoni people of Songea

Kolo – King, used by the Wamanyema people of kigoma region

Mwene – King, used by Nyiha/Fipa tribe

Find out more about Kings in Tanzania here – Kings in Tanzania


Asantehene – Title for King / emperor of Ashanti

Asantehemaa – Title for Queenmother of Ashanti

Naa – Title for King of Wala people

Ga Mantse – Title for King of Ga people

Awoamefia – Title for King of Anlo Ewe people

Yaa Naa– Title for King of Dagomba people or Dagbon Kingdom

Bakwu Naba – Title for Ruler of Bakwu people

Nayiri – Title for King of Mamprusi people of Mamprong kingdom

Yabbongwura – title for King of Gonjs people/ kingdom

Okyehene – Title for King of Okyeman people/ Akyem Abuakwa people

Okuapehene – title for ruler of Akuapem area of Okuapeman people


Sultan – Title used by all traditional monarchs today due to Islamic infleunce

Kotoko – Title for Sultan of Gaoui

Mbang – Title for Sultan of Barguimi

Kolak – Title for Sultan of Wadai

See full list here – Sultans of Chad


Reth – Title for King of Shilluk (Chollo) people, shilluk kingdom

Sultan – Title for monarch of Darfur sultanate, Fur people and other islamic influenced monarchies

Nyie/Nyeyya – Title for King of Anuak/Anyuak/ Anywaa people

Atoroba – Title for King of Azande people kingdom

Mukkuk – Title for ruler of Taqali

see full list here – Kings of Sudan and South Sudan


Mwene Kongo / Manikongo – Title for King of Kongo kingdom of BaKongo people

Mwene Mbandu – Title for King of Mbunda kingdom of Ovimbundu people, Mwene Ngoma meaning Owner of the royal drum or Mwene wa Chiundi

Ngola – Title for King of Ndongo kingdom

Mwene Vunongue – Title for King of Ganguela or Nganguela people

oSoma y’olosoma – Title for King of Bauilundo/Mbailundo Kingdom, which means king of chiefs.

Soma Inene – Title for King of Wambo/Huambo kingdom, King of Viye/Bie

See full list here – Traditional Kings of Angola


King, Paramount chief, Senior chief, Senior chieftainess, Chief and Chieftainess are majorly used by Zambian Government

Litunga – Title for King of Barotseland/Lozi people

Kalonga Gawa Undi – Title for King of Chewa kingdom people

Mwata Kazembe – Title for monarch of Kazembe Lunda people

Chitimukulu – Title for King of Bemba people

Munokalya, Mwami, – Title for Lion King Mukuni of Leya people

Bedyango – Title for Matriarch of Leya people. She reigns alongside the Lion King Mukuni of Leya

Nkwazi – Title for queen consort/Kings wife of Lion king Mukuni of Leya people. it means eagle (Special acknowledgements – Candido Mukuni)

See full list here – Traditional Kings of Zambia


Paramount chief, Chief used by the Namibia State

Ombara Otjitambi – Title for Paramount Chief of Herero people

Gaob – Title for King of Damara people

Gaob – Title for monarch of the Nama people

Ohamba yOukwanyama – Title for King/Queen regnant of Oukwanyama Kingdom people

Omukwaniilwa – Title for King of Ondonga people

Omukwaniilwa gwUukwaluudhi – Title for King of Uukwaluudhi Kingdom people

Omukwaniilwa – Title for King of Ongandjera Kingdom people

Munitenge – Title for monarch of Masubia/Subiya people

Hompa – Title for monarch of Uukwangali Kingdom people

Hompa – Title for monarch of Mbunza kingdom of Okavango people

Hompa – Title for chief of Shambyu people

Fumu – Title for monarch of Hambukushu people


Ogorungu/Agamwinboni – King/Chief of Kingdom of Orungu

Oga – King of Mpongwe/ Omyene people


Somalia has many rulers of the many different clans. Sometimes they are referred as clan chiefs due to their high number

Suldaan – Title for many kings locally. (suldaan is in local somali which is Sultan in English).

Boqor – Title for king of Darood clan, Majeerteen sultanate

Ugaas/Ughaz – Title for King of Dishiishe clan, King of Gadarbuusi clan

Beeldaaje – Title for King of Ali saleeban clan/sultanate

Wabar – Title for King of Degodia clan

Garaad – Title for King of Dhulbahante clan, King of Jidwaaq/Absame clan,


Mogho Naba – Title for King of Ouagadougou kingdom of Mossi people

Naaba – Title for King of Boussouma kingdom and King of Yatenga of Mossi people

Dima – Title for King of Zougrantenga kingdom of Mossi people

Djamanatigui – Title for King of Bobo Dioulasso

© The African Royal Families. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

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