Inside Croydon’s Hero of the Week: Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya

Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya won’t like this. Like that’s ever stopped us in the past.

Heroic, in a modest manner: Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya

But the Shirley resident is Inside Croydon’s “Hero of the Week”, because she took a stand – or rather a seat – against a jumped-up little tyrant.

Monday’s full council meeting at the Town Hall was started by the mayor of Croydon, Eddy Arram, with a call for those gathered to stand for a minute’s silence in memory of Baroness Thatcher.

Fair enough. The mayor is at liberty to abuse his position to further. After all, why change the habit of the past year?

The conduct of Arram, the Ashburton councillor with a day job as Gavin’s Gofer, has been so disgraceful that it prompted a number of former mayors to submit a formal letter of complaint.

But what the mayoralty does not give him, or anyone at Croydon Council, is the right to compel people to conduct themselves in a “respectful” manner towards someone whom many believe does not deserve such respect.

Nicodemi-Ehikioya chose not to stand. Mayor Arram got all agitated, ordering her to stand. Nicodemi-Ehikioya refused. She remained seated. Arram, like a power-crazed little dictator, ordered her from the Town Hall chamber “never to return”. Nicodemi-Ehikioya acted with the utmost restraint and dignity. In marked contrast to our mayor.

Nicodemi-Ehikioya left the chamber, but returned after the minute’s silence, as she was entitled to do so.

John Stuart Mill once said: “Whatever crushes individuality is despotism.” Standing up, or even sitting down, to tyranny, even pathetic little men like Croydon Mayor Arram, is in its own modest way heroic.

“I am no hero,” said Nicodemi-Ehikioya, the editor of online local magazine Shirley Life. “My father, who fought in the resistance in Italy in the war was a hero.

“I was simply doing my duty, my civic duty.”

Indeed. For which we thank Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya and that is why she is this week’s Inside Croydon Hero of the Week.

  • Who is your choice as Inside Croydon Hero of the Week? Send your nominations for this prize-less  accolade to with “Hero of the Week” in the subject field, and no more than 200 words on why you think they deserve recognition for the actions in the previous seven days. And please include a daytime contact phone number

About insidecroydon

News, views and analysis about the people of Croydon, their lives and political times in the diverse and most-populated borough in London. Based in Croydon and edited by Steven Downes. To contact us, please email
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4 Responses to Inside Croydon’s Hero of the Week: Marzia Nicodemi-Ehikioya

  1. I beg to disagree with Marzia: I think it takes real courage to stick to your guns in a situation like that, when you’re in a minority of one. Well done you: and good riddance to ‘orrible Arram.

  2. I agree David. Marzia is a modest but a forthright and honest person, who acts with conscience. I would like to think that I know Marzia well, and I admire her for her calm resolve and for sticking up for what is right, without theatrics or publicity.

    The overwhelmingly negative reaction to the broadcast of the carry on in a previous Croydon Council Chamber meeting, thanks to Croydon Radio, speaks volumes. I hope Marzia’s lead will encourage others to point the spotlight on what is not right in Croydon ‘democracy’; I use the term loosely!

    Bring on the new Mayor of Croydon. I wish her well in the post, to serve Croydon. After Mayor Arram she couldn’t do a worse job.

  3. The behaviour of Councillor Eddie Arram at the council meeting on Monday 22nd April 2013, and the way he bullied an innocent member of the public, was the most outrageous and contemptible thing I have ever witnessed in 15 years of attending council meetings. It is absolutely none of his business whether someone in the public gallery chooses to stand (or not) in such circumstances, and he did not have the authority either to order Marzia to stand up or to leave – particularly as she was not being disruptive to the conduct of the meeting in any way.

    I will rejoice when Cllr Arram leaves the office of Mayor, and I sincerely hope that he will be de-selected as a candidate for next year’s local elections. If my colleagues in the Conservative Party are foolish enough to re-adopt him as candidate for Ashburton ward, then I will definitely not be campaigning for him and I will restrict my leafleting activities to other wards.

  4. I find the concept of being a hero (do you mean heroine? I am a strong female.) ridiculous.

    A hero is somebody who performs brave or noble deeds. It did not take bravery to stand up to a bully.

    I was brought up to “stick to my guns” when somebody wants me to do something that goes against my principles. I do not run with the pack and often find myself “in a minority of one”. It does not bother me. Frangar sed non flectar is my motto. My life would be easier if I could reach a compromise with myself.

    Croydon’s Coat of Arms has: Ad summa nitamur. Well, that is ridiculous too, especially when we look at pathetic little men.

    Tyranny is rife and not only in the Town Hall, sadly.

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