Deyika Nzeribe was one of the founders and main organisers of the Northern Police Monitoring Project. His hard work and creativity made many of the events and services that the NPMP have offered in the past, possible. However, Deyika’s work transcended NPMP. He was a tireless campaigner, a friend, a father, a brother and an inspiration to all those whose lives he had touched. But it was the humilty, that informed all of his work, that made what he did infinetely more admirable.This short piece, written by Tanzil Chowdhury, was originally read out at as a eulogy at his funeral.
There is something interesting about the humble giant. She, or in this case he, gives themself selflessly to their family, friends and their community. Their presence in those peoples lives is persistent, positive and enriching. They always are there to help us if we need them, to lean on. Yet though we benefit from them and our lives are nourished by their selflessness, the humble giant remains quiet. His work is almost always behind the scenes, never done for any public praise or gratitute, but exclusively motivated just to make the lives of others better.
They are an oxymoron, for their presence in our lives is so notable and benevolent but they remain the unsung hero. Deyika, was one such person. You may not know it, but whatever is better and good in your community, was most likely because it was in someway touched by this great brother.
When Deyika was ever involved with something, it gave one the comfort and confidence that anything was possible. There is a story I’ve told many others, that one night a few months ago, Deyika texted me out of the blue and simply said ‘Tanzil, we need to Free the Black Panthers from jail.’ Had anyone else said that, I would have replied with sour realism. But with Deyika, anything was a possibility. It is no surprise therefore, that my last interaction with this titan of a man, was trying to free political prisoners.
Rest in eternal Power Deyika. Keep an eye on us all from above.