Farooq Oreagba Crowned ‘King of Steeze’ and Honorary NCAC Ambassador

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In a move we expect to encourage Nigerian cultural enthusiasts, the National Council for Arts and Culture (NCAC) has named Farooq Oreagba an honorary ambassador after his now-viral appearance at the 2024 Ojude Oba Festival.

Obi Asika, the director general of NCAC, announced Oreagba’s appointment on Instagram, proudly displaying the certificate of recognition.

“I could not be happier to announce him as an Hon Ambassador for the National Council for Arts and Culture @ncac_nigeria and celebrate him and his boundless energy and spirit,” Asika wrote.

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“He is now the King of Steeze and brought global attention to #OjudeOba, the key traditional festival of Ijebu Ode celebrating the Awujale,” he wrote.

What you should know about Farooq Oreagba

Farooq Oreagba’s life reads like a compelling novel, filled with academic achievements, professional success, and a profound battle against cancer, culminating in his recent rise as a cultural icon.

Born in July 1966 in Ijebu-Ode, Ogun, Farooq Oreagba’s educational journey took him from Ijebu-Ode Grammar School to the prestigious King’s College Lagos. He furthered his studies at Edward Greenes College, Oxford, before earning a Bachelor of Engineering in Combined Engineering Studies from Coventry University between 1985 and 1989.

However, in February 2014, Farooq Oreagba’s life took a dramatic turn when he was diagnosed with bone marrow and skin cancer, compelling him to temporarily step away from his flourishing career in the finance industry.

“My experience during my illness has changed my outlook on life a little bit. Some of the things that tick me no longer really matter. I found other things that get me up in the morning,” he reflected on his diagnosis.

For nearly two years, Oreagba fought a valiant battle against cancer and emerged victorious. His triumph over the disease sparked a new mission: counselling and supporting cancer patients across various communities. His tattoos, acquired after the age of 50, are a powerful testament to his survival and his renewed zest for life.

Professionally, Oreagba has held numerous roles in the finance industry for over three decades. Most recently, he served on the Derivatives Product Advisory Committee of the Nigerian Stock Exchange before taking on a new position as the managing director of NG Clearing Limited in 2023.

For over a decade, Oreagba has been the epitome of cultural pride at the Ojude Oba, riding into the festival on horseback, decked out in magnificent asoke, representing his family and heritage with flair. This year, his flamboyant green and yellow Asooke Agbada turned heads and cameras alike, earning him viral fame and the moniker “King of Steeze.”

Asika praised Oreagba as an inspiration, stating, “He represents all that is good about Nigeria. Please celebrate him, a true Nigerian original! He is braver than almost anyone I know from the way he confronts his pain and has always repped Naija since I have known him. Congrats again and thanks for all you do.”

Farooq Oreagba Crowned 'King of Steeze' and Honorary NCAC Ambassador
Farooq oreagba holding the certificate of recognition

Oreagba’s viral moment and new ambassadorial role will further highlight his deep connection to Nigerian culture and his ability to captivate and inspire friends and strangers alike. The NCAC’s recognition of Oreagba highlights his dedication and his remarkable ability to shine a spotlight on the rich traditions of Ijebu Ode.

Oreagba’s journey from a cancer survivor to a celebrated cultural figure is nothing short of inspirational. As he continues to shine a spotlight on Nigeria’s heritage, Farooq Oreagba’s story will serve as a powerful reminder of resilience, reinvention, and the enduring Nigerian spirit.

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