Cancer diagnosis is best thing that happened to me – Viral man at Ojude Oba festival reveals

Former Member of the Derivatives Product Advisory Committee of the Nigerian Stock Exchange and the managing Director of Nigerian Clearing, Farooq Oreagba has described the diagnosis of bone cancer, myeloma in his body as the best thing that ever happened to him.

Recall, Oreagba stole the show at the 2024 Ijude Oba, an annual celebration by the Ijebu people in Ogun State.

Speaking during a recent interview at the Morning Show on Arise, Oreagba said that the diagnosis changed his priorities in life.

He said, “I’ve always been a bit of a controversial person, but we’ll not go into that. I think from the moment I was diagnosed with cancer in February 2014—it’s an incurable form of cancer—priorities changed

“I’ll say this to somebody, and it’s going to sound ridiculous. I’m 58, and if I could live another 20 years, I’ll say being diagnosed with cancer is the best thing that ever happened to me. It changes my perspective on life. What I’m there for. I’m there for it.

“Counselling cancer patients, trying to improve access to better healthcare, I’ll do that all day long.”

He also said that he runs marathons to raise money for cancer charities, just to give people hope.

“I got hope from places I least expected, and from some of those I expected, I got nothing. That’s life, and you learn your lessons,” he said.

Oreagba further spoke about how he has been able to find fulfilment and stay happy despite his health status.

He added, “You don’t know how much time you’ve got; you line up your priorities. For me, it is family first because I don’t know how long I’m going to be around, but by God’s grace, I’m 10 years and counting, and since I’ve been crowned ‘king of steeze’, I’m not about to just go like that anytime soon.

“I’ve been counselling cancer patients for a while. I was diagnosed in February 2014. I had a bone marrow transplant in August 2014. I did chemotherapy every day, 21 days a month, for eight years.

“I don’t do chemotherapy anymore; I’m living my best life; I’m back working. That gives me a sense of fulfilment because people ask me why I am so happy. ‘I’m alive!’ And as long as you’re in the game, you can win the game; each day is a blessing.”

Oreagba also explained how being diagnosed with cancer reduced the number of friends he had.

He said, “One thing I realised is that when I was a senior executive at the exchange in the early 2000, let’s say I had five million friends.

“When I left the exchange in 2010, my five million friends went down to one million. When I was diagnosed with cancer in 2014, my one million went down to a hundred. That was a very important lesson; it’s important that you hold your friends close, keep your 10 toes down all the time, and be yourself.”

Speaking about his tattoos, he stated that they held significant meaning to him and that he had had them for years; hence, they were not curated for the Ojude Oba event.

“People talk about my tattoos; I’ve had tats for years, and I’m very particular about them. I try to make sure that I don’t have a tattoo on my face and that my sleeves are down when I’m in corporate mode.

“Here’s the famous tattoo,” he said, showing his arm, “it says, ‘I live each day as if it were my last. So don’t judge me.’ That says, ‘Only God can judge me.’”

He further explained that he has other tattoos for his kids, some indicating the moment when he had lots of friends. “I’ve got ‘Ride or die.’ These were not curated; they’ve been there for years.”



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