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Tulsa’s own “The Amazing Emeka” made his third and final appearance on The Ellen Degeneres Show on Tuesday afternoon. Degeneres invited Nnaka, who first appeared as a guest on the show in 2018, back to tape one of the last episodes of the farewell season. The local school counselor and co-host of The Black Sheep Podcast said he was humbled to be asked back again.

“When I got the call that I was gonna come back a third time, I was just extremely honored,” Nnaka told Ellen. “Everything that you’ve done — I’m so happy. Thank y’all for bringing me back here.”

Nnaka, who also serves as a board member on the Metropolitan Tulsa Transit Authority, first appeared on The Ellen Show following a series of personal tragedies.

The apartment building he and his father were staying in caught fire and burned down. His specialized van was in a wreck, leaving him without a vehicle to get to and from work. And then Nnaka’s father, his daily, primary support, broke his ankle and was unable to walk.

“When I first came to this show, my life was headed downwards,” Nnaka told Degeneres during the interview. “I can tell you now things are going great again. I’m back to speaking, working as a counselor and involved with the community again.”

Emeka and Ellen have formed a friendship over the years

Degeneres joked that she gave Nnaka “street cred” with his students after being on the show.

“You absolutely did,” Nnaka laughed. “I can tell ya, I see kids that don’t know I’ve been on the show, and then I’ll hear they’ve seen the clip, and then I’m cool again.”

Over the course of the last few years, Degeneres and Nnaka have formed a friendship.

“You are such an inspiration,” she said. “I love that you are out there speaking and talking and helping people because you are just a beautiful, beautiful soul.”

“Look, it takes one to know one,” Nnaka responded. “The seeds that you have planted, the nineteen years that you’ve been able to do this — I just want to say thank you for all the work that you’ve done.”

“I love you, thank you,” Degeneres said.

Degeneres surprises Nnaka by paying off his mortgage

In true Ellen Show fashion, the host had one final surprise for Emeka Nnaka.

After asking him about his new home, Degeneres asked “how much more do you owe on this mortgage?”

“About $73,000,” Nnaka responded.

“Mmm, no you don’t,” Degeneres said with a smile. “Because this season, we partnered with Tisbest and they loved what you’re doing. They want to help because you help the community, so they want to pay off your mortgage with a check for $100,000.”

Degeneres stood up and gave Nnaka a hug as she presented him the check, both of them smiling ear-to-ear in their last time together on the show.

The Ellen Degeneres Show ends it’s historic 19 season, 3300+ episode run on Thursday, May 26th. Degeneres made history as the first openly-gay host of a major daytime talk show.

Nnaka told The Black Wall Street Times he will never forget the kindness from Degeneres and others.

“I’m super thankful to have so much love and support from my local and national community,” he said. “I wouldn’t be where I am today without the people.”

In addition to his work as a school counselor, Emeka Nnaka is also a nationally-known motivational speaker.  You can learn more about his work at

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Nate Morris moved to the Tulsa area in 2012 and has committed himself to helping build a more equitable and just future for everyone who calls the city home. As a teacher, advocate, community organizer...

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