Whenever Nigerian’s make mention of their First Lady, Mrs Dame Patience Jonathan, its her grammatical errors that pops up in the conversation. We seem to be carried away by the grammatical errors in her speeches as if we are all professors of English ourselves. We have judged her by her flaws in English Language for that matter (typical human nature).
I have discovered that most of us don’t know anything about the First Lady other than the fact that she is the President’s wife.
I searched the internet and found out a few things about her that I bet you don’t know.
1. Patience Fakabelema was born on the 25th of October 1957 while her husband was born on 20th November 1957. She’s older than her husband by less than a month (proves that age is just a number…*wink*)
2. She holds a National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics & Biology from the Rivers State College of Education and later bagged a degree from University of Port Harcourt (UNIPORT) in Biology & Psychology. (I know you are wondering why her English is bad with all these degrees, I can assure you bad English doesn’t mean your not useful to the society). She passed WASSCE in 1980 (long before many of her haters were born).
3. Although she started out as a teacher at Stella Maris College in Port Harcourt, she later veered briefly into the banking sector, establishing Akpo Community Bank in 1997, the first of its kind in Port Harcourt, and later served as the Marketing Manager of Imieto Community Bank.
4. According to Baridah Job Karabah, a former houseboy, her nickname back in the days was ‘Mama Ice Cream’ because she used to cool ice cream in her large deep freezers. The ice cream is then later distributed for sale. He says business was ‘booming’ for her then. President Jonathan was at that time, a senior lecturer at the Rivers State College of Education. And yes, she had a poultry too at the same time. Quite industrious I’d say.
5. She met her lecturer while she was a student at the Rivers State College of Education (now Rivers State University of Education, Rumuolumeni). Her lecturer then was with the Department of Biological Sciences (he taught her biology, correct course..*wink*), and one thing led to the other, they both fell in love. Today, the rest is history and that Mr. Lecturer of yesterday now rules the most populous black nation on earth. You still don’t know him?
In her words:
”We first met at the Rivers State College of Education, Port Harcourt where I was a student. He was my Biology lecturer.Later; he left for university of Port Harcourt to pursue his PhD.
We met again at the University of Port Harcourt when I went for undergraduate degree. That was where our relationship began. He took interest in me because I was a brilliant and smart student.
It was love at first sight on his part. But it never crossed my mind that it would lead to a serious relationship. My first impression of him was ‘this tall, dark, handsome young man”.
Further interaction with him also revealed that he came from a good Christian home just like I did. His humble and gentle disposition caught my attention and most importantly, his intelligence.”
6. She says she still cooks for her husband and even goes to Utako Market (a market in Abuja I guess) to buy ingredients for soup
7. She bears the title ‘Dame’ as she was honored with the Knighthood of the Anglican Church.
8. She is locally, nationally and internationally recognized as a Philanthropist, her role in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Africa for instance was rewarded with “Beyond the tears” International Humanitarian Award in New York. Other International awards she has received include; The Goodwill Ambassador and “wind of change” award from South-South women group.
9. She holds many traditional titles, some of which are:
– Odadigba of Otuoke Kingdom, meaning the Ladder of Success.
– Unume Wheshi Ekpeye 1 of Ekpeye Kingdom in Rivers State.
– Yeye Obateru of Owu Kingdom, Ogun State, means the Wife of He Who Shares the King’s Burden.
– Yeye Ohun Orun of the Source of Ife Kingdom, Osun State, meaning the Wife of the Voice of the Heavens.
– Ada Di Oha Mma of Ukpo Kingdom (Daughter of the People of Ukpo).
10. She also has a non-governmental organization, named the A. Aruera Reachout Foundation and is said to focus on the needy, the poor and the destitute, with particular emphasis on women and children. According to the Foundation, it has trained over 2,000 women in the last eight years. Some of the things her Foundation does is to foot the bill for children with heart conditions with over 30 kids benefiting.
11. Her marriage with the President is blessed with two children: a cheeky boy, Ariwera Adolphus Jonathan and a beautiful girl, Aruabi Jonathan.
I am not writing this piece for you to like her but for you to respect her position as the wife of your President (whether you like him or not). I want you to see her beyond the apparel of the First Lady to the hardworking woman, supportive wife and amazing mother she is. God bless you and God bless Nigeria.
15 Things You Didnt Know About Patience Jonathan by Iyaniwura