You think you know your first lady well? Think again. Here’s a list of 15 things you probably didn’t know about Patience Dame Jonathan as compiled by Iyaniwura:
1. She is older than President Goodluck Jonathan. Okay, calm down, not what you are thinking. She was born in Port Harcourt on the 25th October 1957 while the don himself was born on 20th November, 1957. Ok, just like a month. (Click link below for all pictures)
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. She passed WASSCE in 1980, long before many of her haters were born. Ok, no lele. Let’s ride on.
3. Although she started out as a teacher at Stella Maris College in Port Harcourt (HajMari, where are you o?), 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’ (and that of the President was simply ‘Oga Joe’ ). Ice cream ke? Yes, and that was because she used to cool (abi na freeze…lol) 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. In September 2012, she was awarded a honorary degree by the Delta State University, Abraka despite the fact that she was not in the country at that time. She was said to have gone to Germany but she denied going there for any treatment. Worefa.
6. She hails from Oba-Ama Community in Okrika, a port town in Rivers State. It is known as a base for the sale of second-hand clothes, and the name Okrika for those of us very familiar with ‘Bend Down Select’ and ‘Tokunbo’ clothes is an attestation to that. Omo, I can never forget the delightful smell of Okrika clothes…lol! The belief then, and even maybe now is that they are even better than ‘original’ and brand new clothes. Next!
7. Her maiden name is OBA. As in, she was once Miss Patience Oba.
8. Miss Oba later 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, oh, I love that course die! Don’t ask me why!), 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? Go get yourself a black fedora hat! Hear her:
”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, hansome 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.”
9. She says she still cooks for her husband and even goes to Utako Market (Abuja people, wey una dey?) to buy ingredients for soup. O ga ju!
10. Her hobbies? You bet! Reading, writing, travelling and oh yeah, swimming!
11. 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). Okay, I think that is enough for now. Nigerians and titles sha.
12. She bears the title ‘Dame’ as she was honoured with the Knighthood of the Anglican Church.
13. Her marriage with the President is blessed with two children: a cheeky boy, Ariwera Adolphus Jonathan and a beautiful girl, Aruabi Jonathan. Click the link below to see all pictures.
14. Like others before her, 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 also did was to foot the N1.8 million naira bill for an operation in India for a girl with a hole in the heart (septal defect) and Jubril Mohammed Hussein, a 9-year-old boy who was also flown out for treatment for his heart disease. Zainab Musa Garba, a twin, was diagnosed with a heart condition and needed N3 million naira for treatment, the Dame also footed her bills. Zainab’s mother teaches at the Federal Government College, Maiduguri while the dad is a retired civil servant. That’s a good one or what do you think? Same goes for Tobi Peters, an 11-year-old boy, three-month-old Peculiar Owodu and others (now over 30 kids). You can watch the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_embedded&v=ADN7iGqzb6s
Well, I had to point that out because Nigerians seem to be carried away by her speeches as if we are all professors of English ourselves. By the way, I am assuming that her Foundation derived its name from her two kids: ARU-abi and Ariw-ERA. At any rate, it’s an assumption.
15. She is currently engaged in a tussle with the former First Lady, Turai Yar’adua over a plot of land in the Federal Capital Territory. That’s what I call the vanity of power and inanity of authority. By the way, I promise to tell you the meaning of her middle name ‘Faka’ once I get it. I’ve been trying to, but nothing yet.