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BN Bytes: “The First Lady Speaks” – Dame Patience Jonathan in ThisDay Style



A few hours before the inauguration ceremony which confirmed President Goodluck Ebele Jonathan as the democratically elected President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria; The First Family was the topic of discussion on Sunday morning as Nigerians browsed through their copies of the Sunday 29th May edition of ThisDay Style.

The First Lady along with the President and their two children appeared on the cover of the glossy insert of ThisDay on Sunday newspaper. However, the spotlight was on the First Lady of Nigeria, Dame Patience Jonathan.

Nigerians saw a different side of Dame Patience.

The in-depth interview by ThisDay Style editor, Ruth Osime covered all bases including;

How the couple met – “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 the University of Port Harcourt to pursue his PhD.

We met again at the University of Port Harcourt when I went for my undergraduate degree. That was where the 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 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.

They also explored the dynamic of their relationship despite the political pinnacle which they have attained – “I still cook for my husband; you remember I went to the market the other day to buy things for myself. I was at the Utako Market to buy foodstuff and soup ingredients. This is one thing I enjoy doing. I will prefer to go to the market by myself if I have the opportunity. I cannot, because my primary role as a mother and as a wife. There are dishes that my husband prefers which only I can prepare for him.

Her children – “First and foremost, I must let you know how much I love children. I love my children. I am very close to them. I still prepare them for school and assist them in their assignments. Remember, I am not a political appointee, so I have ample time to take care of my children and attend to their needs

Public Speaking – “Some people see public speaking as an act or a performance. In acting or performance(s), you act or mimic someone’s style or manner of speaking. I speak naturally.

And because I speak straight from my heart, it comes naturally. While growing up, my parents encouraged sharing of views. They did not impose their views on us. They only gave us guidance. So, I found myself growing up as a free human being, free to express my views on anything at any time. And I don’t hold back my opinion when I feel strongly about anything.

Her Non-Profit work – “I have two NGOs namely the A. Aruera Reachout Foundation and the Women for Change and Development Initiative

The first lady also spoke about how both foundations are self sustained as illustrated by the A. Aruera Reachout Foundation which she founded while she was the First Lady of Bayelsa and it continues to operate independently today. Both foundations are audited quarterly and have a Board of Governors.

The accompanying photoshoot shot by Ty Bello was so stunning! Wearing pieces by designers including Nigeria’s Tiffany Amber; Dame Patience Jonathan, Ruth Osime of ThisDay Style and Ty Bello definitely scored an A+ on this!

Photos & Interview Excepts: ThisDay Style


  1. dewowo

    May 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    first to be first lady! gbam!

  2. Kay

    May 31, 2011 at 12:42 pm

    She sure cleans up very nicely…

  3. mimi

    May 31, 2011 at 12:49 pm

    awww, lovely! the photog and stylist and Dame herself all did well. two thumbs up!

  4. zuriperle

    May 31, 2011 at 12:59 pm

    Its amazing to see that her personality is so vivid even in her pictures. Inspiring to know she still cooks for her man.

  5. FumzyO

    May 31, 2011 at 1:00 pm

    Fantastic Job by TY Bello and the stylist. Ty Bello has to be the BEST photographer in Nigeria. Kudos to the Stylist, she brought out the true essence of what a first lady of Nigeria should look like. Great job by ThisDay Style!

  6. Naj

    May 31, 2011 at 1:01 pm

    Looking good oh…and it;s great to hear the stories behind the scenes…nice 1

  7. moi

    May 31, 2011 at 1:14 pm

    she looks very cute, this is the first time i am seeing a Nigerian first lady looking so sophisticated and glamourous, i mean aside from the usual buba and iro, very cute

    • Deffy

      May 31, 2011 at 8:18 pm

      thats so true

  8. Fab junkie

    May 31, 2011 at 1:21 pm

    Great, this little piece actually draws one to her n the entire family. It makes u feel like u know them so well. She looks hawt.

  9. oma

    May 31, 2011 at 1:23 pm

  10. cathy

    May 31, 2011 at 1:24 pm

    dame really looking like a true DAME. way to go first citizen. i love

  11. leggy

    May 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm

    she looks stunning in that green dress and i like how the cover photo was the whole family all in traditional attire.

    • IJ

      June 1, 2011 at 12:22 am

      straight from my heart….my jaw drop wen i saw her in the green dress…fab!

  12. Nino

    May 31, 2011 at 1:25 pm



      May 31, 2011 at 2:29 pm


    • 'Tunde

      May 31, 2011 at 2:38 pm

      It’s called a motion. 😐

  13. akudo

    May 31, 2011 at 1:26 pm

    cute cute cute, i particularly love d dottin way mr president looked at his wife in pix 7, it radiated love pure and simple

  14. kay

    May 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    she looks gorgeous bless ! yes the stylist should be hired permanently ….

  15. dews of keziah

    May 31, 2011 at 1:34 pm

    Wow! I must say, she really has a beautiful smile that lights up her whole persona. I mean if you hadn’t heard or watched her say her famous word, “umblerra”, you wouldn’t have guess it was her. Its either that or a wonderful job by TY Bello and adobe photoshop.

  16. Miss J

    May 31, 2011 at 1:41 pm

    The first lady looks so good; she’s got a lovely smile! Thumbs up to the stylist and TY Bello

  17. rimito

    May 31, 2011 at 1:44 pm

    How i wish she wore the green dress to the inaugural ball.

  18. Ujumama

    May 31, 2011 at 1:49 pm

    Awwwwwww I like her, she is very pretty in fact gorgeous. Anytime I see her I just start smiling. I love our 9ja mothers no be small ooo lol! I will really appreciate it if the maintain that motherly figure and not that hollywood crap that’s going on. They look smashing especially in native attire! love love love!!!

    • OnPoint!

      May 31, 2011 at 8:52 pm

      i have a cousin dat we call ujumama??? r u from Obosi?

    • june

      June 1, 2011 at 11:32 am

      lol….my people are every were….that is nt ujumama from obosi…

    • Ujumama

      June 3, 2011 at 4:24 am

      Lol, naaa, 4rm Anambra.

  19. Abang Mercy

    May 31, 2011 at 1:51 pm

    Now, this is my first lady. All hail DameP

  20. TAMA

    May 31, 2011 at 1:56 pm

    nice pictures… Thumbs up to TY Bello. the pictures are very cool.. no excess photoshopin like some photographers do..

  21. jaygal

    May 31, 2011 at 1:57 pm

    mehnnn!!ty bello and ruth,u guys sure did an outstanding wrk here!kudos..

  22. stella

    May 31, 2011 at 1:58 pm

    Here comes my first lady n all thanks goes to d stylist.

  23. signature

    May 31, 2011 at 1:59 pm

    hm! DAME PPP!!

  24. Ujumama

    May 31, 2011 at 2:00 pm

    I can also tell she is a good dancer, just check out her gestures in the photo!

  25. Rasheedah

    May 31, 2011 at 2:02 pm

    last shot, best shot! Mmmm I love that dress!!! where can I get it, seriously?!!!

  26. NKASI

    May 31, 2011 at 2:04 pm

    awww…I had tears in my eyes looking at pic 7. That right there is love.

    This article, abridged as it is was very spot on. I like the way it makes you feel like you know the first family personally.

    The Dame, was really GEJ’s best human asset during this election…her humorous speeches kinda endeared her to Nigerians.

    Great job This Day and everyone involved.

  27. sisiekomi

    May 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    Ilove love d insert and I couldn’t get enough.great stlying ,great shots.the first lady has such a beautiful smile.the picture with her husband radiates pure love.the stylist should be hired permanently.lovely outfits dat suits are stature and colour.looking forward to seeing our First lady looking this radiant.I will love to work with her as a stylist.

  28. KunbiFirstLady

    May 31, 2011 at 2:09 pm

    As a first lady in my home (lol) I had to comment on this Mrs Johnathan looks like a first lady and i like that she is engaging with the public and giving nigerians an insight into the compostition of the first family of the federal republic of nigeria as it keeps it human. Something that has never been done, but should have been the norm. I think she may just outshine Maryam Babaginda (RIP) as the best first lady we have had, if she continues to be advised properly which from the styling and photoshoot is happening. The first lady is a very important role, she is what people see when they think and see of Nigerian women, who are intelligent, savvy, pragmatic, glamorous, tough but loving and extremely influential in relation to the success of a family and nation.

  29. dingdong

    May 31, 2011 at 2:12 pm

    .There was dishes that my husband prefers which only I can prepare for him” I hope and would like to believe this is a typo not her exact words. #justsaying
    Tho she look pretty in those dresses…


      May 31, 2011 at 2:22 pm

      It was our mistake and it has been corrected.

  30. Lil miss sunshine

    May 31, 2011 at 2:16 pm

    This is the first time am actually taking a closer look at this woman OMG She is stunning, and i love the family portrait.. love the fact that they all have on traditional attires.

  31. sisiekomi

    May 31, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    I love love this,I have read d article.she looks radiant,she has such a beautiful smile,d shot with her husband radiates love,great stling ,beautiful pieces dat suits her colour and stature where used.looking forward to seeing her as beautiful and radiant.I will love to work with her as her stylist.

  32. ebony

    May 31, 2011 at 3:24 pm

    she sure looks very beautiful.

  33. truthhurts

    May 31, 2011 at 3:27 pm

    she needs to hire the stylist and the make up team for life

  34. Tintin

    May 31, 2011 at 3:38 pm

    Nice and Classy. I love her hair style, it suits her well. Well, we have them as our first family, let us support & pray for them to make a huge change in our country.

  35. Talk Talk

    May 31, 2011 at 3:48 pm

    I wonder if a relationship started when he was still her lecturer, afterall it was love at first sight. Na wa sha, brilliant student gets spotted by lecturer. Interesting love story.

    • BadMAN

      May 31, 2011 at 4:25 pm

      Yeah right! Brilliant student indeed. “Umprella”

    • Beverly

      June 1, 2011 at 5:53 pm

      Correction “Umblerra”. That she mixes her R’s and L’s does not make her dumb. I know great minds who drop and pick up their H’s and O’s. Blame speech issues or mother tongue interference. She was and is a huge asset to her husband.

  36. for sure

    May 31, 2011 at 3:56 pm

    awwwwwwww dame! tooo beautiful!

  37. me

    May 31, 2011 at 3:59 pm

    i third the notion, sorry, motion of hiring the stylist permanently……………………………mehnnnn…….she looks very beaurriful!!!!!………….a true image of a mother……………she should open her hair more often, makes her look years younger. plus TY bello is still da best

  38. Odior

    May 31, 2011 at 4:07 pm

    very nice…i hope she sticks to this long dresses and bringing out her hair for functions……Elegant

  39. bluebubbles

    May 31, 2011 at 4:17 pm

    TY Beeeeeellllllllllooooooooo!I nid u to take photo shoots of my hubby and I.U did a rily wonderful job here.U nid to do it so u can add to your profile when we become the first family.

  40. kokolette

    May 31, 2011 at 4:26 pm

    hey!!!!!! money is gud o!!! c hw dis woman has changed!!! i hpe her grammer to would upgrade bcos she cannot speak english 2 save her life. Let her not go n embarrass us when she goes 4 international functions! Dat being said nice pictures! n the kids are cute!!!!

  41. Chibaby

    May 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    She is cute and adoring.


    May 31, 2011 at 4:55 pm

    I will saythis Dame patience Jonathan is a beautiful woman..she still needs to believe it.

  43. marietta

    May 31, 2011 at 4:57 pm

    i’m confused….it doesn’t sound like she said some of things that are quoted in the magazine…im perplexed…

  44. marietta

    May 31, 2011 at 4:58 pm

    on a positive note, whoever styled her should be her stylist for like, eternity!! seriously though!!

  45. Angel

    May 31, 2011 at 5:05 pm

    I love this, thanks Bella!

  46. Zara

    May 31, 2011 at 5:19 pm

    This part had me rolling: “He took interest in me because I was a brilliant and smart student.” Brilliant and smart ke? lmao

  47. Ruth

    May 31, 2011 at 5:23 pm

    looking at this pictures really really draws me closer to them. despite the stories about her speech, i think she is a beautiful, humble and free woman. you can see all this in her smiles. Her little girl looks so cute. She can make us proud. All she needs is God and the right people around her.

    A loving this FAMILY………………………………..

  48. Tiki

    May 31, 2011 at 5:58 pm


  49. africhika

    May 31, 2011 at 6:10 pm

    Dame Patience Jonathan—you are GORGEOUS!!!! yes, that green dress is fabulous.
    blessings to a lovely first family.

  50. May

    May 31, 2011 at 6:46 pm

    Very arresting pictures of the first lady! Way to go

  51. hmmmm

    May 31, 2011 at 7:35 pm

    awww.she’s just beautiful!

  52. mua

    May 31, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    our first lady luks smarshing and suavish…lucky Goodluck..

  53. e-bukun

    May 31, 2011 at 7:40 pm

    Oh wow! she looks really good and the picture just makes me warm up to her. Hire the stylist!!. I’d like to see one of these shoots with Gov. Fashola and His wife, Abimbola because I think they’re also a super husband and wife team. Great job with this one!

  54. Dee

    May 31, 2011 at 8:12 pm

    Am I the only one wondering in what form she exudes this brilliance? Cos based on her public speeches, all I’m thinking is, “he was your professor? No wonder you passed your classes.” Now I know the current government will definitely not address any issues involving improper student-professor relationships (voluntary or coerced).

  55. moo

    May 31, 2011 at 8:13 pm

    tybello i doff my hat
    i love and want dt green gown.
    indeed d pix and all really.depict d first family.
    style nice one

  56. mercy

    May 31, 2011 at 8:28 pm

    This day style and everyone involved, thumbs up. Dame P is quite pretty who would have known, i certainly never noticed. i love the pic where he looks at her with love, u cant fake that. i hope she hires a stylist and a makeup artist as they are a necessity when you are in the public eye in my opinion. hopefully when she gets a copy of the paper, she’ll realize this.

  57. ugochi

    May 31, 2011 at 8:56 pm

    beautiful . I love the 1st family pics. And she shops next door to me? Where i shop? awesome. Hoping to meet you some day soon by the Ugu sellers shop. I would be so honored to cut the ugu for you and Mr President. The Future is here people.

  58. aydot!

    May 31, 2011 at 9:06 pm

    dame, we’re proud of you! nice photoshoot, beautiful smile and the stylist did a fantastic job!!

  59. Omonaikee

    May 31, 2011 at 9:32 pm

    finally we see the dame side of the First lady ! Absolutely love the look!

  60. Bisi BusyBee!

    May 31, 2011 at 9:36 pm

    wow, i couldnt close my mouth, lol shes so pwetty. many thanks to TY for good shots and of course the stylist. The first Family rocks!!! cheers, BusyBee!

  61. q

    May 31, 2011 at 10:31 pm

    y cant style have an e.copy? This edition is a must keep i d next generation

  62. Tanwa

    May 31, 2011 at 10:50 pm

    Ah ah! They shouldn’t have edited this interview. They should have left it in its natural state.

  63. oo

    June 1, 2011 at 1:49 am

    Is there anything this man is not lucky at??? lol. One giant leap for Nigeria

    I love it!

  64. ini

    June 1, 2011 at 3:39 am

    That is a nice family,may God give him the strength to rule the nation well in Jesus name Amen.

  65. Enchantin Cakes

    June 1, 2011 at 7:03 am

    Hmn…we need something like this make-over in another aspect too-o. Once that’s done, the First Lady is on her way to total and absolute self-confidence! It will be nice to look good and also…..

  66. Lizi

    June 1, 2011 at 7:50 am

    Yea she is frank and mimics nobody. She speaks from the heart and it comes naturally. I like here for this. Being herself and trying to copy or be someone else.

  67. faith

    June 1, 2011 at 8:59 am

    very lovely….

  68. Fashion police

    June 1, 2011 at 10:30 am

    TY BELLO IS THE BEST! That stylist will be arrested and sent to four years compulsory national service on DAME!! NO APPEAL PLEASE. Back to biz brilliant and smart indeed, we all can testify to umblela and my fellow widow brilliance. Nice family though and nice editing work, kudos Thisday grammar editors.

  69. Peace!PEACE!!

    June 1, 2011 at 11:01 am



    Although she has cleaned up nicely, she doesnt look this way in reality!

    Is the green dress environmentally sustainable? It must have taken like 20 yards… Just joking oh before im crucified…

    TY BELLO..You know how to use a camera and more importanly how to edit it!!

  70. Joy

    June 1, 2011 at 11:37 am

    oh my God! this is so cute….i never knew that our first lady is this pretty! wow.

  71. THISDAY Style

    June 1, 2011 at 1:16 pm

    She’s simple, down to earth and beautiful.

  72. Priscy

    June 1, 2011 at 3:11 pm

    Absolutely stunning, Mama is looking gooooooooooooooood too.I am proud of her. The entire family looks lovely too. Well done T.Y. Bello, you no carry last at all at all!Spectacular!

  73. Buchi

    June 1, 2011 at 8:25 pm

    Am so so impress. This is good, i love her new look, pls Hire that stylist my Dame.

  74. vhikey

    June 2, 2011 at 11:32 am

    lovely smiles, lovely kids,lovely family. Tumbs up!

  75. Francisca Ifeyinwa

    June 2, 2011 at 3:34 pm

    Elegant and Beautiful: That’s my First Lady!

  76. Ada

    June 3, 2011 at 4:23 am

    That green dress oh and the black one in the link below, and the trad in the pic b4 the black one, they are all on point!! This woman is very smart! The image consultant/stylist must be paid shege, what an amazing transformation!!!

  77. patience

    June 3, 2011 at 10:59 am

    Oh my name sake, this is unimaginable. This is our first lady…

  78. Bunmi Yomi

    June 6, 2011 at 2:44 pm

    love these pics so nice

  79. me

    June 6, 2011 at 11:09 pm

    Lovely pictures:) .. and the rumor was that they didn’t have kids…smh..

  80. Eva

    June 9, 2011 at 1:13 am

    Neva knew she cld look this beautiful. Nice packaging. Wat’s wit d story abt them nt having kids? Hmmm… Good 2 knw she’s got kids.

  81. storm

    June 26, 2011 at 12:23 am

    absolutely stunning…

  82. deee

    August 10, 2011 at 11:38 am

    last picture is lovely and suits her very well- she looks stunnign in it- i love it! 🙂

  83. Ndidi

    October 13, 2011 at 3:20 pm

    I just saw these pictures of Nigeria’s First Lady. The next time the wives of African Heads of States take a group picture, Dame Patience Jonathan must be up front and center!!!! She makes me proud! There is not enough coverage of her on the international level. There needs to be more instead of for example the first Lady of Cameroon (the one with the bleached face, the big hairdo and too much make-up.

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