Patience Faka Jonathan (born 25 October 1957) is the current First Lady of Nigeria and a Former permanent secretary in her native Bayelsa state. She is married to the President of the Federal Republic of Nigeria, Goodluck Jonathan.
Born in Port Harcourt, she earned her school certificate in 1976, and passed the West African Senior School Certificate Examination (WASSCE) in 1980.
In 1989, she obtained the National Certificate of Education (NCE) in Mathematics and Biology from the Rivers State College of Arts and Science, Port Harcourt. She then proceeded to the University of Port Harcourt and studied Biology and Psychology.
Jonathan started her career as a teacher at the Stella Maris College, Port Harcourt and Sports Institute Isake.
She then moved to the banking sector in 1997, where she established the first community bank in Port Harcourt called the Akpo Community Bank. She served as Marketing Manager of Imiete Community Bank. She returned to the classroom briefly again as teacher.
Eventually she was transferred to the Bayelsa State Ministry of Education, where she served until 29 May 1999 when her husband became the Deputy Governor of the state. On 12 July 2012, she became a permanent secretary in her native Bayelsa state.
She and her husband have two children.
Jonathan has been recognized locally, nationally and internationally for her philanthropic work and political pragmatism. She received the “Beyond The Tears” International Humanitarian Award New York, USA, in 2008, for her role in the global fight against HIV/AIDS; the African Goodwill Ambassador Award (Los Angeles, USA, 2008) and the recipient of the “Wind of Change” Award from the South/South Women’s Organization. When Goodluck Jonathan served as Governor between 2005 and 2007, Patience Jonathan served the state in the capacity of the first Lady of Bayelsa State.
During this period, she founded many philanthropic and women empowerment programs, among them are the A-Aruere Reachout Foundation (AARF), which she set up to improve the status and earning capacity of Nigerian women and youths. The foundation already has its focus on supporting and assisting children with heart-related problems.