Dr. Patience Johnson, a Nigerian, is the first African woman to earn the title of Cosmetic Professional Landlady in Germany. She is a medical icon who won the 2021 World Education Iconic award as “Iconic Doctor” and “Iconic Leader” in New Delhi India for her contributions in the field of education. She was also honoured in India for her exemplary leadership in education with the “Outstanding Edupreneur of the Year 2021” award.

A cerebral woman of substance and inventor of permanent make-up machine, Johnson is celebrated in the beauty and aesthetics industry as the world’s most adroit user of laser technology in the treatment of beauty and skin issues.

In this exclusive interview with MARY NNAH, which coincides with the 20th anniversary of her sojourn in the world of beauty and aesthetics, she speaks about her triumphs and challenges, her experiences in Germany and Nigeria and why every nation needs discipline and quality leadership to sustain its corporate existence and command the loyalty of citizens and promote happiness

Your biodata is quite interesting. It is recorded that you started out as a housemaid in Nigeria. Today you are a global icon in your professional calling. How did it all happen?

Well, I grew up in Nigeria as a housemaid, the one that hardship inspired and motivated me to strive so that my children would not go through what I passed through in my life. Just as I said earlier, I didn’t see being a maid as a problem but an arena that God was using to prepare me for the leadership role ahead.

I remember having my own business at the age of nine. The picture of becoming somebody had always been there and I worked so hard to accomplish that. I grew up with my grandmother who gave me the most precious gift on earth which is my spiritual foundation and her words before she died was “Through you, our family name will be known all over the world and you shall be great to serve your generation.”

So I grew up serving, I found joy in serving, which is one of the things that have made me outstanding among my peers. I grew up in the church with morals and God sent me to Germany to sharpen my morals with discipline. So, my foundation gave me the basic keys to build and live properly.

My childhood was nothing to write home about – because I needed to work to earn my school fees. The suffering kicked in immediately when my grandmother died, but I am grateful today because all those things I saw as suffering then I treasure as tools I needed to be where I am today. My life should be an inspiration to my generation.

Tell us more about your exploits in the world of beauty and aesthetics that have catapulted you to the world brand that you have become

Well, I am Founder/CEO of Derma Contour Skin Clinic worldwide with head office in Germany. Currently, I am consulting at Derma Contour Aesthetic and Beauty Clinic, Abuja, treating all kinds of skin diseases. I am a prolific writer, motivational speaker, an author, a beauty and aesthetic industry entrepreneur, and a multi-award winning international tutor. I am an Eagle Award Recipient in Germany on corporate leadership.

Globally, Derma Contour is 20 years old. Derma Contour operations in Germany, United States and United Kingdom also include an advanced training centre for people who are already in the field for their continuous education. Recently, I was recognised in India as an outstanding Edupreneur of the year 2021 by World Education Summit Awards. I am a world-renowned German-trained Cosmetic Dermatologist, a Professor in healthcare, and Eminent Researcher.

I am the first African lady to acquire these titles of Cosmetic Professional Landlady (BFA) and Specialist and Manageress in Germany, I am also a medical icon who won the world education icon award as an Iconic Doctor and Iconic Leader in India.

I was also given a Best Medical Practice award in Oxford, United Kingdom from Europe Business Assembly and European Medical Association for demonstrating a significant resilience and adaptability to the difficult conditions of a pandemic and providing safe and high quality medical services, as well as effectively introducing innovative solutions and treatment approaches.

The European Business Assembly Research Centre recommended me for the prestigious International Award in the healthcare sphere ‘Rose of Paracelsus’. This is in recognition of my excellent reputation, safe and effective treatment methods and progressive medical programmes.

The award granted the symbol of reliability to the best practitioners and clinics whose professionalism is confirmed, not only by formal standards, but by the trust of clients.

I am a versatile person. I want to help my clients achieve both inner and external wellness and beauty and that is exactly what we focus on at Derma Contour.

Beauty treatment is the one you get in a spa and wellness parlour but health management is more professional because here, you get to meet a specialist that can analyse your skin and the cause of your ailment and the proper treatment or cream for it. It has come to my notice that once our people have any issue on their skin, they engage in self-medication or buy some certain creams without proper recommendation. In doing so, they cause more harm than good to themselves.

You lived for a long time in Germany where the system works and here where the system is still beset with a lot of hiccups. What is in our system, in our politics that is not right?

Asking me about politics in Nigeria is like asking me to write another bestseller book. Where would one start? You can’t start with something that has no foundation or starting point. I usually tell people the best way to find a solution is to go to the root.

That is the exact way I operate in my clinic. You may come with a skin issue; we may end up treating kidney, liver or even heart. Why? Because for you to cure a disease, you have to find out the underlying factor or trigger. If you can find it, then the solution is not farfetched.

Well I had an opportunity to interact with many of your politicians to find out why they are all singing the same song, which also is a song that they don’t know how to sing which is occupying a seat they don’t know anything about: English men call it incompetence! It’s like you giving a medical doctor a Mercedes vehicle to fix, what do you expect? It is better to expect more damage.

I found out that there is no single sign of leadership in any of them. Leadership is also about sacrifices – I left my good life in Germany to come here to take care of people. For me, that is what leadership is about. I have been working in Nigeria for the past four years without any pay but I make sure that workers’ salaries are met, even if it means me digging deeper in my private account to pay.

Leadership is selfless – I can’t imagine having billions in my account while the people around me are dying of hunger. That is what I see in Nigerian politics. I see people who have sold their conscience for money.

How do you see Derma Contour in the next two decades?

In the next two decades, I believe that my children will take over while I go to rest. There is so much we can still achieve. The first 20 years were not easy but I think the next 20 will be much easier because we have learnt a lot in the journey – we have more than enough experience that can help us solve any problem that we may come across.

There will be challenges but what matters most will be how we face and manage them. Derma Contour has come to stay – that I know for certain.

I am not thinking of retirement yet, what will I do if I go on retirement? The first 20 years is just the beginning of the journey. We are yet to unfold our packages. Like I said earlier, Derma Contour is a tree with many branches; we are working hard to continue to water and prune that tree.

Successors are already on ground but I will still hang around to assist whenever my advice is needed. We don’t intend to stop only in Nigeria for the mission we have for Africa. Our next target in Africa is South Africa, Uganda, Ghana and Ivory Coast. My dream is to build as many entrepreneurs as possible who will be ready to go “through the process” not just pursuing money. I wish to produce people who will be ready to sacrifice and not just to consume. We need more producers in the world, especially in Africa.