‘I Will Keep Inspiring and Encouraging People to Get Up, Dress Up and Show Up Because WE MATTER.’ – Dr Maymunah Kadiri

Dr. Maymunah Yusuf Kadiri is a dynamic Consultant NeuroPsychiatrist and a Fellow of the National Post-Graduate Medical College of Nigeria (FMCPsych) with almost 20 years’experience as a practicing Physician.

She is a trained and certified Rational-Emotive and Cognitive Behavioural Therapist from Albert Ellis Institute, New York, USA. She is also a certified Trauma Counsellor and Neurofeedback Practitioner. Dr. Kadiri has wide experience in psycho-therapeutic techniques and has perfected her skills whilst in private practice and whilst working for a variety of organizations. She is a recognized radio and television guest Psychiatrist/Psychotherapist. She also contributes to articles published in magazines and newspapers. A motivational speaker, coach, and mentor.
She has attended several local and international Continuous Professional Development Courses and Training Programmes.

In recognition of her outstanding leadership and performance in the field of mental health, she was selected for a Course on the Development of Leadership and Professional Skills for Young Psychiatrists in the year 2011, a World Health Organization affiliated

Dr. Kadiri’s knowledge in the field of psychiatry and psychology also provides her a sound foundation for her teaching practice. She has facilitated the development of “School-Based Mental Health Programmes” in some nursery/primary/secondary schools around the Lagos metropolis, as part of her community mental health advocacy activities. She is also involved in “Counseling Skills Training in Adolescent Sexuality and Reproductive Health” in secondary schools.

She is popularly referred to as “The Celebrity Shrink,” and is a multiple award-winning Mental Health Physician & Advocate. She is the Medical Director and Psychiatrist-In-Chief at Pinnacle Medical Services, Nigeria’s leading, and foremost Psychology and Mental health clinic prominent in the application of innovative clinical approaches in the management/treatment of a wide range of psychological, emotional, and behavioral related disorders. “She is the only Nigerian with the 11Ps…..Physician, Psychiatrist, Psychologist, Psychotherapist, Practitioner (NLP, BFB, NFB), Public Speaker, Publisher, Producer (movies), Parent, People-oriented and Passionate about God and life.”

Read our Q&A with Dr. Maymunah and be Inspired by Her.

Who is Dr. Maymunah Kadiri?
I’m Maymunah Garuba, now Kadiri, from Auchi Edo state, born a Muslim and still practicing as a Muslim. My father and mother are still very much alive. I’m from a polygamous home and the first of 9 children from my mum. All my siblings are married and of course, my parents are grandparents. I’m married to a legal practitioner who is also from, Auchi Edo state for the past 17years with 3 lovely children.

What do you consider your greatest achievement in your life so far?
The ability to be the phenomenal woman who is changing lives and rewriting the narrative on the need to de-stigma the burden on people living with mental illnesses, including their families. A global thought leader in holistic wellness, especially mental wellness.

You are so passionate about Mental Health. Was this a planned path you set out to take or something you found yourself evolve into?
I knew I wanted to be a Physician from age 5, but a Mental Health Physician until I was in medical school. Those 6+ years can humble anyone. Initially, I wanted OBGYN, but realized standing for too long during surgeries wasn’t my strength, likewise been a Neurosurgeon. Also, I still wanted to be able to flex and enjoy life to its fullest while still saving lives. “After all, na lives I take Hippocratic oath to save, I no kill person.” I found psychiatry posting very interesting while still in medical school. It’s the medicine for the past, the present, and the future. So, after medical school, housemanship and NYSC, the next sane thing was to go into residency for another 6years (Oh, Lord). Infact, If I didn’t do it then, I wouldn’t have done it now. So, in summary, it was a chosen path, but what I’m doing now is the innovation I’m bringing into it. I can tell you for free that I have one of the most interesting jobs globally. I have had to act as an event planner, an aunt that just relocated from abroad, a detective, a comedian, a bridesmaid, even wearing Aso Ebi to show for it. I have had to enroll on a course with a client just to ensure the client went through the program without a relapse. So, some certificates I have, I got them while working… I love my job 1001%.

Let me use this opportunity to educate the general public by saying we ALL have MENTAL HEALTH just like our PHYSICAL HEALTH, but NOT all of us will have a MENTAL ILLNESS. This confuses a lot of people because of the discrimination and stigma attached to mental health. Also, I would like to let everyone know that NOBODY has absolute immunity against mental illness. This can happen to anyone, but here is the GOOD NEWS…Mental illnesses are non-communicable diseases like hypertension and diabetes. This means these illnesses are TREATABLE. Let’s encourage help-seeking behavior, build a culture of compassion for individuals that need these services. Remember, Health is Wealth and there is NO Health without Mental Health. Lets SPEAKOUT, be mentally aware and be an advocate for mental health.

What’s a day in the life of Africa’s Premier Celebrity Shrink like?
I will say it’s GRACE. Is it an easy work-life integration, my answer is NO?. What I know is that having a supporting spouse, great family, a healthy support system in terms of my friends, mentors, peers, and employees, I am having it easy….and don’t forget, I’m a Shrink.#hahaha

Tell us about your new TV Health Talk show – The Physicians?
The PHYSICIANS, hmmm, it is a dream come through. I literally spoke this into existence. I had known one of my strengths and which is one of my Ps, is Public speaking and I am media-friendly without sweating it. The concept of the Physicians mostly focuses on health and medical issues with our guests (that covers anyone from professionals to policymakers, the patients) where we come together to discuss a range of various health-related topics and answer questions from viewers (this segment is named Keeping up with the Physicians) who also form part of the enlightenment and healthtainment we are bringing to Nigerians and beyond. I have a co-host, Dr. Martina Agberien who is a sister, a friend and a Public Health Physician. This is a 30 minutes show which is aired every Monday and Wednesday with a repeat on Saturday on NTA 2, DSTV channel 369, GOTV, channel 114 and STARTIMES, channel 104 from 9:00 – 9:30 am. We are present on all social media platforms, Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn, youtube as THE PHYSICIANS. Our website is www.thephysiciansng.com. This show further re-enforces the statement that says, COLLABORATION IS THE NEW COMPETITION. With the duo, the behind the scenes and the hard work put in to see this debut on Wednesday, 1st January 2020 was magical. This show promises to be highly impactful, transform lives to make people take better healthy decisions, be more intentional about living healthy and be a reminder that HEALTH IS WEALTH.

When you are not being an ambassador of happiness or tending to the mental health of others, what are you doing?
Traveling the world because it’s a form of education, teaches empathy, encourages humility from aside the fun, working on disruptive innovation and talking fashion.

What/Who inspires you and why?
I am my INSPIRATION and COMPETITION, I literally don’t need anyone to inspire me. My God, my creator who knew why he created me has instilled in me to be the best I’m destined to be and impact lives positively here on earth.

What advice can you offer to young women looking to be as bold and fearless as you are, Charting an unpopular career part in this part of the world?

Rule number 1; Know yourself
Rule number 2; Know yourself
Rule number 3; Know yourself.
With this in mind, nobody can tell you your dreams aren’t valid, because they are. Having not just SMART GOALS, but SMARTER GOALS is a recipe for a future that any young woman should desire. Keep pushing boundaries, never give up on your dreams, find the right set of people to help actualize your goals 9 a coach, a mentor, a hype buddy, etc), speak your goals into existence, feel free to fumigate your inner circle if they aren’t helping you keep sane, prioritize your mental health. Know and understand that any NO ENDS BY 11:59 PM every day, a YES can come the next day, so, never, ever give up. Any young woman out there should know that when you inspire to actualize your goals, you perspire to work on them, the world will surely conspire to see them happen. Doing the right things, at the right time and that time is NOW.

What is the most important life lesson you’ve learned so far?
To live in the present and use the pebbles of my past to build my future. No room for guilt trips about the past, no anxiety about the future, but to live intentionally, deliberately and do this continuously.

Where do you draw strength from when you are not feeling particularly happy?
I draw strength from within first, this is because if I don’t do this no one can actually help me. This starts from a positive mindset and knowing that life is full of challenges and I’m not an island. Then, I seek help because, for me, it’s a sign of strength as against the myth that it’s for those that have weakness of character. Over time, I have found, nurtured and I own a healthy support system that form my tribe and inner circle. These are people that are helping me stay SANE in the midst of all the chaos.

What is your take on “women supporting women”?
Women supporting women shouldn’t just be a dream, a hearsay, but an actionable statement. Women should see each other as humans first, not just a fellow woman. From this angle, it’s easy to empathize and not only support but empower, encourage, build tables when there are none, open doors from inside for other women because together, we are stronger.

Time travel or teleportation?
Hahaha, both have got their consequences, but if I must pick, I will go for time travel.

What would you like to be remembered for?
The PHENOMENTAL GAME CHANGER who is living, learning and impacting generations positively. I want to inspire people. I want someone to look at me and say ‘BECAUSE, OF YOU, I DIDN’T GIVE UP”. So, I will keep inspiring and encouraging people to get up, dress up and show up because WE MATTER.

Connect with Dr. Maymunah on Instagram

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