Kehinde Akinyemi-Okomah is a passionate leader, with a long track record of successful business management.
Though coming from a finance background, she has been in the Oil & Gas industry for over 18 years before delving into snacks and juice production as the founder, TemnnysFoods. In this interview, Kehinde talks about the effects of GMO food, eating habits and other things.
Speaking about eating habits generally, what do you consider harmful in the way people eat?
A vast majority of people give little or no attention to proper eating habits or even study about eating habits and what it entails. Poor eating habits are detrimental to the body.
The risk of poor nutrition also has its roots in our eating habits. A very common bad eating habit is snacking round the clock on high calorie, unhealthy and junk foods.
This habit can pose a threat to one’s health in the long run. Snacking on organic, gluten-free, non-GMO foods is highly recommendable and body-friendly.
When you say, snacking on organic, gluten-free, non-GMO foods is highly recommendable and body-friendly, what do you mean?
It’s very important that I explain the term ‘GMO’; that way you would understand clearly. GMOs, short for genetically modified organisms, are subject to a lot of controversies. In the food industry, GMO crops have had genes added to them for various reasons such as improving their growth, nutritional content, sustainability, pest resistance and ease of farming.
While GMO crops make farming much easier, there is some concern around their potential effect on the environment and their safety for human consumption — specifically surrounding illnesses and allergies.
We keep our products non-GMO and gluten-free because we ensure the use of natural plants whose genetic components have not been altered.
In Nigeria, foods such as fufu, garri, yam and others are taken as satisfying meals. Will your non-GMO snacks ever replace major meals in this clime?
We understand the love that Nigerians have for their conventional meals and we are very much aware that Nigerians have some of the best of meals in the world.
However, snacking will never replace the delectable Nigerian heavy meals but rather complement them. We also understand the importance of a balanced diet. Eating healthy shouldn’t be hard and it should not hold you back from doing what you love.
What are the challenges of doing business in Nigeria?
Nigeria as one of Africa’s major players in commerce and industry is faced with some challenges that may overwhelm the operations of businesses. These challenges include the current security issues plaguing the country, poor electricity supply and lack of adequate infrastructure.
In what way do you think government can be of assistance to the food manufacturing industry?
No business can succeed very well without the government’s commitment to ensuring a good environment and business policies for all forms of businesses to thrive.
Government and business have a relationship with the action of one imposing a resultant effect on the other.
The best way the government can be of assistance is to create enabling and sustainable business policies and regulations that would encourage business activities in the country.