Allure Interview: 10 Minutes with Temitope Fesobi
After an experience with a life-threatening ailment, Temitope Fesobi took upon herself to research and educate people on living right and healthy through her company, Top Joy Health.
To Fesobi, what you eat can go a long way in helping you live healthier. She is on a mission to ensure that everybody is aware of healthy living options.
In this interview, the founder of Top Joy Health, an information and training institute, revealed that she is ensuring that Nigerians get top information on how their diet affects them and inform them on how to make better diet choices.
What’s Top Joy Health about?
It’s about training people on the right way to eat and to enlighten them on the different kinds of diseases which different foods can resolve rather than going to the hospital regularly. If you’re eating right, you’ll find out that you’ll fall sick less often than when you’re not eating right. Top Joy Health creates awareness for people to be cautious about how and what they eat and to appreciate foods that God created, including herbs.
How did you start this?
I read Microbiology and I did a little of Dietetics in school. I went further to study kinds of food and their nutritional values so that once you know the kind of food, you know the nutritional value; then, you understand the lack of one thing or the other that is causing one disease or the other. For example, for cancer, people say cancer doesn’t have any cure but I realize that cancer has a cure because the presence of cancer in your system is due to lack of vitamin B12. Once you get vitamin B12 into your system in the right dosage, it’ll suppress cancer.
Now, besides what I studied, I went into this fully when I had fibroid and I was asked to go for surgery. At first, I didn’t want to go for the surgery but later, I went for it because I felt I had no choice. That was when I started studying and learning a lot of things. At the end of the day, I was able to know the cause and how it can be cured.
What I found out during my research is that fibroid has different causes and one of the causes is emotional trauma but people don’t even know that aspect. When you’re emotionally down, it affects the system. If you do not have a family history of fibroid, it might lead to breast cancer but if you have a history of fibroid, since it’s hereditary, it’ll form a tumour. Although I’m still studying this to know much more, during my studies, I realized the possibility of this by using myself as an example because I live as healthy as possible. I stay away from sugar, red meat, white flour even though I bake and I still had fibroid. I was able to trace it back to a particular time in my life when I was emotional down.
I had a primary cholesterol problem as a child, which means it was hereditary and that affected my eating lifestyle because I don’t digest fat easily. What that means is if I eat fatty foods, it’ll remain in my blood stream and might clog the heart which might lead to heart diseases.
Interesting… How did you come about that conclusion?
I read a book about health; I can’t remember the name of the book right now but it was talking about different kinds of disease. There was a time scurvy, which is the abnormal swelling of the gum, was killing people. Scurvy is due to lack of vitamin C and it started on the seas. When it was known that vitamin C can suppress and even cure it, people started taking vitamin C. Now, if anyone has scurvy, that is what will be prescribed for you; vitamin C or fruits and vegetables with lots of vitamin C. That’s how I knew that there are some diseases people feel don’t have cure. The truth is that they do while some diseases are meant to be managed. That can happen if you’re eating right. For that reason, I keep trying to research to help people find information to help them live healthier lives. Once I have this information, I make sure I send out through my newsletters to get people informed.
When exactly did you start this?
Actually, when I was in secondary school. I’ve always had this in mind; when I was in JS3, I always told my mom that I would like to start doing things that are healthy because, at that time, I used to watch a soap opera, ’Tod High’. There was an episode which showed cholera epidemic among children and they found out that there was a particular baby food that was causing the problem. When they removed that baby food, the epidemic stopped.
After seeing that, I started thinking about it. I used to have conversations with my mother, telling her that if people knew the right thing to give their kids, they won’t be dependent on these cereals in the market – like baby food and baby milk – because there are better foods and there are better ways to process your baby’s food.
So, I always told my mother that I’ll make healthy baby food for kids so that they won’t need to take the available processed food in the market that might have harmful content in them. This was when I was about 12 years old.
After secondary school, I used the little resources I could find from the almost non-existent internet available at that time to books on health and diet. I was consuming every information I got my hands on and had to do with nutrition. So, when I went to the university, I knew what I wanted. I went in straight for Microbiology because I knew it’ll help me with what I wanted to do eventually. For my National Diploma, I studied Science Laboratory Technology and that gave me access to do so many things. Sometimes, people look at me and say I’m just everywhere but the truth is that the course I studied made that possible. It gave me the opportunity to be everywhere and because I believe in people putting their best in whatever they want to do, I try, myself, to live that way. So, in terms of cake making, I studied that very well. In terms of environmental, I studied it very well and that’s how it was for me in every other area of my life.
What are some of the success stories that have come from Top Joy Health?
I’ve received great positive feedback from people who have done exactly as I asked them to do; I know that not everyone follows instructions. I know a cancer patient at a time; the lady told me what she was going through. I studied her diet, told her what to take and what to stop taking. After some time, she came back to tell me she’s getting better. I’ve seen cases like that and that makes me feel great whenever it happens.
How receptive has this venture been to family and friends?
Most members of my family love what I do, especially my brothers and cousins but the women in my family aren’t too keen on it. They feel it is not financially promising despite the time I invest in it. I try to not be bothered by such thoughts because I am finding happiness and fulfilment in it.
Doing all of these as a woman, what have been the challenges you’ve faced?
I really can’t say there have been challenges. Although there are people who won’t listen to me, I don’t let them bother me because I know there’s a strong possibility of the next person listening. I don’t interpret their not wanting to listen as something wrong with the information I’m giving. It’s just them. They have the problem; not me or my information.
Any plans to make this information-based company into a product?
Yes, there are plans on that. We are planning with my friend to start making almond bread, healthy pastries, non-polished flour like wheat flour, coconut flour and any healthy food that we feel people need to be healthier and enjoy better foods.
How’s your personal diet like?
My children will always say I’m a vegetarian (laughs) but that’s not true because, occasionally, I still eat fish, egg and meat. A lot of fruits and vegetables are a major part of my diet.
How important do you think it is for a woman to stick to a diet?
There are some fruits you eat and you feel happy – like watermelon (laughs). But seriously, if you eat right, you’ll fall sick less and there are some foods that improve your mood, especially when they’re healthy and your favourite. Now, when that happens, you’ll realize that you’re not stressing your muscles so much. That doesn’t only make you healthy, it makes you age less than you should.
What are you working on now?
I’m currently doing a study on cholesterol. We have high and low cholesterol and people die from them. Sometimes, we hear things like – there’s cholesterol in people’s heart and it’s clogged. So, I’m currently studying to be able to let people know how they can easily avoid that from happening through understanding their diet. For those suffering from it, I can proffer medicinal and natural solutions for them but in most cases, I advise people to go for the natural aspect because the natural aspect and living right will definitely keep sickness at bay.
If you’ll ask women to do anything about their health, what would it be?
I’ll tell them not to worry about anything because even with their worries, what would happen will eventually happen. As women, we worry too much about the husband, children and our home. And when we worry, it causes headache. Put your trust in God, eat well and watch yourself flourish in health. After all, even the Scriptures say that a merry heart is healing to the bones and ‘bones’ there sounds like arthritis to me. So, let God take charge of that while you concentrate on how healthy what you eat is.