Folarin Alakija’s New Wife Is From a Very Poor Iranian Family Whose Brother Is In Jail For Drugs
The model who married a son of the world’s richest black woman in a £5million bash was raised on a Manchester council estate by a mother who was declared bankrupt, MailOnline can reveal.
Iranian beauty Naza Jafarian tied the knot with eligible Folarin Alakija in a jaw-dropping ceremony at Blenheim Palace with a 12ft cake, one million white roses and a surprise performance from Robin Thicke.
But MailOnline has discovered that while her beau, an entrepreneur, investor and cinematographer, is the heir to a $2.1 billion fortune – his 66-year-old oil billionaire mother Folorunsho is ranked by Forbes as the 14th richest person in Africa – his bride’s family is rather more impecunious.
Naza’s divorced mother Nooshin, 51, was declared bankrupt in 2014 and now lives in a run-of-the-mill three-bedroomed semi-detached house in Knutsford, Cheshire, owned by the local housing association.
However, while her mother’s financial difficulties might be awkward when talking to the in-laws, it is her younger brother Sam’s criminal record, which is the more embarrassing.
The 24-year-old was given a six-week suspended sentenced at Stockport magistrates’ court earlier this year, after being caught by police driving through Macclesfield having consumed vast amounts of cocaine – he was nine times the legal limit.
It is an extraordinary background for 28-year-old model, who featured in an advertising campaign for Monkee Jeans, an organic denim brand and once dated reality TV star Rob Kardashian.
She was born in Iran but has spent the past decade living in Britain – she was registered on the electoral roll – with her mother and brother as recently as 2015, at the house where her mother went bankrupt.
After studying bioengineering and biomedical engineering at Manchester University – she also has a graduate diploma in law – she began modelling and mixing with celebrities such as the Kardashians.
She is believed to have met her new husband, a widowed father, whose first wife Chena died of cancer, in London. They got engaged in Greece and had an equally-lavish traditional Nigerian wedding at the Oriental Hotel in Lagos last November.
The family’s downfall appears to have begun after the breakdown of her mother’s second marriage to restaurateur Reza Mortaz Jalili, ten years her senior. The couple married in 2003 and moved into a £260,000 house in Wilmslow, Cheshire.
But the relationship disintegrated and Nooshin, Naza and Sam moved a mile down the road. It was while they were living there, on March 12, 2014, that Nooshin, who was unemployed, received a bankruptcy order at Macclesfield County Court.
Within a year, the family had split up and Nooshin was living in the housing association property in Knutsford. Then last year, Sam was charged with two counts of drug driving after speeding through Macclesfield town centre.
Magistrates said only custody could be justified due to the nature and gravity of the offence, the erratic driving at a ‘very excessive limit’ and with drugs in system.
However, they sentenced him to six weeks in jail, suspended for 12 months, banned him from driving for a year, gave him a supervision order with a curfew for four months – it expired last month – and 20 days’ rehabilitation.
Naza’s background is in sharp contrast to that of her husband, who is the youngest of four sons of billionaires Modupe and Folorunsho Alakija, and studied geography at Imperial College London.
His mother, who is number 80 on Forbes magazine’s global Power Women list, overtook Oprah Winfrey as the richest woman of African descent at the time Naza’s mother went bankrupt.
She started her career as a secretary, studied fashion in London, before returning to Nigeria to launch her label Supreme Stitches. But her biggest break came in oil, when she founded her company Famfa Oil.
Folarin, who studied Geography at Imperial College, London, was previously married to a lady named Chena, with whom he had a daughter. She tragically lost her life to cancer six years ago.
The new Mrs Alakija dated Rob Kardashian in 2013 and it was reported at the time that the Kardashian women ‘loved her’.
The stunning brunette is the daughter of businessman Mr. Khosro and Mrs Nooshin Ghaissarifar, who are from Iran. It is believed that Naz, as she is known among her circle, lived in London in her youth and moved to Manchester to study.
Naz studied Bioengineering and Biomedical Engineering at the University of Manchester, has a graduate Diploma in Law and has also worked as a model and marketing consultant.
She has also spent time in Los Angeles, where much of her modelling work was based, and regularly mingled with celebrities, including the Kardashians.
It is believed that Folarin met Naz through friends in London. The pair became engaged last year and had a traditional Nigerian wedding in Lagos in November. It is thought the family flew hundreds of close friends and family members over from Nigeria, who were no doubt put up in the lavish hotel for the weekend.
The Woodstock venue, which is the ancestral home of Sir Winston Churchill, was kitted out with one million white roses, a lavish cake decorated with hundreds of ornate white roses and even hosted pop star Robin Thicke at an estimated cost of £150,000.
Wedding planners believe the venue hire was exclusively hired at a cost of £150,000 with the bespoke marquee and bespoke marble floor with their initials etched in gold costing around £200,000 on top.
According to the venue’s website, the cost of hiring the whole venue is on application but hiring just the palace and state rooms costs £33,000.
Searcys are the approved caterer for the Orangery at Blenheim palace and three course meals start at £52 per head – excluding alcohol – but it’s believed they had a much more expensive bespoke package with catering company, rhubarb.
The breathtaking flowers were the work of Jeff Leatham, who is known for his elaborate decorating of the Kardashian’s homes.
Bringing over 30 staff members to the UK for the ceremony, Jeff adorned every inch of the venue with copious amounts of roses and white orchids.
Jeff, who can command up to £250,000 for flowers, has worked for Madonna, Oprah and Tina Turner. He was also the man behind the flowers at Eva Longoria and Tony Parker’s wedding.
Guests were also treated to a surprise performance from Blurred Lines singer Robin Thicke, who reportedly costs around £150,000 to hire and would have been flown over from the US, as well as a magnificent firework display in the hotel grounds later in the evening. The cake, which was adorned with hundreds of roses and ornate doves, was created by Elizabeth’s Cake Emporium. Elizabeth’s clients include British, European and Middle Eastern Royalty, celebrities and high net worth individuals.
With eight tiers on their cake, topped with elaborate iced flowers and doves, it is estimated that their cake could have cost up to £10,000.
The event was planned by Sade Awe of The Bridal Circle. Sade’s impeccable taste and selective eye for the exquisite make her a trusted resource for an elite clientele and luxury partners alike so it was little surprise she was called upon.
Other famous faces at the event included Starboy Records artist Mr Eazi and Nigerian fashion blogger Temi Otedola, who were recently revealed to be dating.
Hamish Shepard of Bridebook.co.uk, said: ‘The preparations and construction of their custom clear marquee, including a bespoke marble floor with their gold initials, would have required up to a week of exclusive hire of the Palace, with the cost of the marquee on top.”
‘The spectacular endless flowers by Jeff Leatham are likely to have cost at least £200,000. With food and drink, Robin Thicke (at £150,000) and all the other items for the big day, including the dress, on top, the wedding will have no doubt cost more than £1million and potentially several million more.’