Nazanin Alakija

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Nazanin Alakija
Native nameNazanin Ghaissarifar
Born (1989-02-16) 16 February 1989 (age 34)
🏳️ NationalityIranian-British
💼 Occupation
Known forActivist for
🏅 Awards

Nazanin Alakija (née Ghaissarifar) is an Iranian-British philanthropist, activist and model.

Background and Family[edit]

As a child, Nazanin and her family moved from Iran to the U.K[1], where she grew up in Wilmslow, Cheshire. She has said that growing up in a new environment was tough as she only spoke Farsi at the time.

In 2017, Nazanin married Nigerian entrepreneur and cinematographer Folarin Alakija, son of Africa's richest woman, Folorunso Alakija [2] in a stunning wedding. She has previously been linked with American socialite, Rob Kardashian[3].


Her early education was at Wilmslow High School in Cheshire. She studied the treatment of diseases and disabilities the University of Manchester, where she received a BSc in Biomedical Materials Science and Engineering[4]. She also has a graduate diploma in Law[5].

Entertainment Career[edit]

In 2003, at the age of 14. Nazanin began modeling with Nemesis Models, a career that featured campaigns with brands like Monkee Jeans[6]. She also learnt how to play the piano and became a pianist[7].

Humanitarian work[edit]

Nazanin's advocacy has taken her to the frontlines of some of the worst humanitarian crises of the 21st century including Afghanistan[8], while working with organisations like UNICEF and UNRWA. She focuses on addressing the negative impacts of climate change[9] and providing long-term solutions for Internationally Displaced Persons (IDPs) through her organisation Social Accelerator for a Green Economy (SAGE) Innovation Centre[10]. During the ongoing conflict in Yemen[11], she has raised funding for emergency care aid child victims of bomb-blasts. In 2018, UNICEF listed her as one of a number of major donors contributing $100,000 or more to its programmes that year.[12].

While visiting the Attaturk Hospital in Kabul and Shaidaye camp in Herat which hosts over 12,000 displaced families, Nazanin met teenage members of the Afghan Girls Robotic Team who are learning technology skills[13]. She became emotional, telling the women and girls: "I am in awe of your strength, resilience, courage and tenacity. Amidst decades of conflict & hardship, you have challenged me, that nothing is impossible”[14].


  2. Rosie Fitzmaurice for Business Insider (2017-06-14). "Step inside a Nigerian oil billionaire's son's incredibly lavish £5 million wedding at a British palace". The Independent. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  3. "Upgrade! Rob Kardashian's Ex Just Married the Son of the World's Richest Black Woman | Rob Kardashian | Celebrities". BET. 2017-06-19. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  8. Parker, Alison. ""You have challenged me, that nothing is impossible" Nazanin Alakija | UNICEF Afghanistan". Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  9. "Youth-led Climate Change group, ICCDI, wins N700,000 in SAGE pitch competition - Pulse Nigeria". 2019-11-18. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  10. "CNBC Africa Launches Nazanin Alakija's SAGE Innovation Center | Business Post Nigeria". 2019-06-29. Retrieved 2020-04-08.
  11. Editor (2019-11-20). "How SAGE Innovation Centre is tackling climate crisis - Nazanin Alakija | The Guardian Nigeria News - Nigeria and World NewsTechnology — The Guardian Nigeria News – Nigeria and World News". Retrieved 2020-04-08.

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