Folorunsho Alakija Is Divorcing Her 80-Year-Old Husband & Here Are Many Reasons Why

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    “Folorunsho Alakija waiting till her husband is 80 to divorce him and put him out of their house is such a wicked move. I mean, she could have done it in their early stage of marriage when he was younger and would easily move on, but she didn’t. She waited and got him hooked on a pattern, and when it had become like a second skin to him, she struck.” An angry fan reacted following reports that Nigeria’s wealthiest woman, Folorunsho Alakija, popularly known for having it all, that is, a successful marriage, home and business worth billions of dollars, is divorcing her husband, Modupe Alakija.

    The elite couple has been married for 48 years, and their union has produced four handsome sons and several grandchildren. While the husband has always kept a low profile, the classy and beautiful billionaire businesswoman, who became a preacher and denounced worldly ornaments such as hair extensions, makeup, and expensive jewellery, has always been in the spotlight. Her marriage is one of the things she loves to talk about the most. 

    During an interview about eight years ago, the executive vice chairman of Famfa Oil bragged that the secret to her blissful and successful marriage is being a dutiful wife. Despite the long list of maids in their home, she bragged about washing her husband’s underwear and cooking his special vegetable dish. So you can imagine the shock following reports that the billionaire’s marriage has hit the rocks, and she kicked her husband out of their 700 million-dollar mansion in Ikoyi, Lagos. Most people ask if the marriage crashed because she stopped washing her husband’s boxers.

    Interestingly, since 2017, the 72-year-old oil mogul has not made it to the Forbes list of Nigerian billionaires. Even though she has retained her spot as Nigeria’s richest woman, this clearly indicates that the businesswoman’s wealth has been depreciating, which got many asking. Is money the reason for her marriage breakdown? On the other hand, while keeping up appearances, Folorunsho Alakija reportedly developed severe health challenges to her sight around October 2023. There is a saying that ‘Hard times will always reveal true friends’. Could this be the case between Folorunsho Alakija and her husband, Modupe Alakija?

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    If there is any female billionaire in Nigeria who needs no introduction, that would be Folorunsho Alakija, the wealthiest woman in the country and the second richest woman in Africa. The 72-year-old iconic mogul with a net worth estimated at 1 billion dollars is the woman behind two successful fashion and oil and gas business empires. On a work day, the billionaire is the executive vice chairman of Famfa Oil and group managing director of The Rose of Sharon Group. After work, you can call her Apostle Folorunsho Alakija because she is the preacher next door. Over the years, the businesswoman has inspired women in Nigeria, aspiring to match her achievements in the money, power and corporate world. But this is not the only aspect of her life where she has teeming admirers. The founder of Famfa Oil also gained the attention of many people because she has been able to balance work and her marriage to the point of enjoying a blissful, long-lasting partnership that has survived decades.

    Dr Alakija is married to successful lawyer Modupe Alakija, an equally successful businessman who has made a name in the corporate world. But of course, he is less successful than his wife and certainly not richer. However, their partnership worked out despite this massive disparity, and the reason is not far-fetched. The couple met when there was no wealth or fame, as far back as December 1972. At the time, Folorunsho had just returned to Nigeria from England, looking to start her life afresh and climb the corporate ladder. But it looks like fate had other plans as she met her husband, then a young lawyer, at a party in Surulere only two weeks later. Barrister Modupe offered her a ride home, and from there, they became friends and started dating. Flashing back to that time while speaking with Vanguard Nigeria in September 2021, the billionaire said that was the best period of her life; they had so much fun, and it made her realize she and Modupe were made for each other.

    “During our courtship, we partied, dined, visited friends, combed street markets and generally had a swell time in each other’s company. We would go out frequently for lunch and dinner, visiting suya joints, decent ‘mama put joints’ where we regularly asked for ‘olowo-ko-siere’, which means ‘the rich man is not mad’, and that describes the part of the cow leg that has little or no bone. I also have fond memories of the many times we drove to Badagry and Epe to buy fresh fish,” she reminisced.

    “We had become inseparable; it was obvious we were made for each other, and one day, he requested for my hand in marriage. He said he wanted me to be his wife, his sister, his lover, and mother to him and his children. He promised never to leave me so long as I didn’t ‘rock the boat’. I gladly accepted because our love had grown so deep that we realized we did not want to live our lives without being in each other’s company. This is still true today,” she further explained.

    The couple dated for three and half years before tying the knot on November 12, 1976. Since then, they have been blessed with four sons and many grandchildren. But even after many years, Folorunsho still doted on her husband like a teenager experiencing love for the first time. In a March 2016 interview, the mother-of-4 revealed that her husband is her best friend, and there is nothing she won’t do to prove her submission, devotion, and commitment to him.

    “My husband is my best friend, biggest adviser, and biggest supporter. We’ve known each other for 40 years and have been married for 37 years now, with four boys,” she said.

    The billionaire noted that she always kisses her husband good morning and goodnight to keep the spark going even though they work together. Not only that, Folorunsho revealed that she also washed his boxers, cooked his favourite dishes, and did his pedicure and manicure despite the number of helpers on their payroll.

    “Even though we work in the same office, I always ensure that we kiss twice a day, morning and night. I still washed his undies until six years ago when he insisted I should stop. I also prepare his special vegetable dish and do his manicure and pedicure regularly. I go to the airport to pick him up whenever he’s returning from foreign trips. It gives me joy whenever his friends praise my vegetable dish based on what my husband tells them,” she bragged.

    Unfortunately, their marriage appears to have fallen on hard times in recent years. According to a source who spoke with The Will Nigeria in a report published on March 10, 2024, the couple has been pretending that all is well in their marriage, putting up a united front for years to avoid sparking a scandal in the media and among their high-society friends and associates.

    Sadly, while keeping up appearances, Folorunsho Alakija developed serious health challenges, particularly to her sight, around October last year. According to The Will, the billionaire’s health challenge was more pronounced when one of her sons tied the knot last year. Usually, for such an event, the wealthy businesswoman loves to roll out the drums and throw a lavish party like she did in 2017 when her son, Folarin, married his beautiful Iranian bride at a 2 billion Naira wedding in England. But this time around, FA made little or no noise about the marriage ceremony. “During the wedding, the media was tactically controlled, photographers were not allowed to take pictures arbitrarily and anyone found doing so was asked to delete them. The planning of the wedding was on a need-to-know basis and guests who got the invitations were well scrutinized,” The Will reported.

    These troubling health challenges may have added even more strain to the marriage of the billionaire businesswoman. Sadly, despite the efforts of family and friends to contain the situation, the couple’s peaceful home devolved into chaos following multiple squabbles and altercations between the couple. Eventually, the marriage of the elite Alakija couple crashed like a pack of badly stacked cards after 48 years together. As of March 2024, the couple are separated. Since there is nothing to pretend about again, the billionaire reportedly kicked her husband out of their Ikoyi mansion for reasons bordering on needing privacy. Her husband sadly stays in a different home within the same Ikoyi neighbourhood.

    The news of Folorunsho Alakijas’s marriage shocked many who could not comprehend why a couple separated after 48 years together. Not only that, they are both Octogenarians, a time of their lives when they should be spending more time together and more patience to work through their issues. This has got many taking wild guesses, speculating that there is more to this marital crisis than a health challenge.

    Some people have flashed back to December 2021 when the billionaire’s husband, Modupe Alakija, was suspended from the prestigious Ikoyi clip for assaulting a fellow member who caused severe injury. In his defence, the lawyer argued that he assaulted his fellow member because he recorded a video of him without his consent and, on request, refused to delete it from his phone. If anything, many people speculate that the billionaire’s husband has a problem controlling his temper, which has broken down their marriage. On the other hand, some people think the marriage crash is due to the billionaire not respecting her husband because she is richer than him. For some people, Folorusho Alakija proves that no matter how submissive a woman is, it does not guarantee a successful marriage. This has now made the 72-year-old oil mogul’s laughing stock on social media.

    Reacting on X, one person wrote, “So after all the articles and interviews she gave us telling us how even as a billionaire, she washes her husband’s pants, she still ended up as a divorced woman. Being a pick me doesn’t pay.”

    Another pointed out, “Someone once said that if a woman tastes power or has money, they’d think they cannot be submissive or not need a man. We surely live in a cynical world.”

    One asked, “When the woman has more money than the man, it usually takes the grace of God for the marriage to work. Why is that?

    One wrote: When they tell people don’t use other people marriage as prayer points because of what you see this is the type of relationship they’re talking about.”

    One pointed out, “Lol.., she’s an “Apostle”… grace of God still no work for the marriage. It is what it is period.”

    Also reacting, a user wrote, “I don’t get it.. after 30 years?? What else are they looking for in this life? She’s 72, he’s 73…What do they want to achieve again that has not been achieved? A marriage of 30yrs should have withstood all challenges..Sha, na dem know. “

    One exclaimed, “30 years in marriage no be beans. o can’t they settle amicably and continue with the marriage!”

    One wrote, “Pastor(Mrs) Folorunsho Alakija received over 10,000 marriage proposals 24 hours after the news about her separation from her husband hit the media. I thought men don’t love digging gold. Who among you applied?”

    Hmm

    What do you think about the marital woes Nigerian richest woman, Folorunsho Alakija, is facing with her 80-year-old husband? 

    Is there more to this issue than the billionaires’ deteriorating health? 

    Do you think this is happening because she has not been submissive? Or do you think her husband’s anger problem brought this upon them? 

    Finally, is there hope of them making up since they have been committed to each other for 48 years?

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