Lifestyle

Woman flew 9,000 miles to marry tribesman toyboy and couldnt be happier

A woman moved 9,000 miles to be with her tribesman lover, and the 30-year-age-gap doesn't bother them.

Deborah Babu, 60, said she's been having the time of her life since she met Maasai tribesman Saitoty Babu, 30.

The mother-of-two wasn't looking for love when she met Saitoty, as she was travelling in Tanzania with her daughter, Royce, who is also 30, at the time.

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They met in October 2017, and she said she was totally swept off her feet.

She admitted there was a period when she was worried the age gap would be a problem, but then Saitoty proposed.

Fast forward five years and the couple are now married, and living in Tanzania, which is thousands of miles away from Deborah's original home in Sacramento, California, USA.

When they met Deborah and her daughter were walking along a beach in Zanzibar, Tanazania.

They bumped into two Maasai, one of which was Saitoty, who asked if they would like some souvenirs.

Even though Deborah turned down the offer, she asked if she could have a picture taken with the pair.

He then asked Deborah to send him the photo, and the pair kept in touch after he gave her his number.

It was the start of a blossoming romance – as they ended up going for a stroll across the beach the following evening.

She didn't see the relationship going any further because of his age gap, but then Saitoty followed her to her next destination in Tanzania.

Deborah said: "He was so sad when we had to jet back to California two weeks later.

"We didn't have any money with us, but I asked if we could take a photo as I had never met a Maasai.

"Now looking back at that photo it looks like we were already in love.

"Saitoty asked for me to send the photo to him and we kept in touch after he had my number, and the next night he came for a walk with my daughter and I.

"We talked for hours and found out we had so much in common like our sense of humour."

They continued to chat and Saitoty called Deborah every day make sure she was ok, and it wasn't long before he told her he wanted to marry her.

She got the ok from her children, who told Deborah to "go for it" if she thought he was the one, and she flew out to meet Saitoty in late December 2017.

Deborah accepted the proposal when he got down on one knee, and they've been together ever since.

The couple had a Maasai wedding in June 2018 – a traditional ceremony – and this was followed by a legal wedding in July 2022.

They still hope to have a bigger Maasai celebration too, which will see more family and tribesmen come together.

Deborah now uses her Maasai name Nashipai and lives with Saitoty and his family in Ubena, Tanzania.

She admitted they couldn't be happier following their world wind romance.

Deborah, a retired police officer, said: "I never expected to find a husband and marry someone so much younger than me but he is the kindest and most caring man.

"When he first brought up marrying me I thought he was crazy.

"But my children and family said I shouldn't care about the age gap as I'd been alone long enough and deserved to be happy.

"It's a very different life here in Tanzania, but I'm happy.

"People ask if I adopted him or that I'm his grandma which can make Saitoty upset.

"We just like to focus on us and our happiness."

Saitoty, a cattle farmer, added: "First time I saw her I felt like I'd seen an angel.

"We laughed together and took a photo and she just melted my heart. She's beautiful and kind and she supports me.

"Having a wife is a big step for me, I'm proud of our marriage.

"It really hurts me seeing mean comments, but now I see other people with age gaps and it helps us to just ignore what people say.

"Age is just a number, and it doesn't stop the love and care I have for my wife."

Before Deborah and her daughter were set to leave Zanzibar, Saitoty invited Deborah and Royce to a dance, but she cancelled the plans at the last minute as she felt tired.

"My daughter suddenly came in and told me Saitoty had come to our hotel," she said.

"He was upset I wasn't coming and that I was leaving the next day.

"I told him he could keep in touch with me if he liked.

"I was a happy, single woman and it didn't seem right to me to date someone 30 years younger."

But after Deborah left to go back to America at the end of her trip, the pair kept in touch with daily calls.

"Once I was back in California it was a 12 hour difference between us but Saitoty made sure to call me every day – even if there was a power outage he'd find a way," she said.

"My eldest daughter, Tiffany, 32, and son, Sherrick, 27, met him on FaceTime and loved him.

"They didn't have an issue with the age difference, and told me that if I was happy then I should go for it."

Now the couple reside in their own mud house in Tanzania in a boma – a family compound – and have loved their time together since getting hitched.

"We cook on fire and have no running water," she said.

"We're building a lodge at the moment, and we even have to construct our own ladders.

"Saitoty had never had ice cream or fish before he met me."

Even though both families are happy for the loved-up couple, they admit there have been some nasty comments from strangers.

Deborah said: "People say some horrible things like I'm his grandma.

"It is hurtful, but I know how happy with are and how untrue that is.

"He is so funny and romantic and we're exactly the same on the inside.

"As Saitoty said to me when he was convincing me to marry him – age is just a number.

"He'd do anything to just get me chocolate- he's the kindest and most caring man I have ever met."

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