I moved 9,000 miles away to marry a Maasai warrior 30 years my junior – cruel trolls say he’s just after a green card | The Sun

A WOMAN who moved 9,000 miles away to marry a Maasai warrior 30 years younger than her has hit back at cruel trolls who say he's just with her for a green card.

Deborah Babu, 60, wasn't expecting to fall in love when she met her now-husband, Saitoty Babu, 30, while travelling in Tanzania with her daughter, Royce, 30, in October 2017.

The mother and daughter were walking on a beach in Zanzibar, Tanazania, when they bumped into two Maasai, one of which was Saitoty, who offered them souvenirs.

Deborah declined but asked if she could have a photo with them as she had never met a Maasai and the pair struck up a conversation with Saitoty.

The two bonded over a beach walk the next evening, but Deborah didn't see it going any further because of the age gap.

Despite this, Saitoty followed her to her next destination in Tanzania and was upset when she had to leave to go back to Sacramento, California, US, two weeks later.


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The friends kept in touch, and Saitoty called Deborah every day to check in and talked about wanting to marry her.

After Deborah's children encouraged her to "go for it" if he made her happy, she flew out to meet Saitoty in late December 2017 and said 'yes' when he got down on one knee after they reunited.

After having a Maasai wedding in June 2018 – a traditional ceremony – the couple had a legal wedding in July 2022 and still hope to have a bigger Maasai celebration – which will have more family and tribesman coming together.

Deborah – who now uses her Maasai name Nashipai – lives with Saitoty and his family in Ubena, Tanzania, and couldn't be happier.

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

"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.

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"Saitoty has been accused of only being with me for a green card which hurts because I know how little his desire is to live in America.

"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, recalled how the first time he saw Deborah he felt like he'd "seen an angel."

He continued: "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."

Deborah recalled the moment she was on holiday with her daughter when she met Saitoty and he offered to sell her souvenirs.

"We didn't have any money with us but I asked if we could take a photo as I had never met a Maasai," she said. "Now looking back at that photo it looks like we were already in love.

People say some horrible things like saying Saitoty is with me for a green card and that I'm like his grandma

"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."

On their final night in Zanzibar, Saitoty invited Deborah and Royce to a dance but at the last minute she declined as she was 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."

Saitoty was there the next morning to wave Deborah off and she was shocked when he followed them to Jambiani, Tanzania.

The pair struck up a close bond but Deborah didn't see a romantic future due to their age difference.

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

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 explained.

"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."

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

Deborah decided to go and visit Saitoty in December 2017 and accepted his marriage proposal when he dropped down on one knee when she arrived.

"I went to go and meet his family and they gave me the name Nashipai," she said.

Now the pair live together in their own mud house in Tanzania in a boma – a family compound – and had a Maasai wedding in June 2018, followed by a legal ceremony in July of this year.

"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."

Despite both their families being supportive of the relationship the couple have struggled with comments from strangers.

"People say some horrible things like saying Saitoty is with me for a green card and that I'm like his grandma," she said. "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.

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