‘I married a Tribesman I met 9,000 miles away – our 30-year age gap is nothing’

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

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Woman moves 9,000 miles away to marry a Maasai tribesman

A woman said she “couldn’t be happier” after moving 9,000 miles away from her home to marry a Maasai tribesman who is 30 years younger than she is. Deborah Babu, 60, says she is having the time of her life since meeting 30-year-old Saitoty Babu.

The mum-of-two says she wasn’t expecting to fall in love when she met Saitoty while she was travelling in Tanzania with her daughter, Royce, who is also 30, in October 2017, but she was swept off her feet in a whirlwind romance. Then she feared the age gap would doom the relationship but soon Saitoty proposed, and now the pair are married and living in Tanzania – thousands of miles from Deborah’s original home in Sacramento, California, USA.







They live a picturesque life
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Deborah moved 9,000 miles to live with her new husband, Saitoty
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What do you think about age gap relationship? Let us know in the comments…

Deborah and her 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.

Saitoty asked Deborah to send him the photo and then kept in touch with her after he had her number.

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 California two weeks later.

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.







Before meeting Deborah, Saitoty had never tried icecream
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Saitoty asked to stay in contact when Deborah left
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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 tribesmen coming together.

Deborah now uses her Maasai name Nashipai and lives with Saitoty and his family in Ubena, Tanzania, and says she couldn’t be happier.

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.







They met when Deborah asked for a photograph with the tribesmen
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“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, said: “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.”

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







Deborah said she ‘couldn’t be happier’ with her new life
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“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.

“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.







The pair are very affectionate
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They had a tribal wedding, then a legal ceremony
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“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 it 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 said.







Some say mean comments, but they don’t care
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“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.”

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.”

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

“People say some horrible things like I’m 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.

“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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