A Californian woman found the love of her life 9,000 miles away from home and despite comments from strangers claiming her beau is 'just with her for a green card', she couldn’t be happier. Take a look at their love story below:
Deborah Babu, 60, wasn’t expecting to fall in love when she met Saitoty Babu, 30, while traveling in Tanzania with her daughter Royce back in October 2017.
The mother and daughter duo were strolling along a beach in Zanzibar, Tanzania, when they bumped into two Maasai, one of whom would become Deborah’s husband.
Deborah and Royce were offered to buy souvenirs from them but Deborah declined because she didn’t have any money with her. Instead, she asked to have a photo with them which helped to spark a conversation between the future lovebirds.
Saitoty, who works as a cattle farmer, asked Deborah to send him the photo – as you do – and the pair kept in touch after she gave him her number.
The following evening the pair took a beach walk, but due to their 30-year age gap, Deborah didn’t see it going any further.
Despite her concerns, Saitoty was upset when she had to return to Sacramento, California two weeks later.
Deborah and Saitoty kept in touch through daily phone calls. After Deborah’s children – eldest daughter Tiffany, 32, Royce, and son Sherrick, 27 - encouraged her to ‘go for it’ if the relationship made her happy, Deborah flew out to meet Saitoty in late December 2017 and said ‘yes’ when he proposed during their reunion.
The couple had a traditional Maasai wedding in June 2018 and a legal wedding in July 2022, and still hope to have a bigger Maasai celebration with more family and tribesman coming together for the occasion.
Deborah – who is a retired police officer - has also adopted the Maasai name Nashipai and lives with Saitoty and his family in a boma – a family compound – in Ubena, Tanzania.
“I never expected to find a husband and marry someone so much younger than me but he is the kindest and most caring man,” Deborah said.
“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.”
Saitoty has been accused of pursuing a relationship with Deborah for a ‘green card’ which Deborah said ‘hurts because I know how little his desire is to live in America.’
She added: “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 had the utmost praise for his ‘beautiful and kind’ wife and said he’s ‘proud’ of their marriage.
“First time I saw her I felt like I’d seen an angel,” he said.
“We laughed together and took a photo and she just melted my heart.
“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.”