BY Mildred Europa Taylor, 11:00am March 26, 2019,

British great-grandma’s ordeal with young Gambian man who broke her heart and left her penniless

Margaret Sarr married Gambian man, Samba in a lavish ceremony that she paid for. Pic credit: Oliver Dixon, The Sun

When 71-year-old Margaret Sarr met Samba, a horse-riding instructor 23 years her junior, she thought she had met the man of her dreams. The great grandmother from Crawley, West Sussex was holidaying in Gambia with her then British husband in November 2002 when she met Sarr and fell in love with the young man immediately.

Margaret soon began visiting Gambia twice a year, and this caused troubles between her and her British husband, she told The Sun in an interview.

Eventually, her 38-year-old marriage with her husband collapsed in 2004 and Margaret started enjoying an “amazing” sex life with her Gambian lover, a 48-year-old who is younger than her two children.

British great-grandma's ordeal with young Gambian man who broke her heart and left her penniless
Margaret Sarr. Pic credit: Oliver Dixon, The Sun

Samba immediately proposed, and the following year, they got married in a lavish £2,000 (about $2,651) ceremony which Margaret paid for and none of her family attended.

For someone who was eager to start a family with her new husband in the UK together, Margaret paid for Samba’s holiday visa and he moved to the UK in June 2006. But that was when her Gambian husband began showing his true colours.

“I was eradicated,” Margaret told The Sun. “Over there he was proud to be with me but because of the age gap he never wanted to be seen with me over here.

“He only wanted the visa. It was soul destroying.”

The couple had, for a year, been living together in Wales, but had to move to a rental property in Newtown in Powys after being shunned by their community.

Having rented a property meant Margaret had to go back to work after retiring as a team leader in nursing homes. She said she worked around the clock to make ends meet while Samba “sat around all day.”

The British grandmother soon suspected that her husband was cheating with another woman close to his own age but he always denied it when she asked.

Even with her suspicions and her struggle with depression, she did not leave her husband but rather handed over a further £90,000 ($119,000) of her savings to buy a plot of land in Gambia to build a two-storey compound.

Then what she probably feared happened: she received a picture of Samba with two mixed-race children from the woman she suspected he had cheated on her with. Samba denied it and said they were his friend’s kids.

“Deep down I didn’t believe him but stupidly I kept on living with him,” Margaret said.

She, however, found out the truth shortly after helping Samba to secure British citizenship in 2012.

“I found out he was sleeping with this woman in our marital bed while I was at work,” she said.

“I used to come back and sleep in that bed – he didn’t even change the sheets.”

“When I met Samba I thought he was the man of my dreams.”

“I was gullible really. All he really wanted was a passport and a life here. I took him out of poverty and this is how he repaid me,” she said.

British great-grandma's ordeal with young Gambian man who broke her heart and left her penniless
Margaret holds photo of Samba. Pic credit: The Sun

Today, the two are in a legal fight over the land in Gambia as Samba’s name is on the deeds and not Margaret’s. A court is expected to give a final judgement at the end of the month.

Margaret’s case comes on the back of reports by The Sun that Gambia has become a “sex paradise for retired Brits with randy grans indulging in a good time with local, young men.”

There are also concerns that vulnerable white women have become the most sought-after visa for African men. A white woman from the UK was recently scammed into a marriage with a Gambian man.

While vacationing in Gambia in 2007, 43-year-old Julie Dag met 29-year-old Lamin Sidibeh. Weary after three divorces, Dag decided to tread lightly into a relation with Sidibeh. They kept in touch after she left Gambia and in 2008, Dag returned to the West African country for her marriage with Sidibeh.

After Sidibeh was granted permission to stay in the UK, Dag began to see another side of her husband. Two months later, Sidibeh announced he was leaving Dag.

“The whole thing he came for was a visa, payout and an escape. He got what he wanted and it wasn’t me.”

Dag, heartbroken and $26,243 poorer, found out her husband was already married to another woman. They finally divorced in 2011.

Ghanaian rapper, Scizo was accused of committing to a marriage of convenience after photos of him and his new bride, Judy Beran surfaced on social media back in 2016.

Marriage in exchange for residency papers or visas is a booming business around the globe. However, there are times when the unsuspecting spouse is duped by fake love and taken for a financial and emotional ride. “Vulnerability” has, according to many observers, become the name of the game.

Last Edited by:Sandra Appiah Updated: June 5, 2020


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