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|A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by na2day(m): 5:29pm On Oct 29, 2010|
The warning bells should have been sounding loud and clear. Just three weeks before Mary Cotnoir’s wedding day, her 25-year-old husband-to-be, Mr Demba Sanneh from Gambia, was denied a visa to visit her in the UK.
The Home Office said her fiancé had failed to give a ‘credible explanation’ for his trip and was deeply suspicious of his true motives.
So what did Mary, a 59-year-old grandmother, do? Did she take stock and accept that her toyboy lover — a man nearly 35 years her junior — was not entirely honourable? Did she even consider postponing her nuptials until she could be absolutely sure of him?
Not for one minute. Utterly smitten, she got on a plane to Africa and married him anyway.
It will, of course, come as little surprise that just eight days into their union everything fell apart after Mary discovered her husband was only interested in her money and the possibility of gaining a British visa.
This week, though, her story took a most unlikely twist. Mary, in an act of delicious revenge, announced she is refusing to divorce Mr Sanneh, so he cannot dupe another unsuspecting tourist into marriage — and bringing his dream of starting a new life in the UK to an abrupt halt.
Suddenly, this unassuming care worker from Mansfield, Nottinghamshire, seems somewhat audacious; and it’s clear she is revelling in taking what she sees as a valiant stand.
‘I’m just playing Demba at his own game,’ she says. ‘I hope what I’ve done will make other Gambian men, who seduce older British women in the hope of getting a visa, think twice.’
So how did this rather sweet and well-spoken woman end up embroiled in a relationship with an African man the same age as her youngest son in the first place?
Mary, who has five children and four grandchildren, describes herself as a lonely divorcée who threw caution to the wind for the sake of a love affair — the kind she feared she would never experience again.
Having split up from her husband, a police officer, more than 20 years ago, she’d devoted her life to looking after her 82-year-old mother and caring for the patients she visited every day. She’d never, she admits, thought about doing anything solely for herself.
‘Getting involved with Demba was so unlike me,’ she says. ‘Looking back now, I can’t believe I did something so silly. But I’d been alone for so long, and it seemed so exciting, that I got carried away.
‘When I said to my friends I was going to marry Demba, everyone told me not to. They said, “Why are you marrying him?”, and my response to that was “Why not?”
‘I thought: “I’ve got ten good years left in me and I want to make the most of them.” I wanted to take a few risks, live a little. I’d never wanted to become a sad lonely old woman, but that was where I was headed.
‘Then, this lovely young man landed in my lap.’
Mary insists that when she first went to Gambia, in January of this year, it was not with the intention of finding an exotic toyboy.
‘Since divorcing, I used to holiday with my mum, and we’d have great fun. But for the past few years she’s been unwell, so I’ve gone away on my own on package tours to Turkey, India and then, this year, Gambia.
‘Call me naive, but I had no idea that Gambia has a reputation for these relationships between British women and young black men.
‘But as soon as the plane landed, I realised what was going on. I couldn’t even step outside the hotel without young men zooming in on me. One boy even grabbed my sun lotion from my bag and had his hands all over me trying to persuade me to let him rub it in.’
Mary sought refuge on the private beach belonging to her hotel, and it was there she met Mr Sanneh, a waiter at her hotel. He offered to act as her tour guide and, somewhat ironically, declared he would ‘protect’ her from the locals vying for her attention.
‘The next day, Demba showed me round a local monkey park, and that night we went for a drink,’ says Mary
‘At the end of the evening, he escorted me back to my hotel room and tried to kiss me. I was surprised and told him I wouldn’t open the door to my room until he’d gone.’
Once alone, Mary — who says at that point she’d not had a intimate relationship for more than ten years — found herself contemplating an unlikely liaison.
‘The sensible part of me was saying I’m nearly 60, he’s 25, and that I wouldn’t even know what to do in bed after so long. But the other part of me was saying that I would probably never get another offer like it again, and I’d be silly not to take it.
‘I thought it would just be a nice holiday romance.’
And it was with the latter rationale that romance blossomed over her remaining five days in Gambia.
‘It was just lovely to be with someone who was so caring, deeply religious — he was Muslim — and who didn’t drink. Two days before I left, we slept together for the first time, and it was so exciting. It had been so long since I’d been intimate with someone.
‘At some point during the week, Demba laid his cards on the table. He said he was offering love, sex and companionship, but in return he wanted my help. He said perhaps I could get him a laptop, then he could go to college and get a better job.
‘I thought: “Well, a laptop is nothing” — and I wanted to help him. He had nothing. He lived with 20 members of his family in a tiny place. His room was like a cupboard.’
By the time she left Gambia, Mary admits she was infatuated. She and Demba stayed in touch via email and text, and Mary returned to visit him for another fortnight in March, taking with her the promised laptop.
They stayed together in a hotel room paid for by Mary, and on the second day Demba proposed. He offered her a ring he’d had made by a local silversmith.
Lovestruck, she readily accepted.
‘I know it sounds crazy, but here was this beautiful young man proposing to boring old me — and I loved him. How could I say no?
‘I did know, deep down, that it was possible Demba might not have been in the relationship for the same reasons as me. I understood he earned only £25 a month working as a waiter and wanted to pull himself out of poverty. But if there was a one per cent chance we could work things out, I was prepared to go with it.
‘And other factors reassured me. For instance, Demba constantly dropped into conversation how much he despised people who married British women just to get a visa to go the UK.
‘And Demba made me feel alive again. I was like a young woman in the first flush of love.’
Once back in the UK, Mary agreed to pay for her fiancé to take driving lessons so he could set up a taxi business. They also applied for a tourist visa so he could visit the UK for a holiday.
When this was rejected, undeterred, Mary set about arranging to visit him in September. And their wedding date, which had been loosely scheduled for sometime in 2011, was bought forward to September 23 this year.
‘Demba used his religion as a reason to get married sooner than I’d wanted to,’ she says. ‘He said it was wrong for people to be in love and to be having sex outside of wedlock.’
So last month they were married in a ceremony that cost Mary £500 and was attended by 50 of Mr Sanneh’s friends and relatives.
Fearing her own family’s reaction, she did not tell any of them about the wedding. In fact, she hadn’t even told her four eldest children — two sons aged 39 and 32 and two daughters aged 40 and 37 — that she’d met Demba.
‘The wedding day was the happiest of my life,’ she recalls. ‘I wore a pretty white dress I’d bought for £20 in Turkey, and I’d had a suit made for Demba. Our reception was held in Demba’s family compound, and he was full of compliments about how much beautiful I looked.’
But, says Mary, as soon as the ink was dry on their wedding certificate, the relationship began to unravel.
‘We did sleep together on our wedding night, but the next day I made a joke about how, if the marriage lasted until I died, or until I was too old to want to visit Gambia anymore, I’d buy Demba a property to live in. I said: “You’ll only be 45 then — you can still have another wife and children.”
‘The look on his face was one of horror. It was obvious he’d been hoping for a property far sooner than that. He refused to speak to me for a day, then he started on about what he was going to do when he moved to the UK, and how I’d be putting him up.
‘I was stunned. And hurt. This was the first I’d ever heard about him wanting to come to the UK, and I knew then that I’d been lied to.
‘Up to this point, we’d planned for me to spend six months of each year in Gambia, in a property I would rent. Then I would move out there full-time when my mother passed away. We’d only ever talked about Demba coming to England on holiday.
‘Physically, too, everything changed. He ordered me not to wear strappy tops any more, and to cover myself up in bed with a nightie. I felt incredibly confused and hurt, and spent much of the time in tears.
‘Meanwhile, his entire extended family seemed to be queuing up to chat to me about their plans for their future. One wanted to go to college, another wanted to set up a business, and they were all intimating that everything would be funded by me. It felt like every one of them saw me as their meal ticket.’
By the time she was due to fly home on October 1, after just eight nights together, Mary knew the relationship was over.
She says: ‘After my visit in March, he’d been the one crying at the airport — but now he could barely bear to kiss me. He gave me a peck on my cheek, and then started on about money.
‘He wanted money for his parents, my travellers cheques, my euros. He even had the cheek to ask for the perfume I’d just bought for myself. I can only think he wanted it for another woman.
‘He got more and more demanding, until eventually I took the cash I had left and slammed it on the table. I was sobbing as I got on the plane.’
In the three weeks since Mary has been home, Mr Sanneh has been in touch, declaring his love and expressing his intention to make the marriage work.
But Mary says she will not even consider attempting to reconcile, and that the relationship is well and truly over.
However, she won’t be co-operating with a divorce — which means Demba will have to wait five years until he can ask for their marriage to be dissolved by a court of law, without her co-operation.
She says: ‘I’m not taking revenge on Demba because he was seeking a better life. But he just pushed things too far.
‘People may laugh about what happened to me, but I don’t actually regret anything. In ten years time, when I’m nearly 70, I’ll be all on my own and there won’t be any men like Demba throwing themselves at me.
‘I didn’t choose for this romance to begin — but once it did, I chose to have an adventure.
‘Now, I realise Demba must have looked at me and seen a fool.
‘The truth is I have been foolish — but I’m not a complete mug. And Demba will have to live with the consequences of what he’s done.’
How Mr Sanneh must now wish he’d realised Mary Cotnoir was far steelier than she seemed.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by na2day(m): 5:30pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Wonders shall never end o!
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by JeSoul(f): 5:51pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Young african men marrying old western women for papers . . . na2day?
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by 14me: 5:54pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Nothing wrong if better for him
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by emyworld: 6:07pm On Oct 29, 2010|
This is madness. What poverty can do, i dont think there is any other reason. Poverty of the pocket leading this young man to poverty of the mind. Kai!! na waooo
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by Bright2(m): 6:55pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Honestly i felt like crying but however i thank God he is not a Nigerian.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by JeSoul(f): 7:14pm On Oct 29, 2010|
This is a popular occurence now. See: NaijaBoy married Oyinbo Grandma : Wonders continues in the Diaspora
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by JeSoul(f): 7:14pm On Oct 29, 2010|
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by JeSoul(f): 7:16pm On Oct 29, 2010|
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by Osama10(m): 7:30pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Just so disgusting, yuck.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by erniewhez: 8:09pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Ita a sad story though, but I think these whites are very shameless, I cant imagine Demba banging Mary, , a guy of his youngest child age? where did she get the strength to absorb his impact on bed, lol!
Look at the other pics of the 9ja boy version, even his parents participated, damn! Shameless father.
Anyway I am 65 and I need 1 Grandma to marry too, probably a 90years old. Do u knw one? Lol!
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by na2day(m): 9:00pm On Oct 29, 2010|
chai, Jesoul where u get this pix, na wao !
even 9ja boyz
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by na2day(m): 9:02pm On Oct 29, 2010|
Even, see pastor wit bible for photograph, chai,
una men, case dey for heaven o!
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by bawomolo(m): 9:52pm On Oct 29, 2010|
dead after seeing this post. someone call an ambulance
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by Ibime(m): 10:04pm On Oct 29, 2010|
This is nothing new. I was in Gambia last year, and you can't walk down the beach for 5 minutes without seeing 10 young Gambians with white Grandmums. That culture is engrained in Gambia. And BTW, most of the female pros in Gambia are Nigerians and Sierra Leonians.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by mukina2: 1:07pm On Oct 30, 2010|
Ibime sharrap Dia.
The pros are Senegalese,Nigerians and Liberians
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by Ibime(m): 3:37pm On Oct 30, 2010|
How many Ashi do you know?
I've passed by 2 Ashi joints (not for conjugal visit) in Serrekunda and The strip, and most of em are Freetonians! Hehehehehe
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by mukina2: 4:12pm On Oct 30, 2010|
i know you passed by dia to do the usual
i nor sabi nor arshi but the ones always caught and paraded on TV are either Gambians,Senegalese, Liberians or Nigerians, Freetonians ( note . not Sierra Leoneans)
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by dayokanu(m): 4:39pm On Oct 30, 2010|
Did you go for sex tourism in Gambia
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by Ibime(m): 12:41am On Oct 31, 2010|
We know those who specialise in paying for what others get for free, and we are quite sure your history bears this out. I only happened to visit the Ashi joint because my guide's girlfriend worked there as a receptionist. Let those who regularly patronise such establishments speak on this matter, for it is not a shame for you to admit to what most men have tried once in their life.
Abi Freetonians no be Sierra Leonians again? Infact, why wouldn't Sierra Leonians engage in such acts when they are known for same all over West Africa?
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by dayokanu(m): 12:50am On Oct 31, 2010|
Ashi joint get receptionist for Gambia?
Ibime, Shey na you draft the Memorandum of Understanding for the joint
Soon that ashi joint go enter NYSE.
Ibime you influence in the red-light business in growing in the sub-region, You deserve credit for that
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by Ibime(m): 12:57am On Oct 31, 2010|
E be like say you be professional for this Ashi joint, if not how you take know say Ashi joint no dey get receptionist? And BTW, why Ashi joint no go get receptionist? Abi na mama put Ashi joint you been frequent for OAU? Oya confess!!!
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by dayokanu(m): 1:34am On Oct 31, 2010|
I dunno o.
Maybe you can tell us the different types of Ashi joint wey dey. I bet some even get bloomberg sef abi?
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by 4Play(m): 10:13am On Oct 31, 2010|
This guy likes passing by ashi joints. I once ''passed by an ashi joint'' when I was a kid and there were no receptionists. Maybe Gambia own dey different or things don change
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by cap28: 10:58am On Oct 31, 2010|
boy these old white women are a joke, what kind of self delusion is this?
what would make a young strapping 25 year old man fall in love with a 59 year old woman who actually looks 79??
these white women are completely deluded and shameless, 20 years ago she wouldnt have given this man a second glance now because none of her men want her she actually thinks that this poverty stricken gambian man is after her for genuine reasons, as someone said wonders shall never end!!!
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by MandingoII(m): 7:21pm On Oct 31, 2010|
She thinks she's BETTER than him because of her wealth.
She USED him for his sex.
Now she acting all upset that it was all a scam.
what she's thought?
she knew she was a paymaster - but she wanted to keep it in AFRICA and thereby not SHAMING herself in the U.K.
Old wrinkly dry woman will be buying sex for the rest of her life.
She will be back in Africa looking for Mandingo Sex.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by mukina2: 12:01pm On Nov 01, 2010|
Ibime sharaap, since you are now the chief of knowing who and who is in the arshi trade
you must be a valued customer
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by armyofone(f): 3:18pm On Nov 01, 2010|
with discounting funny
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by ziddy(m): 8:13pm On Nov 01, 2010|
Wahala dey dis Africa o! How do those boys manage to get it up at without puking all over sugar-grandma
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by cap28: 9:39pm On Nov 01, 2010|
that yoruba guy try o, cant he see that that old woman is more suited to be his dad's wife and not his own wife, these guys are really loosing it, that guy must be really desperate.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by redsun(m): 10:41pm On Nov 01, 2010|
Man must wak.
|Re: A Gambian Waiter (25) Weds A Granny (59) For Visa by redsun(m): 10:43pm On Nov 01, 2010|
Don't blame d player,blame d game.
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