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.
For some, vulnerability is the name of the game and often the bait needed to hook their prey, and vulnerable white women have become the most sought-after visa for African men.
A white woman from the UK was scammed into a marriage with a Gambian man. While vacationing in the 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 the 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.
“He was going out with his friends drinking and I grew suspicious that he was cheating. He would be coming in at 2 am or 3 am in the morning and he told me to stop phoning him. I told him he was my husband and I had a right to know where you are.”
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.
A man who uses the name Theophilus Eshun on Facebook posted a supposed 23-year-old professing his love for his 87-year-old girlfriend. The Facebook post stated that the 23-year-old believes African women his age “are gold diggers with relationship issues that don’t respect their partners.”
Deana Charles from the UK recalled her experiences of being hoodwinked into a fraudulent marriage. She met Ben, a Nigerian, online and within six months the pair were getting married. The first red flag appeared when right after their wedding Charles noticed a text message from another woman to Ben. Charles reluctantly agreed to stay married.
After struggling to have a child, Charles explained: “My heart stopped when I saw he’d been sending messages to a girl on a social network site and she had sent him explicit pictures. Ben told her he loved her and wanted a baby with her. Minutes later, I received a message from the girl – she felt so guilty, she’d messaged me to come clean.”
She continued, “When he realised there was no way back, he told me he’d only married me for a visa. It explained why he’d been so keen to get me pregnant, the authorities would find it harder to deport him.”
Charles left Ben and filed for divorce.
“I felt relieved, Charles explained. Looking back, I realise how naive I was. Ben was due to finish his degree when he proposed, which meant his student visa would expire. He had to get me up the aisle as soon as possible.”
The trend has become so rampant, that employees at the Ikoyi Registry in Lagos. According to the Nation Online NG, a source has noted the influx of young Nigerian men marrying older white women. Friends and family often lend their support, showing up in “aso ebi,” a ceremonial garment.
Jane Cole, a 58-year-old woman met 28-year-old Michael, a Nigerian man working as a bartender in the Gambia. After one night together, Michael convinced Cole that he wanted a long-term relationship. Soon after, Michael moved to the UK to be with Cole.
Noting suspicious behavior, Cole traced a number that appeared on Michael’s phone bill numerous times.
“When I confronted Michael, he just admitted it and laughed. I was devastated.” “My self-confidence sank to an all-time low. He had drained me of everything, both financially and emotionally.” The union crumbled with one of the parties feeling used and dumped.”
The hustle that is destroying the belief of genuine love and flattening pockets.
— Sam Sirma™ (@Samsirma) July 18, 2018