The father of Sadio Mane’s 18-year-old bride has revealed that she had a traditional arranged marriage to the footballer and that they did not date before tying the knot.
The former Liverpool star married Aisha Tamba in an Islamic ceremony on January 7 in Keur Massar, a suburb in the capital city of Dakar.
The marriage took place in Aisha’s home and was attended by family and close friends.
Her father Amadou Tamba revealed that his daughter is aged 18 and that Mane, 31, first set eyes on her ‘more than two years ago’ when she went to visit his family with her mother.
Mr Tamba said: ‘My wife and Aisha visited their (Mane’s) family one day, and this is where he met her for the first time.
‘He probably saw something special in her and his parents appreciated her as well. They came to see me. We discussed as per the tradition, agreed on everything and waited for this day to happen.’
He added: ‘They were not dating because Aisha was still young.’
Speaking to local media, Mr Tamba confirmed: ‘She is 18…. It (the first time Mane saw her) was more than two years ago.’
According to local reports, the marriage was agreed upon while she was still at school with the decision reached by both families to wait until she reached 18 so that she could finish her studies. Mane has been reportedly funding her education.
Mr Tamba said: ‘With the values and all that she heard about him, she accepted voluntarily. But as parents, we also guided and advised her to freely make up her mind. God did what’s best for her.’
According to friends of the family, Mane’s uncle, who is close friends with Mr Tamba, acted as a go-between with an imam visiting him to make a formal marriage proposal on behalf of the footballer.
Mr Tamba is a wealthy contractor in the construction industry who revealed that he has been working closely with Mane and his family on a number of projects since 2013.
He also said that he had grown close to the multi-millionaire footballer and appreciated his values, which influenced his decision to agree to the marriage.
He said: ‘I knew that Sadio and all his family are very good and humble people. Sadio is just the reflection of his family.
‘However, as a father, I also needed to know more about him, his education, his faith in God, humility. And I came to know much more that he is a good person.
‘Sadio and I talk much about the projects, but we also talk about life in general and he taught me a lot, although he is still young. He knows a lot about life, and I learnt much from him. So, that’s why I didn’t hesitate to accept his request to marry Aisha.’
Mr Tamba said that he had developed a close bond with Mane over the years.
He added: ‘There is a strong trust in our relationship. This is not about his fame or his wealth. The first thing I like about him is his good education.
‘And now that I have given him my daughter, I would like him to take good care of her and especially to live as per the Muslim commandments, because he is a good Muslim.
‘I would like him to help her grow, though she is doing her best, this is very important for me.’
The proud father described his daughter as a ‘pious’ Muslim who has good knowledge of the Quran.
Asked what advice he had for the footballer following his marriage he said: ‘I would like to tell him that marriage is not easy. I would advise him to treat her like his own daughter, his own sister. To support her. He has already been doing it…but I would like him to enhance this support.
‘Let them live as per the religion. Let them not care about the meaningless details of life.’