Tiaro woman fundraising to meet online African 'husband'

Tiaro resident Sharonlee Cordell with a photo of her "husband" Ebou Janha who lives in Gambia, Africa.
Tiaro resident Sharonlee Cordell with a photo of her "husband" Ebou Janha who lives in Gambia, Africa. Alistair Brightman

A TIARO woman who is in love with a man she has never met is desperately trying to raise funds so she can visit him in Gambia - and she has fought back against claims that the GoFundMe page she set up to achieve that goal is a scam.

Sharonlee Cordell, 55, met Ebou Janha, 41, on Facebook more than a year ago and gradually the two became friends.


When Ebou told Sharonlee he was in love with her, she rejected his declaration until she discussed it with a friend later and Sharonlee realised she was in love with him too.

"She (the friend) was the one who picked up on it," Sharonlee said.

Sharonlee is on a pension and Ebou says he is poor, earning the equivalent of only $81 a month, which means without help, the two may never get to meet.

Sharonlee has created a GoFundMe page with a target of $10,000 so she can travel overseas and meet Ebou - as well as buy him a wedding present that would be valuable in Gambia - a motorbike.

She said most Gambians have no form of transport and Ebou walked nearly everywhere he went, so the present would change his life.

Sharonlee Cordell, 55, says she is 100% sincere in her desire to meet Ebou, 41, who she regularly talks to on Skype.
Sharonlee Cordell, 55, says she is 100% sincere in her desire to meet Ebou, 41, who she regularly talks to on Skype.

Sharonlee was accused of "scamming" after setting up the GoFundMe page and hit back at the allegations, saying she was 100% sincere in her desire to meet Ebou, who she regularly Skypes with.

"I would never call anyone a scammer," she said, explaining how hurt she was at the accusation.

"I try to lift people up."

She said she was devastated that people would accuse her of that.

Sharonlee also addressed any concerns people might have about the veracity of her relationship with Ebou.

She is aware of the dangers and warning signs of online relationship scams as she has had two people try to get her to send them money previously when they approached her on Facebook.

However her relationship with Ebou is different, Sharonlee says, and he would never willingly accept her money.

"He's never asked for a cent off me," she said.

She had to insist on giving him $10 once when he suffered an eye injury, she said.

Despite the distance between them, Sharon said they considered themselves to be married - she even sent him a ring and wears a similar one herself to symbolise their relationship.

"Ebou is everything to me," she said.

One day Sharonlee hopes to live in Gambia with Ebou, after her two teenage daughters are independent.

She said they were hoping to set up a farm and create a wonderful life, not only for themselves but for Ebou's family - he has a 12-year-old son from a previous relationship - and the community they would live in.

Topics:  africa editors picks fundraising married maryborough online dating romance tiaro

Have your say on Wednesday market at Pier Park

A vibrant market with over 80 selected stalls NO second hand. Organic veggies, Local fruit, Live Music, Special KIDS ZONE and so much more.

They already operate a Saturday market.

Not too late to host Girls' Night In to defeat cancers

girls night in

There is still time for Queenslanders to host a Cancer Council Girls

Local Partners

Steve Irwin's final days through dad's eyes

Bob Irwin with his son Steve.

'You never expect that’s the last time you’re going to see your son'

Kristie doesn't mind being the third wheel in Survivor final

Kristie Bennett in a scene from Australian Survivor.

SOLO player will take on Survivor's power couple Lee and El tonight.

Scary hoping Posh and Sporty will re-join The Spice Girls

Mel B

Mel B hoping Victoria Beckham, Mel C will re-join The Spice Girls

REVIEW: Michael McIntyre has Brisbane in stitches

Michael McIntyre in a scene from his TV series Michael McIntyre's Comedy Roadshow.

BRITISH comedian is in the country on his Happy and Glorious Tour.

Cliff Richard doesn't need Rod Stewart's help with legal bills

Sir Cliff Richard

"'Don't worry, I'm loaded. I won't keep you to it.' "

Look at me! Kath and Kim home up for sale

Kath and Kim from the iconic Aussie TV series.

'Crack open the Baileys and grab a box of BBQ Shapes'

How to fit 100,000 new homes on the Coast

Property, real estate, housing, suburb,  August 2016

Fitting 2m extra people in south-east Qld in 25 years a balance

Hinterland horse stud passed in for $8.25 million

UNREAL: This Maleny estate is incredible.

12-bedroom hinterland horse stud still available

Hit songwriter's Noosa mansion on market

SPECIAL PLACE: The Cintamani estate is going to tender, marketed by Tom Offermann Real Estate.

Is this Queensland's best property?

Kiwi siblings snap up Dotcom mansion for $32.5m

The new toy company owners of the Coatesville mansion want replace any controversy with positivity and fun. Photo / Barfoot and Thompson

The trio paid $32.5 million for the property in June

New $200 million development will create 580 jobs

Cassie And Josh with baby Alfie and daughter Andee. They have bought at new Lennox Head development Epiq.

Majority of new positions will be given to Northern Rivers locals