A 32-year-old Nigerian who married a 50-year-old Russian woman five years ago, has died of heart attack at a dance club. He died last Friday night, October 12, in the city of Cherepovets about 500 km north of Moscow.
The deceased, Gabriel Segun Ajayi , who has been living in Russia since 2015, is survived by twin boys, who were born last year.
The police said that while there were no signs of foul play in the case, an autopsy will be conducted to establish the cause of the death.
The Nigerian Embassy in Moscow said it is looking into reports about Ajayi’s death.
Ajayi and his wife, Natalia Vedenina, had captured the attention of Russian daytime talk shows with their romance due to the age difference between them and the unusual story of a reported Nigerian prince agreeing to move to rural Russia to be with his wife.
According to the local news agency IMA Cherepovets, the two got to know each other through an online dating service and initially had to use Google Translate to break through the language barrier. Gabriel reportedly had difficulties with getting a Russian visa, so their first chance to see each other in person came in 2013, when Natalia travelled to Nigeria to meet the man’s family and they got married during the trip.
“My relatives and neighbours were all shocked after I returned a married woman, the only person I sought advice from is my son.” Natalie said.
Natalia’s son from first marriage, Anatoly, is an adult with a family of his own. He said while he initially was skeptical about the new father-in-law, he changed his opinion after meeting him and seeing how happy Natalia was with the new husband.
For several years Ajayi could not get a permanent residency in Russia and had to leave every few month as mandated by visa rules. He moved in for good in 2015 and reportedly had some difficulties getting accustomed to local climate, mastering the language and finding a paying job. Later, he started work as a tractor driver and local IT specialist.
Natalyia was devastated by the news of her husband’s death.
She said: “Gabriel had a massive heart attack, he collapsed and died. He wasn’t on any medications. My husband didn’t have any complaints about his heart. I was informed two hours after it happened. Our children are just babies, they are just a year old and they don’t understand anything yet.”
Ajayi will be buried in the city of Cherepovets to be closer to his widow and his children. His mother lives with the rest of the family in a nearby village, and is assisting in nursing the children.
The rest of Ajayi’s family may not attend the funeral due to the distance and difficulties in obtaining a visa on such a short notice, local media report.