Woman Shows Up at Her Own Funeral After Husband Tries to Have Her Killed

funeralFew of us get to attend our own funeral, but that's exactly what Noela Rukundo did -- much to the surprise of her husband, who tried to have her killed! Rukundo, who was born in Burundi but lives in Australia, was back in her native country for a funeral when she was kidnapped by hit men and held at gunpoint last February, all at the behest of husband Balenga Kalala. But then, something even more shocking happened.


Rukundo was snatched by armed men outside the Burundi hotel where she was staying for her stepmother's funeral. The kidnappers drove her to a building, tied her to a chair, and interrogated her: "What did you do to this man? Why has this man asked us to kill you?’"

And then I tell them, 'Which man? Because I don’t have any problem with anybody,'" Rukundo told the BBC.

"They say, 'Your husband!' I say, 'My husband can't kill me, you are lying!' And then they slap me."

Rukundo prepared herself for the worst ("I felt like my head was going to blow up," she said), but suddenly, her captors had a change of heart. 

"We're not going to kill you. We don't kill women and children," they told her, then left her on the side of the road and gave her 80 hours to leave Burundi. Not knowing what else to do, Rukundo contacted her pastor in Australia for help. He paid for her plane ticket home and agreed to keep her return a secret so that she could give her husband the shock of his life by showing up to her own memorial service!

Rukundo waited outside her house as mourners streamed in and out of the service, then ambushed her husband on the front lawn. As Rukundo told it:

"When I get out of the car, he saw me straight away. He put his hands on his head and said, 'Is it my eyes? Is it a ghost?'"

Then Rukundo said THIS:

"Surprise! I'm still alive!"

SURPRISE!! Your evil plans were foiled! And also surprise: You're going to jail, dude. Rukundo contacted police immediately and Kalala was ordered to stay away from the house; a few days later, he confessed to everything in a recorded phone call with Rukundo. He also explained his motives for the attempted murder: Apparently he was jealous and worried that Rukundo was going to leave him for another man. (Well if she did, could you blame her?!) Kalala pled guilty to one count of incitement to murder in September 2015 and was later sentenced to nine years in prison.

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Rukundo, who is now left raising eight children alone, says she's received threats since then for reporting her husband to the police and has been shunned by some members of Melbourne's African community.

"But I will stand up like a strong woman," she said. 

"My situation, my past life? That is gone. I'm starting a new life now."

Strong woman is right! And after everything she's been through and her refusal to let it keep her down, I have a feeling Rukundo is going to be just fine ... surprise!


Image via Don LaVange/Flickr 

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