Noela Rukundo surprised her husband when she showed up to her own funeral, according to the Washington Post. Her husband, Balenga Kalala, was shocked because she was not only supposed to be dead; he had paid hit men to assassinate her. This really makes all the idiot husbands on Ashley Madison look like saints.
The saga began a year ago, when Rukundo flew with her husband to Burundi (her home country) to attend her stepmother's funeral. She was fatigued and saddened by the service, and returned to their hotel room to rest. Her husband did not go to the room with her, but he did call her to check in and offer a suggestion. Burundi told the BBC:
He told me to go outside for fresh air.
She followed his advice. And the second she stepped outside, a man rushed her with a gun and immediately threatened her life:
Don’t scream. If you start screaming, I will shoot you. They’re going to catch me, but you? You will already be dead.
The rest of her ordeal plays out like a scene from an action movie or crime drama TV show. She was blindfolded and driven to an abandoned building. There, she was tied to a chair, where her kidnappers delivered the terrifying reality of why she had ended up that way:
Balenga sent us to kill you.
Naturally, she did not believe that her husband had paid men to kill her. Her kidnappers laughed at her, and then they placed a phone call to her husband on speaker phone. She heard her husband's voice on the other end of the line, and he confirmed that they should proceed.
She fainted after hearing him confirm the hit over the phone. When she awoke, the hit men explained that they did not believe in killing women, and they knew her brother. Her buffoon of a husband hired assassins with a conscience. Ha! Husbands can't get anything right. This is right up there with trying to fold bed sheets and buying the wrong type of cheese at the grocery store.
They did not however have any moral qualms about keeping the $7,000 Australian dollars he paid to kill his wife. They lied to Kalala, saying the murder was complete, and then freed her with a mobile phone, recordings of their conversations with her husband, and even a receipt for the payment he gave them. In addition to having a conscience, these assassins have decent accounting and project management skills. Somewhere, they probably have a PowerPoint presentation outlining how they were going to take this guy's money and not kill his wife.
Rukundo called her church pastor back home in Australia. Along with the help of a few embassies, he was able to get her back home, while the entire time her husband still thought she was dead. He had also told their community in Australia that she had died in a tragic accident while overseas at the funeral.
On the night of Feb. 22, 2015, Kalala held a gathering at his home, where neighbors stopped by to pay their respects and comfort him. When she saw her husband step out of the door to say goodbye to the last of the guests, she stepped out of a car and confronted him. This is perhaps the greatest revenge served to an ex in the history of the world.
The police had been notified about the plot, and Kalala confessed to conspiring to have her killed. He was sentenced to nine years in prison, where the other prisoners will presumably taunt him for the time his ghost wife got her groove back and totally destroyed his scheme.
Some people feel the story sounds so much like a movie, it should actually be one. And sooner rather than later:
All hopes for a movie aside, Rukundo has a hard road ahead, as she now has eight children to raise herself as a single mother. But she is very much alive, and determined to persevere after this insane drama:
My situation, my past life? That is gone. I’m starting a new life now.