Noela Rukundo went through an experience certainly like no other.
While Rukundo was away from home, her husband paid to have her murdered. Instead, her life was spared, and she got her absolute revenge by showing up to her own funeral in order to reveal her husband’s plot against her.
Rukundo is an African mother of eight who left her home country of Burundi in 2004 as a refugee to Australia.
There she met Balenga Kalala, who was also a refugee. They eventually got married, and things seemed well for a long time. In January 2015, however, Rukundo returned to Burundi in order to attend the funeral of her stepmother.
It was here that the deadly plot on her life began to unfold.
She received a phone call while she was in her hotel room from her husband. When he mentioned that she should go outside to get some fresh air, she did, but she was startled when she saw a man heading right toward her.
The man had a gun and threatened her, telling her not to scream. Rukundo was then kidnapped and taken to a remote location.
The kidnappers tied Rukundo to a chair.
She was terrified. However, the men who had abducted her seemed to have some frustration with the situation themselves, and they kept asking her what she did to make the man who had hired them so angry.
“What did you do to this man?” Rukundo remembers them asking over and over. “Why would he want us to kill you?”
Rukundo said she didn’t know what they were talking about, but when they told her it was her husband who had put the hit on her, she couldn’t believe it. They then called the person who had paid them, and she immediately recognized her husband’s voice.
“Kill her,” he said on the other end of the phone.
The kidnappers held Rukundo captive for two days and then finally let her go. They told her they did not kill women and children, which was why they could not go through with the job. Instead, they told her husband they had killed her. She even listened in while they told him where they were going to dump the body!
In Australia, Rukundo’s funeral was being held.
Kalala thought he had gotten away with his plot… until Rukundo showed up to the service.
Kalala was shocked at first and even touched her to make sure she wasn’t a ghost. Then he realized the truth and even went so far as to apologize. Rukundo felt completely different, though, like someone who “had risen again,” which gave her a sense of power.
After the funeral, she called the police and told them the truth.
Kalala was arrested but tried to fight the charges. He denied he’d had anything to do with the murder plot, which might have worked if the kidnappers hadn’t turned over the information to the police. Once they obtained recordings of him speaking to the kidnappers and information about him routing money to them, Kalala caved. He was sentenced to nine years in prison for incitement to murder.
And Rukundo? She has decided to put her past behind her and look toward the future.
She told the Washington Post:
“I will stand up like a strong woman.”
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