This woman’s husband was pretty surprised to see her, at her own funeral, after he put a hit out on her.
Noela Rukundo stepped out of a car at her own funeral much to the surprise of her husband Kalala, who had hired hit men to have her killed.
The woman had been kidnapped from her Bujumbura hotel, where she was staying for a funeral.
The group of gunmen who took her tied her to a chair and beat her.
Speaking to the BBC, she said: “They ask me, ‘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.’ They say, ‘Your husband!’ I say, ‘My husband can’t kill me, you are lying!’ And then they slap me.
“After that the boss says, ‘You are very stupid, you are fool. Let me call who has paid us to kill you.’”
The gunmen then got her husband on the phone, after which he said, on speakerphone, “kill her”.
“I heard his voice. I heard him. I felt like my head was going to blow up,” Rukundo said. “Then they described for him where they were going to chuck the body.”
But the kidnappers decided that they would not kill her, as they “don’t kill women and children”.
Left at the side of a road, she was given 80 hours to leave the country.
Seeking the help of her pastor back in Melbourne, the woman returned on a plane without her husband knowing.
She then waited outside their home for her memorial service to start.
Rukundo said: “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?’”
“Surprise! I’m still alive!” she replied.
She went on: “I was stood just looking at him. He was scared, he didn’t believe it. Then he starts walking towards me, slowly, like he was walking on broken glass.
“He kept talking to himself and when he reached me, he touched me on the shoulder. He jumped.
“He did it again. He jumped. Then he said, ‘Noela, is it you?’… Then he start screaming, ‘I’m sorry for everything.’”
After police were contacted, in September last year Kalala pleaded guilty to one count of incitement to murder. He was later sentenced to nine years in prison.
Rukundo says she has struggled since the incident, especially since she must raise their eight children alone.
But she feels positive, saying:“I will stand up like a strong woman… My situation, my past life? That is gone. I’m starting a new life now.”