Noela Rukundo is a mother of eight from the African nation of Burundi who moved to Australia as a refugee back in 2004. Once she got there, Noela met a fellow refugee named Balenga Kalala, and she eventually married him.
Noela thought she had finally found love with Balenga until a disturbing plot came to light that nearly cost the mother her life.
In January of 2015, Noela returned to Burundi to attend the funeral of her stepmother. Unbeknownst to her, Noela’s husband arranged for her to be murdered during this trip, but things did not quite go as he planned.
Noela was sitting in her hotel room when she received a phone cal from Balenga, who told her that she should go outside to get some fresh air. As soon as she left her room, she was stunned when a man with a gun grabbed her and kidnapped her, taking her to a remote location.
Noela’s kidnappers tied her to a chair, and though she was terrified, she noticed that the men who grabbed her were frustrated as well. They kept asking her what she had done to make the man who hired them to kill her so angry.
“What did you do to this man?” she remembers them asking her. “Why would he want us to kill you?”
Noela told them time and time again that she had no idea what they were talking about, but they finally told her that it was her husband who had hired them. She refused to believe them until they called the man who had hired them and she recognized Balenga’s voice on the other end of the phone.
“Kill her,” Balenga told them coldly.
The men kept Noela for two days, telling her that they could not handle killing a mother of eight children. Finally, they decided to let Noela go but to tell Balenga that they had killed her, and she even listened to them telling her husband where they were dumping her body.
Balenga assumed that he had gotten away with his plot, and he hastily planned Noela’s funeral back in Australia. Imagine his surprise when Noela walked into the church on the day of her funeral!
At first, Balenga thought she was a ghost, but once he realized that she was real, he tried to apologize. Noela, however, was not having any of it. She felt like someone who “had risen again” and she had a sense of power over her husband that she had never felt before.
Noela called police after the funeral and Balenga was promptly arrested. Though he denied the charges against him, Balenga was later convicted of incitement to murder and was sentenced to nine years in prison. These days, Noela has put her past behind her and is focusing on moving forward.
“I will stand up like a strong woman,” she said.
Find out more about this harrowing story in the video below.