Awesome - A Woman Who’s Supposed to Be Dead Appeared at Her Own Funeral, Alive and Kicking



With eight adorable children, a loving husband and a stable job, one woman from Burundi, Africa can say that she is living the life she had always dreamed of. Though she had experienced a lot of problems and troubles in the past, those days were gone. Noela left Burundi, her native country, and flew all the way to Australia and found a new home and a new life.





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Her future was sparkling bright. She planned to spend the rest of her days with her husband, strolling on Australia’s pristine beaches once her kids grow up. Gone are the days where she needed to scrape and beg for food. Her husband was a good provider and her children were all loving and supportive.


However, when she returned to her native land for a very important reason, she had no idea that everything in her life was about to change.





Looking for a Greener Pastures


In 2004, Noela Rukundo left her native home in Burundi to search for a brighter future in Australia. Her first husband had died and left her with five children. With big dreams for her kids, the widow mustered all of her courage and decided to take her luck in a foreign land.





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It seemed that Noela did the right thing. Soon enough, she found a new job and a nice place to settle with the help of a resettlement agency. The Australians were friendly and she was offered all the help she could get. Her kids didn’t have trouble adjusting to their new home. Noela was always thankful of the blessings in her life, especially when a big one came again.




Second Chance in Love


Still depending on the social worker who helped her and her family to build a new life in Australia, Noela often visited the agency. It was there where she met Balanga Kalala, a recent refugee from Congo. Since Kalala already knew how to speak English, he was often asked by the social worker to translate for Noela. At that time, she only knew Swahili.





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During those encounters, the two fell in love. Noela was a widow with five kids and Kalala was a widower. She soon learned that he fled to Australia after a rebel army attacked and ransacked their small village in Congo. In that unfortunate incident, his wife and young son were killed. With no reason left to stay, he decided to start a new life in a foreign land as well.




Living Together


Noela had no plans of getting married again. She wanted to dedicate her life in raising her children. However, when she met Kalala, everything had changed. He was sweet and caring and he always made her laugh. Moreover, he completely accepted her situation. In a short period of time, Noela fell head over heels with Kalala.





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Needless to say, the two decided to live together. They moved in to the Melbourne suburb of Kings Park. Kalala treated her children as his own. In the years that followed, she bore him three more children. However, she also discovered more of her second husband’s personality.




The Ugly Parts


Noela had nothing to say to her husband when it comes to providing the needs of the family. Since he came as a refugee to Australia in 2004, he worked hard and found steady employment soon enough. He worked in a seafood processing factory first before finding a better job as a forklift operator in a warehouse.





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However, while living together under one roof, Noela discovered the violent side of her husband. When he was tired, he would often shout and get mad at small things. There were times when he would physically hurt her.


However, after the rage, he would come to her like a tamed sheep and will cry for forgiveness. As a wife and a mother, she would often disregard the incident and instead, learned to accept the situation. After all, he was her husband and she loved him.








Heartbreaking News from Home


Back in Burundi, Noela was raised by her stepmother. Although she was thousands of miles away from home, she makes it to a point to send her regards to her relatives in Africa. Thanks to technology, she was always updated on what’s happening back there.





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However, one day, the news that arrived from home were not good ones. Her stepmother had sadly succumbed to her sickness. Of course, she needed to go home to Burundi to pay her last respect. Unfortunately, her husband couldn't accompany her due to work responsibilities.




Stressful Days


From Melbourne, Australia, Noela traveled 7,500 miles to reach Burundi. She needed to get some things done and of course, to attend the funeral. It would be the last time she would see the amazing woman who raised her. Her husband, Kalala, kept on checking on her through phone calls.





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Since her home in Burundi was small, Noela decided to check in a hotel Bujumbura. She was feeling stressed, sad and exhausted and missed her husband and children as well. After the funeral service, she went back to her hotel room to get some rest. Just in time, her phone rang.




A Call of Concern


The call was from her husband. She answered it right away and instantly detected the sound of concern on Kalala’s voice. She was feeling so lonely and his call was one of the things she needed.





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According to her husband, he was trying to get to her the whole day. He asked how is she doing, and she replied she was going to go to bed to get some rest from the hard day she had. Instead of saying goodnight, Kalala advised her to take a dose of fresh air outside. Noela felt that he was so worried about her so she decided to follow his suggestion. She had no idea that it was the beginning of something she never thought could happen to her.




The Sudden Turn of Unfortunate Events


Noela was only a few steps out of the hotel compound when she noticed a man approaching her. With so little time to react, she just realized that a gun was pointed to her.





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The stranger told her something that kept her from screaming. He said “Don’t scream. If you start screaming, I will shoot you. They're going to catch me, but you? You will already be dead.” Although she felt that her heart would burst in fear, she decided that it would be wiser to do as she’s been told.




Sitting Still


The assaulter motioned Noela towards a car parked on the side of the road. There were three guys. One was the driver and the other two were holding guns. Trying to appear as calm as she could be, she was forced to sit between two men. Before the car went, she was blindfolded.










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According to her speculation, the car ran for forty minutes. No one was speaking while they are traveling. When the car stopped, she was shoved outside and was pushed inside an empty building. Noela was then tied to a chair.




Confrontation Time


Still holding her tongue, Noela heard one of the kidnappers make a call to alert the boss. Then they turned to her and asked her absurd questions. The questions were direct, “What did you do to this man? Why has this man asked us to kill you?”





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For Noela, nothing made sense. She only answered, “Which man?” She couldn't remember anyone whom she had trouble with. As far as she knows, she didn’t have any problem with anybody. However, when the man answered her question, it felt like he dropped a bomb.




Mind-Boggling Revelations


The kidnapper’s answer was firm. He said, “Your husband!” Without a doubt, she screamed that it was impossible. Kalala would never do that. She even accused them of lying. And then she was slapped.





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The leader of the group told her how stupid she was. To further prove his point, he called the man who had paid them to kill her. Noela’s mind was spinning all along. She can only wish it was not real. It was not happening.




The Worst She Ever Heard in Her Entire Life


When the call was connected, the leader of the kidnappers triumphantly announced that they already hold Noela as captive. The phone was put on a loudspeaker so that she could hear the man on the other line. Then, the truth stabbed her like a knife.





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“Kill her.” The same voice that consoled her an hour earlier sounded like hell to her ears. The man whom she’d given eleven years of her life, the same man who is the father of her children, she never thought he would be able to condemn her to her death. When the kidnappers discussed how they would kill her and dispose of her body, it already tasted like death. She passed out.



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More Revelations


As the leader of the kidnappers ended the call, Noela was coming round. She knew that her situation is hopeless and nothing can save her anymore. As she was preparing her mind to accept her unfortunate fate, she noticed the kidnappers looking at her intently.





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“We're not going to kill you. We don't kill women and children.” Upon hearing this, a little surge of hope rose. The switch was mind-boggling. She didn’t even know how to react. Then, the leader asked her why she hadn’t noticed in the past that something was wrong. It was January and the order to kill her was planned in November of last year. Noela tried to remember what she had done to her loving husband. Try as she might, she couldn’t remember anything nor did she sense that it will go as far as this.




A Ray of Hope


Noela’s life might be in danger. However, she couldn’t believe that there was hope after all. The hired assassins Kalala paid were men of principles. They do not believe in killing women and children. In that moment, she realized that God indeed loves her after all.












Noela spent the next two days in the abandoned building. During this time, the kidnappers told her husband that she was already dead. They also took the opportunity to extort more money from Kalala. Her husband willingly shipped the money.




A Family Thing


Back in the hotel where she stayed, Noela’s brother was fearful of her disappearance. She never told him when she would fly back home to Melbourne. Moreover, her things were still in the room. Suspecting that something bad had happened to her, her brother reached out to Kalala.





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According to her brother, he asked Kalala for $545 to pay the police to open an investigation. The husband instantly wired the money and even expressed how bothered he is. However, his shows were not close to being over.




The Miracle of Freedom


After two days of being held captive, the assassins finally told her what she was praying to hear. The gang leader, however, had a piece of advice and warning for her. He said that she was extremely lucky they are murderers with principles but not everyone is the same. According to him, Kalala is very serious. He wants her dead. They do not even know if there are other killers on whom her husband had ordered her murder.





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Noela was given 80 hours to leave the country. Before leaving her on the side of the road, the leader handed her a memory card. It was a piece of evidence that contains all the recorded phone calls. They even provided the receipts for the Western Union money transfer.


However, Noela wouldn’t forget the last words she heard from the kidnappers. They told her: “We just want you to go back, to tell other stupid women like you what happened, you must learn something: you people get a chance to go overseas for a better life. But the money you are earning, the money the government gives to you, you use it for killing each other!"




Running for Her Life


In the middle of the night, Noela realized she had very little time to lose. Right away, she called the pastor of her church, Dassano Harruno Nantogmah, back in Melbourne. The pastor was shocked to hear her voice, due to the pretense created by Kalala. When Noela told her about her husband’s evil plan, even the pastor had a hard time believing her.





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In the end, however, the pastor was convinced to help her. Noela pleaded not to tell anyone that she’s still alive. For her, she was given a new life to straighten things out. She wouldn’t miss it for the world to see the reaction of her dear husband.




A Fake Funeral


Back in their family home in Melbourne, Australia, Kalala appeared like a grieving widower. Days ago, when he received the assassin’s call that they have already killed Noela, he had sadly informed the community that she died in a tragic accident in Burundi.



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Kalala spent the day mourning with well-wishers. Many of those who came to offer their support and compassion donated money. He looked like a devastated husband who had lost someone so dear to him. However, it seemed that it’s not as easy as he planned it to be.




It’s Payback Time


On February 22, 2015, Noela had returned safely to Melbourne. More careful and vigilant than ever, she got news of the fake funeral his husband had cunningly organized. Of course, it’s an honor to be able to attend her funeral –alive.





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It was around 7:30 pm when Noela, while sitting on a parked car just in front of their home, noticed that her husband was escorting the last group of well-wishers into their cars. As they drove away, she decided that it was the perfect time to present her surprise.




The Jaw-dropping Encounter


When Kalala was left alone on the porch, Noela slowly made her entrance. Even in the dark, she saw her husband’s reaction upon seeing her. His mouth was open wide and a look of fear was beginning to show. She walked closer, not speaking any word.






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Her husband kept on talking to himself. It was like he was seeing a ghost. When they were inches apart, Kalala touched her shoulders. Then he jumped. When he reached out to touch her again, it was then that he realized she was not just an apparition. Kalala then started to scream, asking for forgiveness.




It’s Unforgivable


In the past, Noela had always forgiven Kalala for hurting her physically. She even believed him when she said that his violence was just a result of the trauma he got from his native land. She loved him dearly, and she was always willing to accept him. But this time, he had reached the limit. He even went beyond that.


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Noela called the police she had contacted beforehand. They ordered Kalala off the premises. A few days later, she obtained a court order against him. To make her case strong, she followed the policemen’s order to call her husband. It was then that he made a full confession. Without his knowledge, the murder confession was being recorded on tape.




Rejecting Accusations


According to Kalala, he loved her so much and was suspecting that she would later leave him for another man. He said that the evil deed was planned out of jealousy. But no matter how much he tried, Noela’s heart and mind were already closed. She had learned her lesson, the hard way.






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Noela pursued a case against him. With all the pieces of evidence she had, she knew that she would get the justice she deserved. When Kalala was brought in for questioning, he denied his involvement in the murder plan. How could he?




Admission of Guilt


When Kalala was brought in for official questioning, he tried for hours to deny that he was the mastermind. He told the police that he was incapable of such a thing. However, when the police played the recordings of his voice as he was confessing the plot and the reasons why he paid hired killers to murder his wife, he realized he had nowhere to go. Kalala started to cry.





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Noela, as well as the police, were still unable to find the real reason why Kalala resorted to that evil thing. All he could ever say is that sometimes [the] devil can come into someone to do something but after they do it, they start thinking, 'Why I did that thing?'




The Haunting Memories


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On December 11 of the same year, the court of Melbourne sentenced Kalala to nine years in prison. He pleaded guilty to the incitement of murder and that evidently lessened the punishment given to him.






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Even when he was put behind bars, Noela wasn’t able to get her normal life again. When she was lying alone at night, she kept on hearing his husband’s voice, “Kill her.” She knows it will take a long time to heal, or perhaps, it will never happen at all.




A New Beginning


Despite the admission of Kalala, there were some people in their Melbourne's African community that ostracised for her husband’s conviction. Some of them who have known Kalala for so long still believe that he is not capable of such thing.











Although Noela sees that the future would be difficult for her and her eight children, she doesn’t regret her decision to have him put behind bars. He had committed an unforgivable sin and her trust and love for him were gone completely. She might be devastated as a wife, but she ensures that she will take care of her eight children for as long as she lives. After everything that happened, she knows that she needs to be stronger than ever. When asked about the people who blamed her, Noela held her head up high and said, "My situation, my past life? That is gone. I'm starting a new life now."

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