Wedding bells could soon ring again for Today anchor Hoda Kotb since she’s head over heels for boyfriend Joel Schiffman. Those nuptials would be a second chance at wedded bliss for Hoda after the downfall of her first marriage to ex-husband Burzis Kanga a decade ago. Scroll down to read more about Hoda and Burzis’ marriage!
Hoda met Burzis at a Valentine’s Day fundraiser for the American Heart Association fundraiser in New Orleans, his hometown and the city where she worked as a local news anchor for much of the 1990s. Once she got a job with Dateline NBC, she moved to NYC, but she and Burzis still dated on and off for years. Finally, in May 2005, he popped the question, and that December, they tied the knot in Punta Cana, Dominican Republic. “If I would have known it was this much fun, I probably would have done it a long time ago!” Hoda said of married life in a 2006 interview with New Orleans Living.
Burzis Kanga. (Photo Credit: YouTube)
At the time, Burzis had made his mark on the Big Easy as the head coach of men’s and women’s tennis at the University of New Orleans. But Hurricane Katrina had flooded his apartment and uprooted his whole life. “I think he’s just finding his way, you know,” Hoda told the magazine. “But it’s been good.”
Life didn’t stay “good” for these two, unfortunately. In February 2007, Hoda filed for divorce, and the dissolution of their marriage was finalized one year later. “We had some differences,” Burzis told RadarOnline.com earlier this year. “My father was ill. She was ill [with breast cancer]. It was a difficult time.”
Burzis told the site he was “surprised” Hoda filed for divorce, but he has gotten some perspective in the ensuing years. “The divorce happened under difficult conditions,” he explained. “Those were personal reasons for both of us. In hindsight, there was a level of immaturity on my part, mistakes I made. It was unfortunate we were married for a short time. It’s a shame it transpired that way.” Burzis also told the site he was overwhelmed by their life in NYC since he was accustomed to the slower pace of New Orleans. But he doesn’t seem to regret the short-lived marriage. “I will always cherish our memories,” he said. “She is the epitome of class. I think the world of her. We had great memories together.”