Before Joel Schiffman, there was Burzis Kanga. That statement wouldn’t make sense to anyone who hasn’t been keeping up with Hoda Kotb’s love life. The American broadcast journalist is popular across the United States and indeed in other parts of the world, thanks to her work with NBC News. She is one of the main co-anchors of the broadcast television network’s talk morning show, Today, which has been airing since 1953. Also, an author who has published no fewer than six books thus far, the Peabody Award winner was named one of the 100 Most Influential People of 2018 by Time magazine.
Kotb’s career has made her someone who is always in the public eyes. This means that what goes on in her personal life is often followed by many people. The mother of two is known to have been in serious relationships with two men. Sometime in 2013, she began dating a New York Financier named Joel Schiffman. About six years later, in November 2019, it emerged that the two are engaged. It wouldn’t be her first marriage as she was married to Burzis Kanga. Since it emerged that Hoda Kotb would be getting married to Joel Schiffman, the curiosity about what happened to her first marriage has been reignited, with many wondering who the man she first loved is.
Hoda Kotb’s Ex-husband Is a Former Tennis Player Originally From Tanzania In East Africa
Unlike his famous ex-wife who has always been in the public eyes, much is yet to be learned about Burzi Kanga. What most people know about him boils down to two facts: that he is the former husband of Hoda Kotb and a tennis coach. In fact, it was his relationship with the broadcast journalist that gained the attention of the public. From the kind of family he hails from to his upbringing, who his relatives are, and even his age, details of Burzi’s life outside of what he does for a living have been kept away from the public. Nevertheless, we can confirm that he is a citizen of the United States of America and has spent most of his life in New Orleans.
The man is originally from Tanzania, a country located in East Africa and several reports have claimed he was born sometime in the early 1960s. Like every other fact about his early life, it is hard to tell the high school he attended but we are certain Burzi is college-educated. He attended the University of New Orleans and graduated in 1984 with a Bachelor of Science degree in Business. Kanga was a member of the university’s Privateer tennis program and made history as the only member of the team in the history of the school to achieve All-American honors; he pulled this off as a senior.
More so, Burzis Kanga was ranked as the top player for under-21 players in the state of Louisiana during his time with the UNO tennis team. After he graduated from college, he became a professional tennis player as expected and played in the satellite tennis circuits across Europe, the United States, and Mexico.
He Is Currently The Head Coach of The UNO Tennis Team
Following the end of his professional tennis career, Burzis Kanga has become a prominent figure in the sport, especially as a coach. A holder of the United States Tennis Association Professional 1 certification, Hoda Kotb’s ex-husband has been the head coach of the UNO tennis team since 2008, and it is his third stint as the head of the university’s tennis program.
He first coached the team from 1986 to 1989, and then from 2003 to 2006 when the devastating effects of Hurricane Katrina disrupted and eventually suspended the operations of the program. After about two years of rebuilding efforts that fixed the facilities destroyed by the hurricane, the program was set to resume operations and Kanga was again hired as head coach for the third time, this was on the 22nd of February 2008.
Under his watch, the UNO tennis team has gained a good deal of clout in college tennis. For instance, its doubles team made up of Ricardo Campos and Hossam Meligy was named ITA All-American in 2012. This became the first All-American honors in tennis the school attained since Burzis Kanga himself received an All-American recognition as a senior in 1983. Amongst other notable achievements, the head coach is often praised for the restoration of the University Tennis Center. This made it possible for the school to host the 2012 PJ’s Coffee Women’s International Tennis Classic.
Burzis Kanga Met His Ex-wife On Valentine’s Day of 2004 and They Got Married In December 2005
What Burzis Kanga and his ex-wife had, began on Valentine’s Day of 2004; it happened that fate brought them together at an event organized in New Orleans to raise funds for the American Heart Association. They clicked at the event and began dating as they were both single. They dated on and off until May 2005 when Burzis decided to make a serious commitment to the relationship. He proposed to the journalist and they started planning for their wedding almost immediately.
December came and they walked down the aisle. The wedding happened in Punta Cana, the Dominican Republic and Hoda described it as relaxing and beautiful, more like “a vacation with a wedding thrown in on a Saturday”. The event was witnessed by their immediate families and friends/colleagues of the journalist like Karen Swenson and Susan Roberts. Burzis and Hoda were happy in their marriage for a while. The NBC News host asserted that it was great and so much fun. She said she would have gotten married earlier if she knew it would make her happy as she was.
They Signed Their Divorce Papers on Valentine’s Day of 2008
Because of how fondly the journalist spoke of Burzis Kanga and their marriage, it was a big surprise to many when it emerged that she filed for divorce in February 2007, barely over a year after they got married. As one would expect, people became curious about what necessitated that. For a long time, why they divorced was left to speculations. But about a decade later, Burzis opened up, relating that the divorce happened under difficult circumstances.
According to him, Hoda was sick and his father was sick as well. Somehow, this created some differences that gave reasons to seek divorce. The tennis coach admitted that he could have handled things differently, with some level of maturity. He also added that moving from New Orleans to New York to live with Kotb after Hurricane Katrina destroyed his apartment, also strained the marriage. Adding that he was surprised Hoda filed for divorce, Burzis Kanga stressed that his ex-wife is a good woman.
On Valentine’s day of 2013, Hoda made a rare comment about her marriage to Burzis. She said she isn’t a big fan of Valentine’s Day because she met Kanga on Valentine’s Day and they signed their divorce papers also on Valentine’s Day. Their marriage didn’t produce any child but Hoda has adopted two kids since they divorced.