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Hoda Kotb and ex-husband Burzis Kanga

What happened between Today's Hoda Kotb and ex-husband Burzis Kanga?

The Today host has only been married once 

Hannah Hargrave
US Deputy Editor
6 days ago
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Hoda Kotb recently confessed to dipping her toe back into the dating pool in the hopes of finding someone special — but is it marriage she's looking for?

Long before the TV anchor, 59, became a household name on Today, she was married to former University of New Orleans tennis coach, Burzis Kanga.

After a whirlwind romance, they tied the knot in 2005, only to divorce in 2008. 

So, what happened between the couple and why did their short-lived marriage end in a messy breakup?

How did they meet?

Hoda was living and working in New Orleans when she met Burza on Valentine's Day at an American Heart Association fundraiser. 

She was an anchor for a local television station at the time. 

Hoda explains she's going on a third date© ABC
Hoda was married before she joined Today

They walked down the aisle in Punta Cana and Hoda was initially thrilled to have found 'the one,' telling Living New Orleans: "Oh, my gosh! I am a married, honest woman, finally!"

Moving to New York 

Married life became more challenging when Burza - a self confessed New Orleans boy — lost his apartment to Hurricane Katrina and moved to New York to be with Hoda whose career was going from strength to strength.

Hoda's ex-husband Burzis Kanga is still a successful tennis coach© Instagram
Hoda's ex-husband Burzis Kanga is still a successful tennis coach

She confessed to the outlet that it was "hard," for Burza to acclimatize to the city, but still insisted married life was "great."

When Burza reflected on the move during an interview with RadarOnline, 10 years after they split he recognized he wasn't happy in the Big Apple: "I was not used to the big city I guess. New York can be overwhelming. I've lived in New Orleans for 30 years now. This is my home."

Their breakup

In February, 2007, Hoda filed for divorce from Burza. This was the same month she was diagnosed with breast cancer. 

He explained to RadarOnline. "We had some differences. My father was ill. She was ill. It was a difficult time. Those were personal reasons for both of us.

Hoda on Today in 2007 speaking to Ann Curry about her breast cancer diagnosis© Getty Images
Hoda on Today in 2007 speaking to Ann Curry about her breast cancer diagnosis

"The divorce happened under difficult conditions. 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.”

Burza added: "I will always cherish our memories. She is the epitome of class. I think the world of her. We had great memories together."

Hoda Kotb and Joel Schiffman © Kevin Mazur
Hoda later fell for Joel Schiffman

Hoda's love life today

Hoda later found love with Joel Schiffman, who she began dating in 2013. They went on to adopt their daughters, Haley, seven, and Hope, four, together and got engaged in 2019. 

But at the start of 2022, Hoda revealed during an episode of Today, that they had made the decision to split.

Hoda co parents her daughters with ex Joel
Hoda co parents her daughters with ex Joel

At the time, she told her co-host Jenna Bush Hager: "Joel and I have had a lot of prayerful and really meaningful conversations over the holidays, and we decided that we're better as friends and parents than we are as an engaged couple."

She added: "So we decided that we are going to start this new year and begin it kind of on our new path as loving parents to our adorable, delightful children, and as friends."

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