Our thoughts are with Iyanla Vanzant today. The speaker, life coach, author and TV personality announced on July 30 that her youngest daughter has passed away. Her team took to social media to share the heartbreaking news.
“It is with great sorrow that we announce the transition of Nisa Vanzant the youngest daughter of our Beloved Iyanla Vanzant,” the message read, asking for prayers. “Please respect the privacy of her and her family at this time. Thank you.”
Nisa’s exact age isn’t known, but this year she would have turned 49. Her cause of death wasn’t shared, but it may have been unexpected as Iyanla was at an event a day prior to the tragedy and was in good spirits.
Sadly, this isn’t the first time Vanzant has experienced a loss of such great magnitude. Followers of her know her story and of the death of her oldest daughter, Gemmia, who passed away on Christmas day in 2003 at 30. She had a rare form of colon cancer. Years later, following Gemmia’s passing and a total shift of her life from upside down (which was also spurred by the end of her marriage, financial struggles and professional struggles) to eventually back to right side up, the courageous figure spoke about the way that significant moment changed her perspective and forced her to look at the positive side of things in times of trouble.
“I survived that. I survived my daughter’s death which, you know, I think about every day that I open my eyes as a mother. It is unspeakable to have to bury your child. And I survived that,” she told NPR in 2009.
“She had the opportunity to take her last breath in her home that she bought, surrounded by people who loved her. And I think that that mattered more than her car in the driveway or my car, or my house. What it – her death taught me was what really matters,” she continued. “So, a year-and-a-half later when I had to give up my house, I said this is a house, my daughter gave up her life. This is not an arm or an eye. And even if it were, if I only had one arm, write with the other one. You only got one eye, look out the other one, you only got one leg hop on the one you have, you understand?”
“Because if you’re still here and if you have an opportunity and the chance to continue to do good and to be good and to live more you want to do that,” she added. “It was a house, it wasn’t a heart or a kidney. I’ll get another one or not.”
In addition to her two daughters, Vanzant also has a son.