Many have found Iyanla Vanzant’s works, writings and counseling session inspirational if not wholly therapeutic. Thus, it may come to the surprise of that contingent that not a small number hold opposing views of the New Though spiritual teacher.
Among them: Neffeteria Pugh. Pugh was a guest on OWN’s “Iyanla: Fix My Life” to salvage her marriage to husband Shelby “Soullow” Lowery who was under financial duress as well as recovering from a recent heart attack. Vanzant confronted Pugh about her toxicity during the episode and at certain point, constructed a separate personality for her named “Neffe”, who was characterized to represent the lowest of Pugh’s traits. “You notice I’m calling you ‘Neffe’, now. I’m not calling you Miss Neffeteria anymore because Miss Neffeteria understands who she is,” Vanzant stated. She further charged, “But Neffe don’t get that. Neffe has been running her life but Neffe is a nasty, vile guttersnipe right up out the hood.”
When later asked about the experience, Pugh told Shay Johnson via Instagram Live that, “I went on this show with my husband at the time to save my marriage. It did more torment than healing. This woman…let me tell you, what people don’t understand is this woman called me a b—h. She said, ‘Neffe, is a b—h, a guttersnipe, straight up out the hood.’ Which made me get up, walk off the set so that I could respect my elders.” She added, “Then I went back again to make sure that I was not tripping, and I got the same results. So it’s not you, I just wanted to come on and say that I commend you and I love you. Your strength is amazing. You know that you’re my sista from another mista. And I am so proud of you and all that you are doing.”
Iyanla Vanzant, born Rhonda Eva Harris, has authored close to 20 publications in navigating self-healing through a spiritual-emotional perspective beginning in the mid-1990s. She’s been a fixture of OWN, the Oprah Winfrey Network, and has been one of the media mogul’s most frequently featured and esteemed guests. She had her first self-titled show, Iyanla, nearly 20 years ago and transitioned to a role as Life Coach on Starting Over, and as Lifeclass teacher on Oprah’s Lifeclass for three seasons all before her current position as the host of Iyanla: Fix My Life.
Late in October 2020, Vanzant announced that the current and 7th season of the show would be her last. Neffeteria Pugh posted that the negative feedback has finally caught up to her, resulting in the show’s termination. “Here is my thing, why is she done? I’mma tell you why: It’s a lot of people saying, ‘You ain’t help me do sh*t…but you caused more harm than help.”
A number of her previous guests have voiced their dissatisfaction on their treatment as guests on her show. DMX, Sheree Whitfield, Tamar Braxton and others made claims of mistreatment, mistrust and general displeasure with the Spiritual Guru’s methods.