Growing up, Maye says her parents may not have been wealthy, but their home sparked an early interest in nutrition thanks to all the surrounding fruit trees.
Maye considered herself to be a "science nerd" in grade school, so much so that teachers asked her to teach math to classes of older children, she tells Loder. As a result, she would get bullied until her twin sister Kaye fought the other students off.
In her adolescence, Maye helped her father with his chiropractor clinic, working as a receptionist and putting client newsletters together, according to Forbes. She began modeling at 15 and by 21, earned her bachelor's degree and a spot as a 1969 Miss South Africa finalist.
Similar to her father, Maye later had her children doing clerical work for her private practice as a dietician, a business she ran out of her home. The Musk siblings all helped out and Tosca remembers writing letters for Maye and answering the phone, according to Loder.
"It really helped us to get a sense of independence as well as understand work ethics," Tosca says.
At 31, Maye divorced her engineer husband of nine years and left South Africa with her children for North America.
As a single mother raising her kids with help from Kaye, Maye continued modeling on the side. At the time, the Musks couldn't afford small luxuries like eating out or going to the movies and Maye, to save money, gave the kids haircuts, manicures and pedicures.
Maye tells Loder that her kids were well-behaved because "I wouldn't allow them to be brats, I couldn't afford that."