Her research has led Jaffer to describe Maxeke as follows:

“Maxeke rolled up her sleeves and got to work. She made up her own mind about where to focus her energies. She chased her dreams and came into her own – defying the architects of both colonisation and apartheid. Hers was a triumphant spirit that powered on in spite of the multitude of odds staked against her. It is the courage and strength of the women of the time, Maxeke and many others, which is the focalpoint, as well as the history of resistance by black women.”


Beauty of the Heart, The life and times of Charlotte Mannya Maxeke, is the story of a remarkable South African woman who has for long been written out of history and pushed aside in official school and university curricula. While this text does not pretend to be the definitive account of her life, it does however pull together and flesh out the different strands of her life in a way that has not been done before. It offers the reader a historical insight into a woman who deserves to be celebrated by all South Africans.