Karissa Samuel

Leaving her law career behind was the best thing 28-year-old Karissa Samuel ever did for herself and the 16 orphanages and countless children she assists through her non- governmental organisation, The Ntshulisa Foundation (TNF). A social activist, Samuel started volunteering at orphanages in Hillbrow at 17, held her first annual Christmas party for orphans at 18 and, at 23, instead of writing her board exam, wrote the business model for TNF. Since 2007, TNF has assisted orphanages to run their organisations better, while helping to support orphans through programmes ranging from healthcare to girl empowerment. Samuel also directs SCSR Consulting, a for-profit corporate social investment consultancy, and is chairperson of the Group House, a shelter for abused, abandoned and orphaned girls in Hillbrow.

Last year, she was invited to tea with the Russian president through the InterSeliger Youth Forum, an international project uniting future leaders, and was listed in Destiny Magazine’s “Power 40 Under 40”.

— Lu Larche