b2ap3 small SamNgcolombaSamantha Mkandhla




Occupational Information

Job Title: Head of philanthropy and partnerships for Médecins Sans Frontières Southern Africa

Professional History

Samantha Mkandhla is the head of philanthropy and partnerships for Médecins Sans Frontières Southern Africa.  She is also the founder of Lady Liberty a social justice and advocacy platform, that uses a mobile legal office and text messaging to extend access to justice to marginalized women. This innovation was previously recognized by UN Women (Singapore Committee) and the Master Card Foundation’s ‘Project Inspire’.

Samantha is an attorney who is admitted to practice law in South Africa (Western Cape and Northern Provinces) and Zimbabwe (Bulawayo). She completed her Articles at DSC Attorneys in Cape Town and later worked for Bowman Gilfillan Attorneys, also in Cape Town. She has always been passionate about Human Rights work and throughout her career worked for Organisations such as the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on the Southern Africa Counter-Trafficking Programme (SACTAP) helpline. She started her own legal consultancy in 2012 focusing on immigration, legal services for Small Micro and Medium Enterprises (SMME), and Corporate Social Investment (CSI) consulting for corporates.

Until February 2018, Sam was the Acting Executive Director of the Entrepreneurship Development Academy at the Gordon Institute of Business Science, the University of Pretoria, which was founded in 2014 to offer scholarship-based business education and support to previously underserved entrepreneurs in South Africa. The EDA focuses on youth, green, social, township, and women entrepreneurs. This role included representation on the executive and management committees and managing key clients and contracts obtained including JP Morgan, Diageo, Wal-Mart, and the Vodacom Foundation.

Sam is a US Embassy International Visiting Leader (2018), and a L’Oréal Paris ‘Women of Worth’ Honouree.  Her other accolades include being a Shuttleworth Foundation ‘Flash Grant’ Recipient: 2016, The Pollination Project (New York) ‘Visionary Award Finalist’ and Grantee: 2015/ 2017, Sunday Times ‘Heroes of South Africa’ Nominee: 2016, Red Bull ‘Amaphiko’ Social Entrepreneur: 2015, Spark* International Entrepreneur: 2015 and SAB Foundation ‘Social Innovation Award’ Grantee: 2015 and a feature in Forbes Woman Africa (Oct/Nov 2016 Ed.). She currently sits on the board for Lady Liberty and Private Shopper (Pty) Ltd, an e-Commerce Retail Aggregator.


LLM Constitutional Law & Human Rights from The University of Cape Town, under the supervision of Professor Pierre de Vos | 2017


2017 Archbishop Desmond Tutu Leadership Fellow

 Additional Tags: Law, Human Rights, Entrepreneur, Consultancy, Social Justice, Social Investment