for tomorrow



Head coach to two international cricket teams – the Rajasthan Royals, in the Indian Premier League, and Sydney Thunder, in the Australian Big Bash League, Patrick (Paddy) Upton will receive an Alumni Achiever Award at the annual NMMU Alumni Awards function on Friday, 30 October 2015.

The other Achiever Award recipients are Andrew Hannington and Nicholas Graham.

Upton, who completed his BA honours degree in Biokinetics in 1991, is the owner of Paddy Upton Coaching, which focuses on leadership and performance coaching for both teams and individuals. He is also a professional speaker, who challenges people to think differently about how they are leading teams. 

He is a former Performance Director for the Proteas – and was also the Performance Coach of the Indian team which won the 2011 World Cup.

His past positions include being the Strategic Leadership Coach for the Western Cape’s Provincial Government, a High Performance Coach at Pune Warriors (another IPL cricket team) and founding partner and Managing Director at Street Universe, an NPO working with street children.

BCom Accounting honours graduate Andrew Hannington is the CEO of Grant Thornton Johannesburg, which has 60 directors and close to 500 staff members.

One of the largest accounting firms in South Africa, Grant Thornton audits 45 of 400 companies on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange and consults to a further 30, with billings of more than R600 million annually.

Hannington, who started his career in a small accounting and audit firm in Port Elizabeth in the late 1970s, oversaw the merger between Grant Thornton Johannesburg and the former PKF Johannesburg, one of the largest mergers in South Africa’s accounting profession in the last decade. Prior to the merger, he was CEO and Africa Chairman of PKF.

His passion is using his expertise and keen business acumen, built up over 35 years in the industry, to help businesses grow to the point where they can be listed on the Johannesburg Stock Exchange. He is often approached by the media for industry commentary. In addition, he is a member of the South African Institute of Chartered Accountants (SAICA) and the Independent Regulatory Board for Auditors (IRBA).

The third recipient is London-based Nicholas Graham is the Global Director of Digital Marketing for Huawei Technologies – a leading global ICT solutions provider with a revenue of US$46,5 billion. Huawei is a Global Fortune 500 member and is listed among the top 100 global brands. The company employs more than 150 000 employees in over 170 countries.

Graham was the 2014 Tallow Chandlers Prize Winner for Digital Transformation in Media. His NMMU qualifications include BCom and BCom Honourss degrees as well as an MA in English. His other qualifications include an MBA degree (with merit) in Business Innovation and Entrepreneurship from Cass Business School in London and a master’s degree in Design Studies from London’s University of the Arts. 

Graham is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts, Manufacturers and Commerce and an Advocate for Tech London Advocates, an advocacy group that aims to support technology start-ups. Previously, he was Digital Partnerships Director at Bazaarvoice, a publicly traded eCommerce SaaS company (Software as a Service), and prior to that he was Chief Digital Officer at Walker Media.  Before that, he spent 10 years managing high performance business units, including agencies and publishers. He has successfully pitched for over £100 million of digital business.

He has authored two books – Pivoting the Traditional Media Agency: Strategic Options for Increasing Digital Media Revenues (published in 2013) and Personalisation in Digital Advertising: Transforming Brands to Produce More Visually Engaging Communications (published 2011). 

This year, Rising Star Awards will be presented to Business Day editor-in-chief Songezo Zibi and (position) Gugu Nxiweni, Prof Lennox Nkqubela Ruxwana. Ruan Viljoen and sport personality Zanele Mdodana.

In addition, Head of the Nelson Mandela Bay Business Chamber Kevin Hustler, the Provincial General Manager of SABC (Eastern Cape) Zola Yeye and public relations guru and Business Women’s Association chairperson Michelle Brown will receive Alumni Special Awards.

Enquiries can be directed to Liscka Hendricks on

Andrew Hannington

Nick Graham

Paddy Upton