Graham Elendu was born in the mid 1980’s into a family of profound political adeptness, just the prerequisite needed for a man with his drive. His background evoked in him a yearning to engender purposeful leadership, especially among young Nigerians who are daily exposed to bad leadership examples. This sense of purpose pulled him to the media, as he saw in the media a platform through which light could be beamed on the right leadership tenets and in so doing provoke a paradigm shift among young Nigerians. Prior to obtaining a degree at the university, Graham Elendu thrived in the media sphere in his state of birth. He was the presenter as well as a discussant on the programme, Youth Circle. Youth Circle was a Rivers State Television (RSTV) production which ran between 2003 and 2006. It dealt on issues of national interest from a youthful viewpoint with a view to proffering youthful solutions to burning national issues.
Within this period, Graham Elendu birthed the Role Model Initiative; an initiative that enthuses young people to maximize their God-given potentials by telling the stories of successful individuals who triumphed against all odds. Role Models Initiative grew to incorporate a television series dubbed, Role Models on TV. This series ran from 2006 to 2009 and focused on taking a peep into the lives of individuals adjudged Role Models, noting the challenges they faced in their success journey and how these challenges were surmounted.
Today, the initiative has blossomed into a robust platform that actively engages young Nigerians in matters of mentorship, providing a mentor-mentee link. The latest addition to the Role Models platform is the Role Models under 40 Series. This series is designed to inspire youths by showcasing the story behind the glory of young people under 40, with emphasis on Nigerian youths both at home and in diaspora.
In a bid to broaden his professional scope of the media space, Graham Elendu enrolled in the University of Port Harcourt in 2008, specifically the Department of Linguistics and Communication Studies to study Communication. He majored in Public Relations and graduated four years later with proficiency in Media & Language Studies and Public Relations. He would regularly note that he is irked by the misrepresentation of the Nigerian youth and his spur to delve into Public Relations stems from a deep-seated drive to adequately tell the story of the Nigerian Youth and use same to inspire.
While enrolled in the university, Graham Elendu engaged his ingenuity in both student leadership and social enterprise. His advent into students’ politics began with him holding the position of the Secretary General of the Linguistics and Communication Studies Students Association (LINCOMSSA). He thereafter proceeded to be the Public Relations Officer of the Students’ Union Government of the University of Port Harcourt. Graham Elendu took a shot at the Presidency of the Students’ Union Government and received an overwhelming support from the student community; he was however screened out of the process as he was considered a threat by the university authorities.
His astuteness as a student leader in his days at the University of Port Harcourt bestowed on him varied highly esteemed recognitions, some of which coming years after his graduation from the institution. A few of these acknowledgements include:
2014, FHUSA Iconic Alumni Award. A recognition handed him by the Humanities Students’ Association of the University of Port Harcourt for his role in fostering the growth of the association while in school and the success he has achieved after school that serves as an inspiration to the younger generation.
2011, Award of Honour for a Distinguished, Articulate and Respected Personality in the University of Port Harcourt.
Timiwest Oyins Intergrity Award, University of Port Harcourt. An award that celebrates his ingenuity, innovation, selfless service and functionalism.
2009, Most Politically Conscious LINCOMMSA Member. An award presented to him by the Linguistics and Communication Studies Students Association, University of Port Harcourt for the political impact he made in the association and the efforts he exerted in raising the political awareness of members of the association.
Graham Elendu has spent a great deal of his life pushing the bounds of his media and leadership potentials and this has resulted in his engagement with diverse media institutions/bodies and professional organizations. A highlight of his rich resume includes the following engagements:
He served as the external affairs manager of The Eucharist Magazine, a publication of the Anglican Communion.
He also served on the Board of GEN YES. GEN YES is a platform affiliated to the Anglican Communion that organizes a yearly youth empowerment summit featuring speakers from all over the globe.
He as well served as the Port Harcourt Bureau Chief of Shophar Nig. Ltd., publishers of the acclaimed Business Eye Magazine.
Graham Elendu moved up the ladder with his appointment as an Information Officer in the Rivers State Ministry of Health under the distinguished leadership of Dr. Sampson Parker. He was part of the team that efficiently handled communication channels during the Ebola Scourge in 2014. Their deftness in managing communications within the period has been praised severally as one of the contributory factors that aided in stemming the menace in the Rivers State.
Consequent upon his insatiable hankering for purposeful leadership engagement and development of Nigerian Youths and his pursuance of same via the media, Graham Elendu was last year appointed the pioneer Publicity Secretary of the African Youth Union Commission (AYUC) Nigeria.
Graham Elendu was also recently inducted into the Democracy Africa Youth Parliament, where he represents Nigeria.
The story of Graham Elendu is that of an individual who got a grip of purpose and has spent every breath of his life expanding capacity and advancing along his purpose path. His life’s endeavours have all been carefully handpicked, with each undertaking constituting a step in his purpose journey. He is fondly described as a man who never walks into a circle without identifying his strategic positioning with within such circle. His sense of focus is unwavering and he boasts a high dose of doggedness. Graham Elendu typifies an individual absolutely entrenched in his purpose.