Los Angeles, California (The Hollywood Times) – 02/03/2023
Kenya Duke is a successful entrepreneur and TV personality– her kids are grown and on their own, her very public divorce is the rear view mirror. As an unapologetic, unfiltered, strong Black woman – Kenya likes asking the questions we all really want the answers to.
Her latest venture is the “Truly Kenya” podcast which is set to launch in March 2023. This is a reflection of Kenya’s current life; her personal mantra is staying curious, keeping it real, and having a humorous outlook.
The show features topics including dating, sex, kids, marriage, divorce, and pop culture and speaks to the mature, fearless woman. Guests include a range of professionals from relationship therapists, psychics, TV personalities and entertainers.
Tell us about your background and what brought you to Hollywood?
I was raised by a loving, single, hardworking mother in a lower middle class household in Oakland, CA. As an only child, I was always very independent and going to make a way even when there wasn’t a way!
You’ve worked in the industry behind the scenes for a long time. Did you always know you wanted to work in entertainment? What were some of your first opportunities?
I honestly, never saw myself in entertainment behind or in front of the camera. I thought my future was in nonprofit work. I began booking and managing my ex (Gary Owen) which led to producing large comedy shows and live show tapings that we sold to networks. I managed and booked the iconic PHAT Tuesdays at the Comedy Store for a couple of years. We also had a family based reality show on BET, which is still very funny. I realized I was very good at making things happen behind the camera and not so bad in front of it.
You became a successful TV producer- first as a manager/booker for your ex husband Gary Owen, then producing his TV specials, then producing a reality show for Bunim-Murray? What’s up next for Kenya Duke?
I have so many things I am planning to do. The first is getting the “Truly Kenya” Podcast in the Top 10 podcast. Then I have plans for an online dating show, and to really try my hand at hosting panels, after shows, and 1-on-1 interviews for networks.
When can we expect your podcast Truly Kenya to launch? What will draw listeners and set it apart from other shows out there?
The “Truly Kenya” Podcast is expected to launch in March. Hopefully, I am the draw! My honesty about everything- me and this new journey I am on- humor, and my curious nature about how others choose to live their lives. If I have an audience that enjoys the time listening, laughing, and learning a lot of stuff (that may not be that useful)…if they are trying to save the planet, but good for a boring cocktail party, so much so that they don’t even care about the guests or topic, then I have done something right and I am winning. That is success?
Do you hope to evolve this platform into a TV show?
That would be awesome! My plan is to be on a panel type talk show, because I love the banter and the difference of opinions and to host a dating show… HEAVEN. Circle back in a couple of years and you are going to be “she really did it!”
What do you want our readers to know about you that they might not be aware of?
I have had a crazy past two years with my divorce. I have been to a financial bottom and back, had to let some friends go, and get used to my new normal, but I wouldn’t change a thing. I am the happiest I have been. I am still smiling and loving my new life, so it was all worth it even on the worst of days.