Kenya Duke is an accomplished entrepreneur, TV personality and podcast host. Now that her kids are grown and independent, Kenya Duke can live life according to her own rules; leaving her public divorce in the past.
She stands as an unapologetic Black woman who asks the tough questions we all long to have answered. She inspires us all with her strength and optimism.
We spoke with Kenya about her success in Hollywood and the plans she has for the future.
Grit Daily: When did you first realize your ambition to work in entertainment? What were some of your first opportunities?
Kenya Duke: I never imagined myself in entertainment – either behind or in front of the camera. Instead, I pursued nonprofit work. Through booking and managing my ex-husband Gary Owen, we produced large comedy shows and live show tapings which we sold to networks.
I managed and booked the legendary PHAT Tuesdays at the Comedy Store for several years, as well as having a family-based reality show on BET that remains very funny today.
Through all these opportunities that came my way, it felt as if this was confirmation that this is where I needed to go in this industry.
With these opportunities coming my way, it felt like my destiny had been sealed – this confirmation that there is more left to achieve in it than just comedy shows on BET or Comedy Central!
Kenya Duke: As for me, there are so many plans. First up is getting the Truly Kenya Podcast into the Top 10 podcasts.
The show will focus on sex-positivity and how women navigate dating culture today.
After that, I hope to launch an online dating show and try my hand at hosting panels, after shows, and 1-on-1 interviews for networks.
Kenya Duke: The Truly Kenya Podcast will launch in March and I hope that my honesty about everything- from me and this new journey- as well as humor and an interest in how others live their lives- will draw an audience that enjoys listening, laughing and learning a lot of stuff that may not be that useful- even if they don’t care about guests or topics- then success! That would mean something!
Make your own path! I always found a way even when there wasn’t an obvious one. My hope is to inspire others and provide my wisdom and insights.
Be an excellent listener. My skill as a listener has served me well both personally and in my podcast. Being able to actively listen, absorb knowledge from others, and also make them feel comfortable without judgement will open many doors for you.
Traveling and exploring model homes and land for sale across different cities is one of my passions. Additionally, investing in real estate and flipping houses has brought me financial success and independence.
This passion has enabled me to pursue what truly interests me: investing.
At some point, I hope to launch a real estate/travel show and dating show. Additionally, I plan on creating an affordable home improvement product line for renters and middle income homeowners – but that’s just me being ambitious! All these opportunities will come together one day!
Grit Daily: What advice would you offer our readers on business and investing?
Kenya Duke: Achieve financial independence for yourself. Follow your passions and never give up on a dream. You must be willing to be unapologetically yourself and put in the work, but anything is achievable.
Donate back. Investing in yourself by volunteering your time for causes that matter to you is a great way to invest.
I volunteer for both Boys and Girls Club of Alameda County and Alameda County Foster Care, often feeling like I get more from it than what I give away – it’s truly rewarding!