With dreams that begun in Nigeria, where he began organising successful shows in cities around the country, Osita F Ugeh, relocated to New York in 2011, where his career in showbiz kicked off, earning him a spot as the Duke of New York. His entertainment company, Duke Concept LLC is reputably the most prominent Nigerian/African entertainment setup in America; his latest success being the historic sold-out Burna Boy “African Giant” Tour concert stopover at the iconic Apollo Theatre in Harlem, New York on April 5.
Duke is a graduate of Engineering, from Madonna University and is currently pursuing a Masters Degree in Engineering at the Stevens Institute of Technology in New Jersey. The talented man in his early 30s seems to be having a swell time balancing his career as an engineer and a show promoter quite well with an array of successful shows under his belt.
Speaking about how entertainment began for him, Duke recalled; “It started during my college days in Nigeria. Organizing college parties, theatre plays and all. I was even the Choir Master of the school Choir at some point. So it has always been my thing to organize and get people together. In being creative, I find my passion.”
On his work in the US so far, he said; “My first event was in May of 2013. The guest artiste on the bill was D’Prince of Mavin records. He was one of the hottest musicians in Nigeria at that time and so it was really a big deal putting up that event. I just concluded the Burna Boy show recently. In the past, I have also worked with the likes of Davido, Olamide, Iyanya, Kizz Daniel, Runtown and many more.”
Commenting on the success of his just-concluded sold-out ‘Burna Boy African Giant Concert’ at the Apollo, Duke relishes as he speaks; “Selling out the Apollo is something I have always wanted to do. It actually took me 2 years to get approval for a concert at the Apollo theatre and on April 5th we sold it out. Making Burna boy go down in History as the First Nigerian Artiste to sell out a show at the Apollo. This is really a Big Deal. Apollo Theater has hosted various African artist such as Fela, Mariam Makeba, etc but selling it out is a whole different story; It is Exciting and I am happy to play a part in the moment of history.”
Holstering an impressive résumé of shows which also includes other African superstars like Phyno, Mr Eazi, Flavour, Teniola, Kcee, Harry Song and Jamaican star Movado to mention a few, Duke unapologetically considers himself the biggest African promoter in America; He says; “I seem to be the only African promoter in the United States that has hosted successful artiste tours, concerts and parties respectively. I don’t see anyone that matches my energy. I am someone that always wants something better. So when I do something and it is successful, the next goal is to beat my own record. My goals motivate me and the quest for perfection is what drives me.”
Rounding off, Duke hinted on the bigger plans he and his company have for the African Diaspora entertainment industry that will blow minds. “I’m putting together a Ball.” he revealed. “It will be the first edition and it is called ‘REGAL’ and we’re all about celebrating African excellence. It’s something that has never been seen before in our environment and we will be proud to be the very first to host such a thing.”