The name Chino Murphy does not need further introduction in the global entertainment and hospitality industry. He is the Amafor-Isingwu Umuahia born entrepreneur behind the popular Murphy’s Mansion Dallas Texas. Murphy’s Mansion prides itself as Dallas premiere Pan African Restaurant, which has created a fun and classy environment in which different cultures can come together and enjoy good food and music. Chino Murphy is about to open one of the biggest event places at Ebite-Umuahia in the coming months. He says the Murphy’s Mansion Nigeria is in the making right now and it’s going to be the biggest events place in town. In this interview with the NewsCritic Editor, Chino Murphy told the story of his life and on why he stopped work as aircraft Technician with US Army to become a hotelier. Excerpts:
Q: Can you tell us about Murphy’s Mansion Dallas?
A: Murphy’s Mansions Dallas is my No 6 club. My first club was Club Zodiac, my second club was Moet Chandon, my third Club was Murphy’s Place and the fourth was Murphy’s Lounge. The fifth was Murphy’s two, then the sixth now called Murphy’s Mansion happens to be the biggest.
Q: The Murphy’s Mansion Dallas which is the biggest of all your places, what is it into?
A: Murphy’s Mansion is into restaurant business, we serve the best Nigerian food, American delicacies, Caribbean foods etc. We are also into entertainment and events hosting whereby I have three main dance floors. I have different artistes from all over the world who have performed at my Club, and again it is also a sporting bar centre. So, it involves different types of scenes there and it’s a huge place.
Some of the popular artistes who have performed at my club in Dallas Texas were: Afro beats Flavour, Tekno, Chidinma, Waconzy, Diamond Platnumz, Deng, Gina, YCee, Akira Moses Awilo Longonmba, Aki and Pawpaw, Sean Tizzle, Harrysong, Bracket, Niga Raw, and Wizboy.
Among the Reggae artistes were Shaba ranks, Ky-Mani Marley (Bob Marley’s son), Yellow Man, the Meditations, Kevin Little, Mr Vegas and Mad Cobra. The American artistes were, Snoop Dogg, 112 & Carl Thomas, Yarbrough & Peoples, Yung Joc and Kstylis.
Q: How did the idea come about or you have been into hospitality business in the past or just about passion?
A: Actually, this whole thing about restaurant business started from Umuahia, where my mum was into restaurant. So, that was how it started and I had been into music as well. As a matter of fact, if you visit YouTube and enter Mix-master Murphy you can see some of the mixes. My first album was in 1988 sweet love, since then I had released a second one, all in the 80s.
After 1988 and in the 90s I released another album and since then I have not done another music. I am also an aircraft technician; I was in Iraq in support of the US military in Iraq. I do maintenance of all the military and also commercial aircraft. But now I am fully into restaurant club business.
Q: Can you give us more insight into your involvement with the US military in the Iraqi operations?
A: We were the one working on their military aircrafts, once they come back with bullet holes, we fix all the bullet holes on the aircraft. It’s just maintenance on the military aircrafts.
Q: Are you still involved in the aircraft maintenance work now?
A: No, now I’m basically into restaurant club business and it is doing so well that I decided to pursue that line of business and put the aircraft job on hold. I am trying to get one started down here in Nigeria, I mean to bring one of the restaurant business to Nigeria.
Q: Have you done your feasibility studies to be sure of what exactly you want to do because the Nigeria business terrain is different from the US?
A: Right now, work is ongoing there at the site, so in four- or five-months’ time we will be done with it and ready to start operations. At least the first phase of the events centre will be ready. As for the feasibility studies we have done the calculations, of course we know Umuahia is not Owerri or Port Harcourt. We are confident to do something for the home front, and use it to attract global attention to the home state. it’s all about helping to boost the economic activities and image of Umuahia business wise. We want our Igbo brothers to begin to think home in terms of investments, so while we are making investment decisions we should also try and bring some home to help develop the local economy.
Q: So, Murphy’s Mansion Umuahia what will it look like in terms of business activities?
A: Actually, it’s going to be just the same thing I have in the US, restaurant, club and events centre, hosting concerts, shows etc.
Q: Have you cross-checked the details of the financial involvement before going into the lease agreement with your community, Amafor Isingwu?
A: Since I am into the business already, I know exactly what to do with that property, I am quite confident that it is going to be the right place for all sorts of events. It is going to be a good day for everybody, it’s going to be the biggest of them all.
Q: Do you have provisions for lodging/accommodation?
A: Yes, in the second phase because the place is so big and I think it’s about 103 plots in all. It will have so many activities in place.
Q: We’ve got events places scattered in Umuahia and environs, hope you understands what it means to compete?
A: I don’t think there is going to be any competition because I’m not going to compete with nobody. It’s up to individuals to decide on what value they want…mine is going to be different.
The Murphy’s Mansion is in the making right now, they are clearing all the sites. The architects are there working on all the structures so we can commence operation in record time. I will be in and out of the country to get some things ready for take-off.
Q: We understand you are also into humanitarian works; how has it been combining all these together?
A: Both in the US and here I have helped a whole lot of people. In my village I have assisted many people out. In my maternal home Nkwoegwu during the COVID-19 lockdown I donated bags of rice, Noodles, tubers of Yam etc worth 5,000 dollars each. That’s my type, employment will be available to the youths. What I’m about to do now in Nigeria is to create employment opportunities for the teeming youths.