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 Drug Defense Lawyer Savannah, GA
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Learn about our areas of experties involving state crimes, and better understand your rights.

If you are accused of a crime, the only thing standing between your freedom and a verdict of "guilty" is an experienced criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA.

Those who have been arrested before know that life in the legal system is no laughing matter. Aside from the imminent ramifications of fines and jail time, any goals you have of bettering yourself and advancing your life could be compromised. Without a trusted attorney by your side, you could face a lifetime of embarrassment and poor employment prospects due to a tarnished criminal record.

The good news? Dennis O'Brien and his team of experienced lawyers in Savannah are ready to clear your name. By retaining the help of a criminal defense attorney early in the legal process, you have a much better chance of securing your freedom and living a life as a productive member of society.

At O'Brien Law Firm PC, our practice was founded to fight for the rights of individuals accused of or charged with a crime. Our team of legal experts is well-equipped to take even the most difficult, contentious cases. From violent felonies to DUI, there is nothing we haven't seen and handled. As a former law enforcement officer, founding attorney Dennis O'Brien knows exactly how much a person can lose if convicted. That's why we work tirelessly to secure a verdict that is favorable for our clients.

Regardless of how serious or minor your case may be, know that we will fight fearlessly on your behalf. You deserve zealous representation - when you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, you will receive nothing less.

 Drug Lawyer Savannah, GA
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The O'Brien Law Firm PC Difference

Many of our clients are surprised to discover that founding lawyer Dennis O'Brien was a police officer prior to his criminal defense career. As a former Field Training Officer for the Memphis Police Department, he has over two decades of knowledge and experience in the criminal justice system. Dennis truly understands the nuance and complexities involved in a criminal defense case. This rare experience gives Dennis a clear edge in any criminal defense case and gives clients priceless peace of mind when they need it the most. Unlike some criminal defense attorneys in Savannah, Dennis O'Brien and his team believe that every client deserves effective, empathetic legal assistance. While some Savannah criminal defense firms will take weekends off or pass along cases to paralegals, Dennis personally reviews each of his cases. There is no case too small or big for O'Brien Law Firm PC. When you hire our firm, you can rest easy knowing that we will be by your side when the going gets tough.

 Federal Defense Attorney Savannah, GA
Here are just a few reasons why O'Brien Law Firm PC is Savannah's top choice in criminal defense:
  • Vigorous Representation
  • Fierce Dedication to Clients
  • Unmatched Experience
  • Face-to-Face Counsel
  • Prompt Response to Inquiries and Questions
  • Commitment to Defending Your Rights
  • Thorough, Effective Research and Investigation
  • Contact Us or Call: 912-704-5150
 Criminal Defense Law Firms Savannah, GA
Our firm has represented hundreds of criminal defense clients in Savannah and is highly qualified to take your case. Some of our specialties include:

Drug Cases in Savannah, GA

When you are charged with a drug crime in Savannah, it can change your life forever. Georgia imposes very strict punishments for drug offenses. The truth is, it's hard to get your life back on track with a drug charge on your record. Your freedom and way of life could be in the hands of your criminal defense attorney. As such, you need a competent lawyer with years of experience handling drug cases. Leaving your fate in the hands of an incompetent attorney could have long-lasting effects on your family and may result in a conviction.

 Criminal Defense Lawyers Savannah, GA

Consequences for drug crimes in Savannah often include:

  • Jail
  • Prison
  • Heavy fines
  • Community service
  • Court-ordered drug and alcohol counseling
  • Probation or parole
  • Permanent criminal record

While the consequences for a drug crime in Georgia are serious, there's reason to be hopeful: O'Brien Law Firm PC is here to fight for you. Remember - being charged with a drug crime is NOT the same thing as being convicted.

Our stellar team has represented many clients facing numerous drug-related charges. While each situation varies, one constant remains the same for clients facing drug charges: a fear of what lies ahead. At O'Brien Law Firm PC our job is to help you overcome the fear of the unknown. We do so by ensuring you understand your charges, the possible outcomes associated with those charges, and the options you need to consider from a criminal defense standpoint.

With more than a decade of experience as Savannah drug crime attorneys, we have the experience and resources to defend you in court no matter what your charges may be, including:

  • Marijuana
  • Crack
  • Cocaine
  • Heroin
  • Methamphetamine
  • Ecstasy

No matter what charge you are facing, our team has the experience and resources to build a comprehensive defense strategy for your drug case in Savannah, GA. Without a criminal defense attorney acting as your advocate, you could be facing very harsh penalties. Here are a few punishments you could be facing for drug crimes in Savannah:

  • Schedule I or Schedule II Drug Possession
    Schedule I or Schedule II Drug Possession:

    Having less than a gram (or one milliliter for liquids) of this type of drug results in a prison term of one to three years. Having four grams or milliliter carries a term of one to eight years.

  • Schedule III, IV, or V Drug Possession
    Schedule III, IV, or V Drug Possession:

    Any substance on this list is punishable by a prison sentence of one to three years.

  • Non-Narcotic Schedule II Drug Possession
    Non-Narcotic Schedule II Drug Possession:

    If you have less than two grams or milliliters of this substance, punishments can be between one year and three years. Having up to four grams or milliliters results in a prison sentence of one to eight years.

  • Possession of Marijuana
    Possession of Marijuana:

    Those who are in possession of less than an ounce of marijuana are subject to a jail sentence of up to 12 months. Fines may be no more than $1,000. Possession of more than an ounce of marijuana can result in a prison term of one to 10 years.

To avoid these life-changing punishments, you must take action now. Contact O'Brien Law Firm today for a consultation about your case.

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 Defense Lawyers Savannah, GA
 Criminal Defense Attorney Savannah, GA

Violent Crime Cases in Savannah, GA

Violent crime offenses in Savannah typically involve some form of bodily harm to another individual, actions committed against an individual's will, or threatening someone with bodily harm. Aggravated violent offenses are more severe charges and often occur when a violent crime is made more serious due to circumstances like deadly weapons.

Much like serious drug cases, violent crimes create an added layer of negativity that follows the accused for the rest of their life. In these cases, even an accusation is enough to cause irreparable damage to a person's reputation. Those convicted of a violent crime face severe penalties that can include years in a correctional facility.

Common crimes of this nature include but are not limited to:
  • Murder
  • Assault with the intent to murder
  • Vehicular homicide
  • Domestic violence
  • Assault
  • Battery
  • Kidnapping
  • Rape
  • Robbery
  • Carjacking

When you are accused of any of the above crimes, your freedom hangs in the balance. The outcome of your case will determine whether you leave the courtroom with your freedom intact or stripped away to serve time behind bars. Because the punishments for violent crimes are so extreme, you should be seeking legal counsel from a criminal defense attorney in Savannah, GA, as soon as possible. As a former police officer with a long record of positive verdicts in violent crime cases, Dennis O'Brien is well equipped to represent you in court.

Having a criminal defense lawyer by your side is the best way to avoid the serious punishments associated with violent crimes. These punishments usually result in prison time if convicted and include:
Forced rape: 20 years
Armed robbery: Up to 20 years
Simple assault: Up to 12 months
Aggravated assault: 10 to 20 years
Aggravated battery: Up to 20 years
Involuntary manslaughter: One to 20 years
Vehicular homicide Up to 15 years
Murder: Life in prison or the death sentence
Zealous Representation Without Judgement

As a former police officer, Dennis O'Brien has seen the toll it takes on a person when charged with a crime. His time in law enforcement allows him to empathize with his clients who desperately need competent representation. Despite being innocent until proven guilty, accusations are scary, and conviction could be a reality. That is why you must work with a trustworthy criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA who will work tirelessly to clear your name.

Clients choose O'Brien Law Firm because we believe in open communication, honesty, and hard work. It is not our job to act as judges for those who have been accused of crimes. Rather, our goal is to find the best defense that allows us to protect our clients' rights and freedoms.

DUI Cases in Savannah, GA

Driving under the influence (DUI) is one of the most common crimes committed in Georgia. Punishments for such a crime can be severe, and for understandable reasons - when a person operates a vehicle while they are intoxicated, they're putting their life and the lives of others at risk.

While DUI is a serious crime that completely upend the accused's life, the earnest desire to end drunk driving can make police officers too eager to catch a person who they believe is under the influence.

 Criminal Defense Law Firm Savannah, GA

The city of Savannah, Georgia, has implemented severe punishments for DUI, even for first-time offenders. Individuals charged with DUI in Savannah could face:

  • Very expensive fines and fees
  • Loss of license
  • Incarceration

Fortunately, if you or someone you love has been charged with DUI, there is hope. This is particularly true when the accused is administered a breath or blood test for DUI. In fact, cases that involve a breath and/or blood test are beaten daily. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC, we will dive deep into your DUI case in Savannah and examine every angle possible for your case to be dismissed. Here are just a few questions our team will investigate:

  • Was the stop legal? If not, your case could be dismissed
  • Is there enough evidence or probable cause to arrest you? If not, Dennis O'Brien will file a pre-trial motion and will fight hard to have your case dismissed before trial.
  • Did the police read you your implied consent rights? If not, your case could be thrown out. Failure to read implied consent rights to the accused is one of the most common police errors.
  • Were your blood testing records and breathalyzer results maintained? Breath testing comes with inherent weaknesses that can create doubt in a juror's mind.

There are numerous ways to beat a DUI case in Georgia, from unreliable field sobriety tests to inaccurate state-administered breath tests. As a veteran criminal defense lawyer in Savannah, GA, Dennis O'Brien has the knowledge and experience to expose the state's mistakes and fight for your rights. When you hire O'Brien Law Firm PC your chances of dismissal are greatly increased. When your case is dismissed, you can continue living life without the burden of a criminal record.

 Criminal Justice Attorney Savannah, GA

If you or someone you love is accused of a crime in Savannah, GA, don't leave fate up to the prosecution. Take the necessary steps to protect yourself and your family before it's too late.

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Latest News in Savannah, GA

Mother's Day 2022: Here are some things to do in Savannah this year to celebrate your mom

While it is important to celebrate mom 365 days out of the year, it's always nice to make her day in May a little bit special.Savannah is home to a myriad of activities to celebrate mom, but here are some events to mark down as you plan your weekend:Savannah African Art Museum creating collages for momThis workshop is an opportunity to create a piece of art that lets participants – children and adults alike – demonstrate how interested they are in their moms’ and mother figures’ s...

While it is important to celebrate mom 365 days out of the year, it's always nice to make her day in May a little bit special.

Savannah is home to a myriad of activities to celebrate mom, but here are some events to mark down as you plan your weekend:

Savannah African Art Museum creating collages for mom

This workshop is an opportunity to create a piece of art that lets participants – children and adults alike – demonstrate how interested they are in their moms’ and mother figures’ stories.

Attendees will create collages about their mothers or mother figures, highlighting things like her birthplace, things that bring her joy, her taste in music, books and art, and places she’s visited or would like to travel to. Participants may choose to create a timeline with images and dates.

The museum will supply attendees with a canvas, paint, crayons, markers, fabric, glue, and magazines. Participants are encouraged to bring personal photos, other visuals or mementos, keepsakes, written words, etc., to create collages that tell their moms, “Yes Mom, I see you, happy Mother’s Day!”

All workshops will be held on the second floor of the museum’s Upbeat Village Terracotta Gallery. Please note that it is stair access only, no elevator or wheelchair access available. However, the main museum building does offer elevator and full wheelchair access for tours. The event will be held from 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Mother's Day Champagne Brunch at Plant Riverside District

Plant Riverside District will host a Mother’s Day Champagne Brunch featuring a lavish buffet with an assortment of chef-prepared delicacies as well as Villa Sandi Prosecco or Prosecco Rosé. All mothers in attendance will also receive a special rose as a gift.

The Mother’s Day Brunch will feature live performances by acclaimed jazz artists including Bill Mays, a pianist and composer who has worked on hundreds of noteworthy film soundtracks; Grammy Award-nominated pianist Elio Villafranca; and former American Jazz Pianist Competition winner Addison Frei.

Plant Riverside District: new resident magician David Jowers is here to make magic look real

Reservations are required and be made here. This event is open to the public.

Mother's Day at the Island

The Islands Farmer's Market will be offering a special line-up of Mother's Day festivities on Saturday, including booths from Renegade Paws Rescue, Islands Feral Cat Project and Live Oak Public Libraries. There will also be local honey, eggs, meat, bread, crafts, poultry, soaps, jewelry, candles, wreathes and more.

The market runs from 9 a.m. until noon at 401 Quarterman Drive on Talahi Island. Find more information here.

Scenic Siesta picnic for mom in Savannah

Take mom to a fancy picnic in the park!

Relax over a picnic in Forsyth Park in Savannah with this private experience. Dine al fresco in the middle of the park with everything you need to be comfortable: blankets, pillows, Bluetooth speaker, and picnic grub. Choose between different menus to ensure a picnic that suits mom’s taste. This private picnic is the perfect way to celebrate.

According to our Dine and Dash columnist Martina Yvette, "this isn’t your classic red and white checkered-print picnic. Scenic Siesta is a picnic experience for those who want to explore Savannah with a host who does the work for you."

The price ranges from $100 per person with more info here.

Zach Dennis is the editor of the arts and culture section and weekly Do Savannah alt-weekly publication at the Savannah Morning News and can be reached at zdennis@savannahnow.com.

Federal grants available for small businesses hurt by COVID-19

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Businesses big and small took major hits due to COVID-19.As small businesses are bouncing back from the pandemic – applications for federal funding is now available.We’ve already seen money come down to help in the relief phase but, now there are some federal grants available to help small businesses move into the recovery phase of the pandemic.Small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 could be awarded up to $10,000 in federal grants.This money is aimed at helping busi...

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Businesses big and small took major hits due to COVID-19.

As small businesses are bouncing back from the pandemic – applications for federal funding is now available.

We’ve already seen money come down to help in the relief phase but, now there are some federal grants available to help small businesses move into the recovery phase of the pandemic.

Small businesses that have been impacted by COVID-19 could be awarded up to $10,000 in federal grants.

This money is aimed at helping businesses with less than 10 employees that are inside of the city of Savannah limits.

They have already had hundreds of people pick up applications in the first few days.

If you are interested in learning more about if your business qualifies and get some help in this process, there will be a virtual information session Thursday at 10 a.m.

There will also be hosting an in person session on Saturday at the Pennsylvania Resource Center at 10 a.m.

Once you apply, there is an evaluation process and then they hope to have a quick turn around time to notify the businesses and receive their grant funds.

“Now it is time to recover so these funds help to ensure their sustainability, that they are able to purchase things that can help their business stay open and stay safe, the funds can be used for overhead costs, utility assistance and things they may have had an issue paying for during this process,” said Kerri Reid, City of Savannah Human Services Director.

And if you own a business in unincorporated Chatham County, there are also still grants available from the American Rescue Plan Act. Businesses could get up to $25,000 to help with COVID-19 recovery. Thursday the county will be at Garden City Library from 2 p.m. to 5 p.m. to help with the application process.

Whether you are inside city limits or in the Chatham County limits, there are some grants available to help those small businesses as we move into the next phase of recovering from the pandemic.

You can learn more on Savannah grants here and Chatham County grants here.

For Savannah, the Zoom being held Thursday morning can be found here.

In a separate event Thursday – Savannah Mayor Van Johnson is hosting a small businesses conference at the Civic Center Ballroom starting at 8:30 a.m.

The U.S. Small Business Administration and the local business community will offer workshops to help small businesses grow and develop.

The conference is full and will be hosting about 200 people.

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.

The Artists and the Truck come to Location Gallery to culminate 30 years of friendship and art

For Do SavannahThe Artists and the Truck group show is exhibiting some great artwork, and yet the show isn’t really about the artwork at all.Nearly 30 years ago, a group of young men came to work on a truck at SCAD. Bonding through hard work, art, family, and friendship they became almost like brothers. With the group’s fourth exhibition at Location Gallery, once again curated by fellow artist and gallery director Peter Roberts, the now 40- and 50-year-olds are collaborating on an art show that is far...

For Do Savannah

The Artists and the Truck group show is exhibiting some great artwork, and yet the show isn’t really about the artwork at all.

Nearly 30 years ago, a group of young men came to work on a truck at SCAD. Bonding through hard work, art, family, and friendship they became almost like brothers. With the group’s fourth exhibition at Location Gallery, once again curated by fellow artist and gallery director Peter Roberts, the now 40- and 50-year-olds are collaborating on an art show that is far more about the depth of their connections than the work on the walls.

“This is the show that we were supposed to have right before the pandemic hit,” said James Graham, privately referred to by some within the group as the ‘Wise Elder.’ “Everyone [was meant] to have two or three pieces that tell a story and be the same size so the flow of all of us [would] be the same.”

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With such minimal instructions, you’d think that the work would feel like a hodgepodge of ideas and concepts, an incongruous mess. But given how close these men have become with each other, the show is remarkably unified, and, in many ways, refreshingly uplifting.

Graham, himself, is displaying several photographs whose subject matter reaches back even further than the bond that he and his fellow work mates share. But even though they don’t specifically reference his fellows, the wistful images of things from days gone by feel related to the way in which they all talk about the times they spent together on the eponymous truck.

“You hear a DJ say ‘digging in the crate?’” Graham asked rhetorically.

“I was cleaning my garage and I found my great grandmother’s and my grandmother’s figurines, so I started documenting that, just telling a story. It brought back all kinds of memories of things I couldn’t touch before, but now I own and I get to share that with the rest of the world.”

Similarly, Ahmad Jackson, himself a photographer, is telling a story about the everlasting power of beauty through several still life portraits of dried roses. As much as he says that they’re about all of us, I couldn’t help but feel as though the lesson he is imparting with his work is one that I see being played out amongst he and his chosen brothers, who have found a way to be unified in the face of life’s trials and tribulations.

“Most art reflects the times that we’re in,” said Jackson. “We all know what’s going on in the world. I feel like everybody needs to pump the breaks a little bit. Let’s tell everybody to step back and take a deep breath.”

The other group members featured in the show are displaying works with similar themes of perseverance, connection, beauty and fellowship in the face of this notably difficult period in our history. They also have a tendency to play off of each other in interesting ways.

Joel Crowe’s painted landscapes, for example, are the rural counterpoint to Paul “Bear” Brown’s black and white photos of the urban environment, while Kyunnie Shuman’s 16th Street Baptist Church images pair perfectly with Edgar Sanchez Cumbas’ charcoal pieces featuring the cross. And Troy Wandzel’s organic sculptures feel like an exclamation point on the entire exhibit.

But, again, what the work is hardly seems to matter without understanding how profoundly impactful the underlying relationship between them truly is.

“There’s a lot deeper connection with all of us than just what people see in the show itself,” said Brown. “When you sit down and talk to people about what our connection actually is, then they’re just like, ‘Oh, yeah, this is way more than what you see at this one time.’”

Patrick McKinnon, whose contribution to the show is a stunning series of painted portraits of his longtime friends in profile, agreed.

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“We’ve made it through divorces, deaths, funerals, weddings, everything else, and still kind of stayed to that core group of people,” he related. “These people…we share a common goal and history with each other. You just don’t find that anywhere else.”

The Artists and the Truck at Location Gallery at 251 Bull Street is on display in the main gallery through the end of May, after which much of the work will move into their auxiliary space at the same address.

All of the artists featured in The Artists and the Truck can be found on Instagram. Location Gallery is also on Instagram, and on the web at locationgallery.net/.

Art off the Air is a companion piece to the radio program “Art on the Air” hosted by Rob Hessler and Gretchen Hilmers. The column can also be found at savannahnow.com/entertainment.

The show airs Wednesdays from 3-4pm on WRUU 107.5 FM Savannah and at WRUU.org.

Congressman and colleagues still fighting to keep Savannah CRTC from closing

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Happening now - nearly fifty pilots of ultra modern fighter jets like these have been sharpening their skills in a huge stretch of airspace just off the Georgia coast, over the past few weeks.It’s all part of the Sentry Savannah exercises hosted at Savannah’s Combat Readiness Training Center.But that could all change, if cuts that eliminate funding for the center in the proposed 2023 Presidential budget are approved.WTOC spoke with Congressman Buddy Carter about the fight to keep the ce...

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WTOC) - Happening now - nearly fifty pilots of ultra modern fighter jets like these have been sharpening their skills in a huge stretch of airspace just off the Georgia coast, over the past few weeks.

It’s all part of the Sentry Savannah exercises hosted at Savannah’s Combat Readiness Training Center.

But that could all change, if cuts that eliminate funding for the center in the proposed 2023 Presidential budget are approved.

WTOC spoke with Congressman Buddy Carter about the fight to keep the center open.

As we’ve heard from him in recent weeks, Congressman Buddy Carter hammered home the point that he believes with everything going on around the world, specifically between Russia and Ukraine, that assets like the Combat Readiness Training Center are needed now more than ever.

“Potentially, but hopefully not, potentially we could be on the brink of World War 3. And here we have a President who has submitted a budget that does have some good things in it, but unfortunately suggests that we close down a combat readiness training center. We ought to be doing just the opposite,” said Rep. Carter.

Today, Carter met with leaders of the Georgia Air National Guard, and the CRTC, to talk about the work to keep the Center open. In the weeks since word of the proposed closure came out, Representative Carter says there’s been a bi-partisan push to change minds in Washington. That included Carter’s testimony on April 28th at a House Armed Services Committee hearing.

Rep. Carter said, “Keep in mind, this is the beginning, it’s not the end. This is the beginning of the process, and we are going to be there throughout this process to make sure that this stays open, because not only is it vitally important to our community, to our state…but it’s vitally important to the United States and our national defense.”

Rep. Carter also asked the House Armed Services Committee for an additional $5 million for operations maintenance for the Air National Guard to support training and operations here. Carter also said $6.5 million is needed to cover the ANG personnel who support those assigned to the CRTC.

Unless funding for the center is added to the budget, the CRTC would close next April.

What sets the CRTC and the training they do there is, in part, the airspace available to the airmen. According to Sentry Savannah Exercise Coordinator, Lt. Col. Stephen Tracker Thomas, pilots can fly at altitudes up to 60,000 feet, and at times supersonic speeds.

“It’s one of the only airspaces in the United States where we’re able to execute the blue tactics to train against that near-peer adversary,” said Lt. Col. Thomas.

Thomas continued, “I can’t emphasize enough that the Savannah CRTC is one of the only locations that can execute this type of training, from our classified space, to our large ramp space to be able to host this many aircraft, as well as the airspace that we’re flying in.”

Copyright 2022 WTOC. All rights reserved.

From Lagos, Nigeria to Savannah, meet businesswoman Helen Emeh

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Nigeria is known for its size, arts, educational and cultural centers. It’s also known for being the birthplace of talented people that made an impact beyond West Africa, like former NBA Center Hakeem Olajuwon, Grammy Award winner Sade and local Savannah business owner Helen Emeh.Emeh is the owner of Okey Tropical Market, a cultural food retailer in Savannah that specializes in a variety of household grocery items from various locations in Africa and the Caribbean Islands.Gr...

SAVANNAH, Ga. (WSAV) – Nigeria is known for its size, arts, educational and cultural centers. It’s also known for being the birthplace of talented people that made an impact beyond West Africa, like former NBA Center Hakeem Olajuwon, Grammy Award winner Sade and local Savannah business owner Helen Emeh.

Emeh is the owner of Okey Tropical Market, a cultural food retailer in Savannah that specializes in a variety of household grocery items from various locations in Africa and the Caribbean Islands.

Growing up in the tropical city of Lagos, Emeh developed leadership skills that she would eventually use in serving the city of Savannah.

“Being the first of the four, I had a lot more responsibility than the others. I basically helped take care of my siblings and I was also a mommy helper,” Emeh explained. “I learned to cook because my mother taught me how to cook at a very early age. Our main principle dishes are like fufu or rice, so I learned to cook them.”

Emeh’s parents were both professionals. Her dad had contracts with various companies, at times in electrical settings. Her mom occasionally assisted him and also worked as a secretary. Eventually, her dad decided to open a retail store when Emeh was around 10 years old.

“I think it was something he wanted to do for the family to bring in stable income. In his various works, it led him to open that retail store and it was very profitable and beneficial for the family,” she said.

Her dad’s desire to help his family provided an opportunity for Emeh to learn the art of customer service at a young age.

“As a child, I used to have joy going there waiting on customers. It was something in the working, perhaps in me that I really didn’t know that I would end up with my own business,” Emeh recalled.

Even though she enjoyed helping out at the retail store, her plans were not to someday own her own store, or even manage one, she instead planned to become a doctor.

“In part of my life, I ended up with my aunt. She had lived in Germany for quite a while. She was a practical nurse. So when she came back into the country, she opened several hospitals. I actually lived with her and went with her when those facilities were being built. She usually brought in foreign doctors and nurses to work at the hospital. I had the opportunity to shadow them, you know, see what they were doing,” Emeh said as she reflected.

That aunt, whose name was May, encouraged her to not only study and observe what the doctors and nurses were doing but to also go to college and become a doctor. Afterward, the plan was for Emeh to take over one of the hospitals.

“That kind of piqued my interest and so when I finished my elementary years of school and decided to proceed to college, I came here and that was the purpose of me coming here. So that I could do what she wanted me to do,” she said.

Originally planning to study in Washington D.C. at Howard University, Emeh and her sister decided to instead study at Savannah State University.

Little did she know that soon she would meet her future husband, a Savannah State University professor, also from Nigeria.

“When my husband and I formally met, my sister and I, we were going to the post office on campus to check our mail.”

As Emeh’s sister decided to say hello to him, something unusual happened.

“I was behind her, and before we got to him she turned to me and said, ‘You know, that’s your husband’. I said no. I didn’t see him as my husband.” said Emeh.

That same day while sitting in her research class, Emeh was in for quite a surprise.

“I had a research class. So I’m sitting there waiting for the instructor to come in and lo and behold, he was the instructor. When I saw him, I was sitting all the way in the back. I felt like the floor could have split and I slid in,” she continued.

Interestingly, when she was younger she told her sister the kind of husband she was going to marry.

“It was going to be a mature person and because I had been around mature men in my family, I saw the way they took care of their wives, they were patient, they were good, a good model. So I was like ‘Hmm, this would be a good model for a husband’ so I shared this with my sister and we would play a lot,” said Emeh.

Dr. Chukwudi Obi Emeh ended up becoming Helen’s research class professor and her husband.

After college, she decided to go into business for herself and eventually became the owner of Okey Tropical Market, serving one of the largest cities in Georgia with an estimated population of over 400,000, according to World Population Review.

Okey Tropical Market manager Mariali Resto said, “People know us mainly through word of mouth. We have a lot of military who buy their food, health and beauty products.”

“Many people travel an hour or more to buy their favorite food. This place is special to them because it reminds them of home. This is part of our success,” she continued.

With Savannah being a city that has thousands of internationally born citizens, the market offers a home away from home.

Henrical Simon, who also works at Okey Tropical Markets said, “There’s a lot of Africans here and there’s a lot of stuff here they can’t get anywhere else. It would be like Walmart to regular people. I see a lot of people returning constantly, so this is like a comfort shopping zone for them.”

Tik Tok followers and professional chefs are also among their many customers.

“Young people who follow Tik Tok have come in here asking for fufu for the first time in their lives. They don’t know what it is but because of Tik Tok, they want to try it,” said Resto.

They also serve Pacific Islanders, Asians, Jamaicans, and Hispanics.

“African products, especially in the food area, are very international, that you’d be surprised that somebody might come and find something here that they can use, even if it’s used differently,” said Emeh.

For more information about Okey Tropical Market visit okeytropicalmarket.com.

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