Every day to and from work, Dawit Tibebu is making a difference one person at a time.
Tibebu is a photojournalist from Ethiopia who’s done work for numerous international organizations including the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation and Save the Children.
He been living and working in Toronto for the last two years and said he is committed to telling and sharing stories of everyday people from all walks of life.
“Photography and storytelling is who I am … I have been passionate about it since childhood and I follow that passion, I go to school for it and it’s my profession now,” Tibebu said.
He said he shares what he learns from each person he randomly meets on the streets in a portrait series he calls Guzo Stories.
“Guzo means–it’s an Amharic word for journey,” explained Tibebu.
“I want it to be well-known as possible so that people can know and learn from each other.”
In less than a year, Tibebu has gathered and posted close to 200 stories on Instagram and Facebook.
“It was a wonderful experience all together,” said Chidra K. Menon.
“I got my chance to tell my story, which everyone like to tell their own story, right?”
So what has Tibebu learned about Toronto residents?
“Back home in Ethiopia, we are very much friendly,” Tibebu said.
“In Toronto we don’t talk to each other. We are, like, literally on the phone and we don’t even look up and see who’s next to us. Toronto has become home to many people from around the world, yet for many of us we still don’t know our neighbours.
“You know maybe one story I have will inspire you in your own way and will give you some, some lessons according to life … Everybody struggles, everybody has so much to go through, yet life goes on no matter how worse or how happy it could be.”