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Photojournalist from Ethiopia cracking emotional shells of busy Toronto residents

WATCH ABOVE: Dawit Tibebu is a photojournalist who moved to Toronto two years ago from Ethiopia. Tibebu is committed to telling and sharing stories of everyday people from all walks of life. Susan Hay has the story.

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.

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He said he shares what he learns from each person he randomly meets on the streets in a portrait series he calls Guzo Stories.

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“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.

READ MORE: Toronto most youthful city in the world, global index says

“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.”

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NANA ~ I am here practicing basketball by myself trying to recognize my weakness and working on them to make myself better. . Who do you look up-to? I am inspired by anyone who was doubted by others but make their way to the top. . Where do you see yourself in the future? I am not sure if its basketball or anything but I have a very bright future where I can achieve greatness, inspire others and be an Icon on anything I put myself into. . . . . . . . . . . #guzo #guzostories #guzotoronto #everydayguzo #guzoportraits #everydaystories #everydaypeople #everydaytoronto #humansoftoronto #everydaycanada #Canadianpeople #Subwaystories #Canadianstories #streetportraits #candidportraits #streetjournalism #Torontostories #teenbasketball #basketball #futureleaders #futureglobalchangemakers #teenagestories #teenagetoronto #blackteen #blackdream #teenagedream

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RENA ~ Do you know a city called Fukuoka in Japan? That’s where I am from. A month in Toronto and I love it. I am schooling and it’s different here. Its so multicultural and meeting many people from across the world is I enjoy the most so far. I am also catching up with my English as well. Haha. . . . . . . . . . . . . #guzo #guzostories #guzotoronto #everydayguzo #guzoportraits #everydaystories #everydaypeople #everydaytoronto #humansoftoronto #everydaycanada #Canadianpeople #Subwaystories #Canadianstories #streetportraits #candidportraits #streetjournalism #Torontostories #Japanese #Fukuoka #JapaninToronto #japanesefaces

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MARIAN ~ I came from Nairobi, grew up in Ottawa and now three years in Toronto. I came down here for the bigger city life where you can explore more resources in art and any other opportunities. It's great here for young adults. I write poetry a lot. I share some of my pieces with my friends and they love it. I also go to Poetry nights and those nights inspire me to do so much more into it. I go to school for Nursing but I am not so sure I will continue to do. I like it because I want to help people in an immediate way but that's not my passion. I write about whatever I am feeling. I write about my emotions, what I am going through, mental health and stuff like that. It's freedom. Possibly in this year, I want to go public and let my work go out there in social media and also performing different poetry nights and other art events. Toronto made me be who I want to be. . . . . . . . . . . . . #guzo #guzostories #guzotoronto #everydayguzo #guzoportraits #everydaystories #everydaypeople #everydaytoronto #humansoftoronto #everydaycanada #Canadianpeople #Subwaystories #Canadianstories #streetportraits #candidportraits #streetjournalism #Torontostories #Poetry #Womenpoet #freedom #passion #mentalhealth #dreamscometrue✨

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