Originating from Ethiopia, Assefa Gebregiorgis spent 20 years in a refugee camp in Kenya before arriving in Australia in 2011 and has worked in a number of factory jobs since.
Assefa also has a passion in photography, having worked as one prior to leaving Ethiopia. He still loves photography very much but as a newly settled refugee there is not a lot of money to spend on such pursuits. With his new business, we hope Assefa will be able to take up photography again!
Assefa sees Buffed as “the basis for my future here in Australia and I am looking forward to growing a business that is mine and that I can be very proud of. I love working with people and sharing a service that I can see will have a growing demand”.
- How would you describe yourself?
Friendly, generous, musical, conversationalist
- What was a defining moment in your life?
About six years ago when I was in the refugee camp, I had a dream. I was running for my life, trying to survive, in this dream I had a vision of something protecting me. It changed my life and I will never forget it.
I want to help support my family in Ethiopia financially. Being a shoe shine artisan reminds me of Jesus washing the feet of his disciple. I like to be of service and make people feel happy and feel confident.
- Whose shoes would you most like to shine?
Usain Bolt but I see all people as equals. So anyone, any person.
- Whose shoes would you walk a mile in?
Prince Harry. He is a good guy.
Assefa is located at 8 Exhibition Street, Melbourne. He shines from 8am-2pm, Monday to Friday.