Hartsfield-Jackson General Manager Balram "B" Bheodari, right, meets with Ambassador Tadeous Chifamba during his visit to Atlanta. Photo: ATL

In a coincidence showing the global connectivity of Atlanta’s airport and its draw as a center for business and the arts, two ambassadors from southern Africa were passing through the city at roughly the same time last week. 

A day after South African Ambassador Nomaindiya Mfeketo came in for a two-day visit focused on civil rights and business opportunities, the envoy from one of her northern neighbors, Zimbabwe, was received by airport staff to view a long-running art exhibition. 

Zimbabwe’s ambassador, Tadeous Chifamba, met Feb. 23 with airport General Manager Balram “B” Bheodari in a brief visit coordinated by the airport’s international affairs department. 

En route through the airport, Mr. Chifamba had a chance to visit “Zimbabwe: A Tradition in Stone,” a permanent exhibit of 20 stone sculptures from a variety of masters from the country. It debuted in 2001 as the first large-scale installation in the inter-concourse walkways known as the “transportation mall.” 

Located between concourses T and A (don’t take the train if you want to experience it), the exhibition often has often served as a point of interest for inbound African delegations, including groups of the State Department’s Young African Leaders who have come to Georgia universities for years and often are received by airport leaders. It’s part of a robust airport art program with permanent installations and a rotating collection that will soon include photograms by a European artist. 

According to the Zimbabwean embassy’s website, Mr. Chifamba was in town to offer consular services on  to citizens of Zimbabwe living in the Atlanta area. 

The embassy canceled regular consular hours in Washington on Feb. 24-25. Zimbabwe does not have a consulate or honorary consulate in Atlanta. 

Like Ms. Mfeketo of South Africa, Mr. Chifamba found time to meet with Mayor Andre Dickens on his trip, posing for pictures at City Hall that were later posted to the city’s social media accounts:

While Mr. Chifamba was passing through the airport, the South African ambassador spoke at a business forum held at the Metro Atlanta Chamber and organized by the Atlanta-based South African Chamber of Commerce in the USA.

As managing editor of Global Atlanta, Trevor has spent 15+ years reporting on Atlanta’s ties with the world. An avid traveler, he has undertaken trips to 30+ countries to uncover stories on the perils...