Yesterday's post on leadership reminded me of something I thought every time I saw a picture of Nelson Mandela: that he looked as much Bushman as Bantu. Mandela was born into a Thembu royal family, and the Thembu are a Bantu tribe (almost all African-Americans are of Bantu descent).
But Mandela himself looked as if he had Khoi-san (Bushman) ancestry:
Here are some pictures of Bushmen, who are a distinct ethnic group:
Mandela has the same almost exaggerated cheekbones, round face, barely visible eyebrows, and hooded eyes of a Bushman. The Thembu were a southern African tribe, so it's certainly not inconceivable that some admixture occurred.
The original Boer settlers in South Africa were reportedly awed by the Bushmen's endurance, patience, courage, and tracking ability.
If Mandela did in fact have some Bushmen ancestry, that might partially explain his patience and fortitude.