Dancing Lions Juggling Fish (the painting)

Dancing Lions Juggling Fish – by Phillip Nangle – 2020 – acrylic & oil on wood – 150 x 80 cm

I met a woman, beautiful, a dark woman, living below the slopes of the bowl of Table Mountain a long time ago before the Castle and all the white houses when thick forest ran down the mountain to fields beside the beach and we watched dancing lions juggling fish caught at the oceans edge from streams fed by copious springs.


Segaba also known as segankore is the national instrument of Botswana. It is a traditional overtone violin with a short bow. By varying the tension of the bow with the thumb it can produce a very large pitch range. The string is usually stopped from below or the side in two or three positions and really good players are known to make the instrument speak. Traditionally it is used to accompany song and topical commentary.

Traditional Botswana violin in progress. Chestnut body with Rose wood pegs. I use a Cello peg reamer for a perfect fit.

Bass Segaba using an Mbira deze as the resonator. The oldest Segaba I have seen has the resonator built up out of cow-dung. The contemporary resonator is a 5 litre oil drum scrunched tight onto the wooden body.

My two string soprano Segaba with a wooden resonator. For the bow I use the hairs from the tail of a wildebeest.