Father Michael's Lottery (SA Cover)
The doctors and nurses at a small hospital in an African town are fighting the uphill battle against the Aids pandemic, made worse by the interventions of Holmes, the budget-conscious superintendent, and his bungling sidekick, Thunderbird. The rebellious and profane Morgan thwarts every new rule in his quest to save his patients, most of whom are dying because they lack the resources to buy back their lives with over-priced drugs. His efforts are valiantly supported by the enigmatic Oumar, the likeable Kenyan, the beautiful Violet, and Rebecca, the battleaxe with a heart of gold. Then there is Mary, with her passion for birds, holding Morgan’s heart in her frail hands; Naledi, the success story, who is brought back from the brink of death; and Rastodika, the untameable spirit. When funds are needed for a kidney transplant, Morgan conspires with Father Michael; Dorcas, the shebeen queen; and Rachel, the whore, to make the rich Mr. B organise a Beerfest to pay for the operation. But then things don’t work out exactly as they had planned. Father Michael’s lottery depicts the complex human reality of Aids with a moving combination of compassion, humour and defiant indignation.Above all, in its vivid accounts of medical battles won and lost, it asserts the value of attempting to preserve life in the face of near-certain death.