Influencer Rubini ‘Didi’ Dometilie
Interview November 2022
Didi, could you share with us some information about your family life?
I was born on April 9th, 1963 in Curaçao, I am a divorced father of one child and since July this year, I am also a grandfather. Both my parents have passed away. I have three sisters and one brother, and two of them live in Holland. My father used to say to us his children: “You are my continuation”. I didn’t fully grasp its meaning, until I got my child and now my first grandchild. They are “me” and I am “theirs”. My parents have also been sort of role models for me.
Could you share something about any other aspect of your educational background and your experiences?
After High School (MAVO), I attended secondary technical school (MTS) for only one year and then left. I started to study for two years to become a laboratory technician at Shell, where I worked for 2 years. The job was not exactly what I had perceived it to be, it didn’t have enough variety, it was more quality control and that is too monotonous for me. I wanted to have more diversity and applied and got recruited to become a Police Officer.
In Solomon 23 in the Bible it is stated that: ‘My cup runneth over’.
In the beginning, being a police officer was challenging, but over time, I manage to handle this. It is overwhelming as I have learned to process whatever I deal with during my work as a Police Officer. By
1-12-2022, I will be working 35 years as a police officer.
You are a painter, how did you become a painter?
Concerning my painting, that is a different story. I have always painted. I used to draw sketches on whatever paper I could put my hand on. That was my way of playing as a child.
I even used to draw sketches in my notebook during my classes and by looking at my sketches I would recall the content of the classes. After a while, I stopped painting and started photography. This was triggered because of a false belief I had regarding myself. I thought that I didn’t master colors. This proved to be a wrong belief.
So I started painting again, first on paper during the years 2000 – 2002 with the types of colors one has at school, used during the art classes. My older sister was a teacher and she had a lot of these utensils at home that I used for my paintings on paper.
On canvas, I started painting after I visited Jean Girigorie. She lives 5 kilometers, which is about half an hour, from our home. So I walked to her home and consulted with her and ask her for some tips on my paintings/drawings. She gave me my first lessons on how to use different materials and how to set up and tighten the sail of a canvas of a painting. Things went so well, and I had a creative outburst and which resulted in my first exposition in 2004 at the Curaçao Museum on the 9th of August. This was very received, people loved it and I got some good reviews from Arts critics. This encouraged me to continue painting and in 2015 I had another exhibition in Gallery Alma Blou.
For now, I will pick my painting up again more intensely after I retire which will be on the 31-12 2023.
Happy to know what I will be doing after retirement, after some doubts though. A friend of mine suggested just setting a date for my next exhibition, which I have, and that is a pull factor to pick my painting up again.
We know you are to be an artist, painter, district officer, or policeman, where did this drive come from to be such a multi-faceted person?
Okay, as I look at what I am doing, that is a lot. But I can’t explain in words what motivates me intrinsically.
Maybe it has to do with my responsibility to keep things interesting. When you are feeling bored, look for variety and change. That is why becoming a police officer was so attractive to me. But the same goes for the Arts, one can make it as boring or as interesting as it can be. That is the point. It is all up to you. I don’t like painting and while painting, look too far ahead.
We also know you to be a very balanced person that prioritizes time to have enough me-time and time to draw your paintings. Is this correct and how does this benefit your functioning in a world that is so full of distractions?
When I started painting way back, there was no internet. With the internet, there are more possibilities, but I still need to have enough time to make full use of what the internet has to offer. For the moment I am working as a community police officer (wijkregisseur) and I am prioritizing my work as a policeman for the moment. Something has to give. My work is my bread and butter. The moment I retire, I will start working full-time again on my art and painting.
I need to deliberately work on more “me-time”. It is very important, but it is also a challenge at times.
What are the challenges that you are dealing with? And how are you dealing with these different challenges you confront?
My work has so many challenges. I am now working as a community police officer (wijkregisseur) and there are certain missing elements in the system where we work in. For example, we don’t have an adequate system to deal with people with mental illnesses. There are more of these. So it is challenging to work in an environment with those missing links. How do I deal with them? I am very careful in how I deal with specific issues, and I have to circle around these issues. It is a pity as elsewhere in the region these issues are dealt with as part of work routines. But I stay positive and I row with the oars I have.
In my personal life, I am focused on how to make life as interesting as possible as a painter. To do this I have to read books and this is my challenge. It is not that I am complaining, but it is more interesting to work on the solutions.
What is your BIG WHY or driving motivation to be who you are right now and do what you are doing now?
As we grow older the question arises of what has been the value added. I would say sharing with others and in that sense leaving something impactful behind for those who follow in your footsteps. But I can also answer, that I don’t know. I can’t answer this question. If I would know, I would have answered it immediately.
Every one of us thinks and lives life and gives it its content. It is different for all of us.
What are your plans for the coming years, let us say 5 years from now?
Spend more time on my art and with my loved ones. My biggest intention is to spend more time with my child and grandchild. Spend time on art and learn new disciplines in art like playing the guitar and photography.
Do you use your inner voice to evaluate when dilemmas show up? How does that work for you?
I would think about something, go to bed, and sleep, and after 4 to 6 hours of sleep, I would wake up re-generated and look at things from a different perspective. During those 4 to 6 hours, the answers would show up.
How are you trying also to keep up with your knowledge and skill levels?
I read books, watch YouTube and I watch a lot of documentaries. Whatever I want to know, I would look it up and search for documentaries if possible. I would also talk to those that are more knowledgeable on the subject matter.
What are your strengths?
I can be stubborn, as I don’t easily take things for granted, even if someone tells me, that it is like that. I can be patient with myself. I have trusted and still trust the process as I have lost weight slowly, but surely. I went from weighing 140 kilos to now 105 kilos and I want to weight 98 kilos soon.
Do you have other hobbies or interests that you are also passionate about?
Arts for me is not a hobby but a religion. I take it very seriously. I love listening to music and I am a collector of everything, like coins. That is in the physical realm, spiritually I am dependent on art, and that is how much art means to me.
If you as Didi would meet a stranger on the bus (let’s say in Berlin or Bogotá Colombia) and they would ask you to introduce yourself, what would you answer?
I would mention my name if I would start a conversation. I would not easily tell them that I am a police officer, as most people shut down, as it becomes too intimidating. I would more easily tell them, that I am an artist and painter.
How would you describe Didi in one word or one sentence?
“I am multi-faceted”, in one word.
Who are the persons that have inspired you the most in your career?
My colleagues as I use them as role models and follow their advice. Some artists have influenced me, I follow their advice and can feel their philosophy. My mother and father, even though they are not here anymore. I have a very small circle of friends, they inspire me too. I may have never met artists from the books I read, but they have changed the way I look at Art.
What is a trait that is still a work in progress?
Patience concerning myself at times, I want to be more patient with myself.
What was a defining moment in your life?
What would you want your Loved Ones, family, friends, and others to say about you let’s say 20 years from now?
Words of appreciation would be more than enough.
What makes you stay optimistic about the future of Curaçao as we are in the middle of a worldwide pandemic, and recession, and in the middle of growing environmental challenges because of the global warming consequences?
Because of our youth, meaning 35 years and younger, I am optimistic about the future. Our youth is being criticized by so many. We only hear about the “bad” they do and we seldom hear of those that are involved in doing “good”. Our youth, according to me, is very innovative. I believe in them. We need to invest more time in them.
More info or connect
Facebook: Caribbean Painter DiDi Dometilie
Insta: Rubini DiDi Dometilie
One of the 250 Influencers
Rubini ‘Didi’ Dometilie, is a driven, multi-faceted, community police officer, painter, artist, photographer, caring father and grandfather, and a very good friend for his small inner circle with a quiet demeanor. As he doesn’t easily take things for granted, this can be perceived as stubbornness. But being careful, and not jumping too fast to conclusions, is a great competency for his work as a policeman. In the course of his life and career, he has developed patience as a strength, but he is humble enough to consider this also as “a work in progress”. His longing early on in his life for variety made him choose to become a policeman because as a policeman, you never have a dull day. As a child, Didi used sketching as a way to play. Later on, he continued painting on whatever paper he could find. Painting is a way to clear his mind and experience his spirituality and through this, express his vast artistic talents. Didi has organized two exhibitions as a painter over the years while working full-time as a policeman. He is planning already his next exhibition, after his retirement in December 2023. Didi is a dedicated man, and once he decides to go for something, he will go it all the way. His sheer love and curiosity for the Arts have made him spend “Eons of time” upgrading his skills and knowledge over the years as an artist. But for the moment he has chosen as his first and most important priority, to do his job as a community policeman, as well as he can. But the artist in him has yet to come to full blossoming, as he plans to diversify his artistic endeavors.
For all these reasons, we consider Rubini ‘Didi’ Dometilie, as one of the 250 Influencers of Curaçao, representing the Arts and Public sector. Look at the list of the Influencers we have interviewed or reported on, up to now.
The goal of the core group of Share2Uplift for 2022
The goal of the Share2Uplift movement is to: “Identify 250 leaders from all walks of life to connect, align and create impactful changes in all walks of life, which includes intergenerational collaboration by the end of 2022.” We will use interviewing Influencers, meet-and-greet events, “train-the-trainers”-programs on “Emotional Mastery” and “Intentionality “as national intervention strategies, to reach this goal on top of our goal to scale up the possibilities to connect, align and create impact via a virtual platform. We believe that by collaborating with Miguel Goede on the virtual Vision 2030 platform, we will accelerate the possibilities to connect the diaspora and others elsewhere in the world and on the island willing to constructively create impactful changes in Curaçao, to join.
As Share2Uplift, we are fully trying to align with this thinking of Center for Curriculum Redesign to promote this agenda in our educational systems and workplace. So, in that sense, we fully support any initiative to make our educational system 21st-century proof.
Share2Uplift aligners are those that:
– Create an inspiring vision of the future;
– Motivate and inspire people to engage with that vision;
– Manage the delivery of the vision;
– Coach and build a team, so that it is more effective at achieving the vision. These criteria are now being polished.
We also consider these 5 values the most important ones for Share2Uplift aligners. They are:
• Peace from within;
As we will progress towards this goal, we will update you on the progress.
Our next MYM-platform session will be on the 13th of December (the 2nd Tuesday of the month) via Zoom, where we will present these two books: ‘The Alchemist’, by Paulo Coelho and ‘From Objective to subjective social barriers, A historical analysis of certain negative attitudes among the Negroid population of Curaçao’, by dr. A.F. Paula.
‘The Alchemist’, by Paulo Coelho
‘The Alchemist’ will be presented by Hilly Tujeehut and Eugeline Cicilia.
The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho continues to change the lives of its readers forever. With more than two million copies sold around the world, The Alchemist has established itself as a modern classic, universally admired. Paulo Coelho’s masterpiece tells the magical story of Santiago, an Andalusian shepherd boy who yearns to travel in search of a worldly treasure as extravagant as any ever found.
The story of the treasures Santiago finds along the way teaches us, as only a few stories can, about the essential wisdom of listening to our hearts, learning to read the omens strewn along life’s path, and, above all, following our dreams.
‘From Objective to subjective social barriers’, by dr. A.F. Paula.
‘From Objective to subjective social barriers, A historical analysis of certain negative attitudes among the Negroid population of Curacao’, will be presented by Ivan Kuster
Quote by Lionel Janga: “Prof. Dr. Yandi Paula wrote in his thesis ‘From objective to subjective social barriers’, that the objective barriers dating from the slavery days for our development have been removed but were overtaken by subjective barriers internalized after the abolition of slavery especially among our people of African descent. This explains for example why we don’t trust each other or have difficulties working together. The challenge right now is to overcome these subjective social barriers. 160 years after the abolition of slavery in Curaçao, we are still dealing with the devastating effects on the self-worth of our people. We need to address this issue if we want to make some serious and stable advances in our development as a country”.
Date: 13th of December
Time: 7.00 – 9.00 PM
Entrance fee: Free
Subscribe by emailing us: email@example.com and we will send you the Zoom link so that you can participate in our presentation of this book.
This week we will share some short videos on ‘Community Policing and Black Lives matter’. We will upload one of these videos every day on our facebook.com/share2uplift page.
What is Community Policing? – YouTube
Oklahoma City works to reform police force after Black Lives Matter protests – YouTube
Community Policing – YouTube
How Black Lives Matter went from a hashtag to the largest movement in US history | Just the FAQs – YouTube
The Reality of Community Policing – YouTube
Strengthening Police and Community Partnerships – YouTube