At age 10 Roland discovered the pleasure of reading when he read the book “De spin Sebastiaan” (Sebastian the spider) by the very famous Dutch writer Annie M.G. Schmidt . As of that moment books became his life companions.
Sebastian the spider lived, like all other spiders, in trees and everywhere outside. But he wasn’t happy there. He had an enormous urge to go and live in a human’s house. All the other spiders warned him not to do so, because humans have a bad habit of cleaning their house regularly and doing away with spiders. However, Sebastian persisted, and one day he built his web in the corner of the house. He lived there for a while and was very happy. Then it happened. One day the news came that Sebastian has been swept away and killed.
In an interview Roland said: “I was so sad Sebastian was killed, that I thought that if one day I can write a story, I will re-write that story and Sebastian will stay alive.”
This was most likely the moment that the writer in Roland was born.
“I choose to write in my own native Papiamentu, a lingua franca who survived 500 years of colonization. As you know, my country is still colonized by The Netherlands. By writing in my own language I demand respect for my native tongue. When I was a kid, all the books in the public library were written in Dutch, the colonizers language. So I grew up feeling, playing, talking and loving in Papiamentu while my intellectual development happened in a, for me, foreign language. This was schizophrenic. Thanks to all the writers from Curacao, myself included, that our kids nowadays can read in their own language.
Despite this way of thinking, Roland has already published 2 short stories for children in Dutch and he is now writing his first children’s novel in Dutch.
“The fact that I choose my native language does not imply that I cannot or will not write in another language. When we handle languages with respect and based on equality, no language can be a treat to the other. I can write in 4 languages ;Papiamentu, English, Spanish and Dutch. If I take a job writing something in one of these languages, doesn’t mean that I belittle my Papiamentu. Papiamentu is my first language. Period!”
- Rueda di fe (’90) Poetry
- Pasa kontra mi(’91) Short stories adult
- Mami,Papi konta mi un kuentaaaa! (’93) Short stories children
- Djis kant’i bo (’95) Poetry and shortstories adult
- Kalbas, Karpata, Kacho(’96) childrensbook
- Lidia su amigu hundu i rondo (’98) childrensbook
- Kom in mijn boek(2000) Shortstories
- E webu riba dos pata(2001) childrensbook
- Pushke (2003) childrensbook
- Mi amigu (’06) childrensbook
- Vuurwerk in mijn hoofd(’12) Youthnovel