Interview with Christelle Ami D. Zami, conducted by Hermann Labou for Muna Kalati.
Christelle Ami D. Zami is a Program Coordinator, an Educational Consultant, and an author. She holds a Bachelor Degree in English, a Bachelor Degree in Education Sciences and a Master’s Degree in Conference Interpreting. She is a nature and a book lover, an adventurer and she is always eager to discover and understand other cultures. She loves networking and always looks forward to opportunities to create an enduring impact on society.
Good morning Christelle Zami Ami
Good morning. Thank you for the opportunity you are offering me to talk about my book. I feel grateful and very excited.
What motivates you to write for children?
I decided to write a children’s book because of my passion for education, children and environmental issues. Being an educational consultant and a teacher, I spend a lot of time with children. Over the years, I have learnt so much about children, their interests, their reaction to certain concepts, to pictures, to stories. I have been creating and writing stories for my students, nephews and nieces not only to entertain them but to share information and help them understand difficult concepts.
In the beginning I had no plan to publish my write-ups. But later on, convinced by some friends who strongly believed that publishing a book could help many children not only to develop their love for reading but also to learn new concepts, i decided to publish my first book entitled Ami Series.
What do you want to demonstrate through the Ami series?
Ami Series is a book about Ami, a little girl whose dream is to make the world a better place. As a lover of nature and an adventurer, Ami is concerned about environment and seeks to make it safer. The book aims at raising awareness in kids about environmental issues such as poaching, deforestation, global warming, recycling, pollution, etc.
It also aims at helping children to become stakeholders in the fight against climate change rather than being just bystanders. I see the book as a great way of impacting the little ones positively and push them to action.
My hope is that many children get the chance to read the book, and share the dreams of this little girl whose desire is to stand for social justice and uphold our human right to a safe environment.
Photo credit: Soni Photography
Why did you choose to publish the Ami series in audio format?
The book is published in seven languages, including African languages. It is available in E-book, paperback, and audio. The decision of an audio format was informed by the interests of the target audience, namely children. Many children are auditory learners while others are visual learners.
So having the book available in various formats was a way to ensure inclusivity. One of the key goals we are aiming for is to enhance the reading, listening, writing and speaking skills of young learners. The various formats in which the book is available will enable children to read accurately, faster and to express themselves fluently. They will also help young readers to expand their vocabulary and improve their pronunciation and comprehension skills.
What message would you like to pass on to your young readers?
Just as Ami, the main character in the book, I would like young readers to know that no matter their age, they can do so much to create an enduring impact in their society. With the influence of the digital era, it is rare to see people reading. But I would like youth to know that they will learn so much if they make it a habit to read regularly. Not only will they hone their language skills, but also their reasoning skills. Reading is a way to access knowledge, and let no one make you believe the contrary.
Any last words?
I would like to let parents know that reading is a powerful weapon against ignorance. Therefore, I would like to encourage parents to make it a priority to support their children to read.
Dear parents, get your children books. Let them explore, discover the world, satisfy their curiosity, etc. Do not limit them in their learning journey. Instead of only getting them toys , get them books. Let them grow up aware of the world surrounding them and ready to solve the world’s pressing issues.
Get them a copy of the Ami series as soon as possible!!!