The bell is ringing. The headmaster is already by the gate, with his hands at the back, fiddling with a stick. Prefects and monitors show off their badges and unique ties, suave in meticulously groomed uniforms, polished shoes, and well pressed shirts. Boys and girls come running helter-skelter from all directions, into the school compound.

Well, this is not a real school but an imagery of Bak 2 Skul fest, which is on its epic return after a five year hiatus. For 13 solid years, the Bak 2 School brand was one of the best concepts that kept revelers on their toes. Attracting both local and international revellers, it attracted well over 10 000 people at its height. When you talk of this concept, the organisers went all out when they curated and conceptualized the event. Each year, there was a theme, and the evolution of the concept was something else.

Adding to all the fun was how, every year, there would be a theme song that will add to all the thrill that came with the event. In the history of events in Botswana, this was one of the events that would bring Gaborone to a standstill. The Bak 2 Skul concept was the only one in the country that would excite both the mature and young audience, who for one night will have a second chance to re-live their best school memories. But since 2017, it has been missing in action.

The organisers wanted to rebrand and curate the concept in such a way that beyond all the fun on January 1st, and 2nd, it would leave behind a legacy that will impact on the lives of Batswana. The 14th edition of the event will be a thrilling extravaganza of experience and atmosphere. Revellers will be thrilled with two concepts on January 1st at the Baisago Campus and January 2nd at the Game City Rooftop.

The two events have different concepts. Starting off with the January 1st event, themed Bak 2 Lala fest, it will feature artists such as the Umlando hit maker, Toss, and many more. On January 2nd, it will be an Expensive Private Skul Musik. For this edition, the school will come dressed in their finest PE attires. On the line-up, is none other than KO. Born Ntokozo Mdluli, the South African artist is hot property right now, with his hit song, Sete. In the song, he features Young Stunna, Blxckie.

The song is said to have reached 10 million views on Youtube in one month, and was released in August. It was also the number 1 song on Spotify, and Apple Music. Besides KO, the line-up will also have Mr O aka Tshaba

Tshutshu, Dj Garvi, Romeo, Chopsy, as well as Senior Oat. Other artists for both events will be announced soon.

Style had a conversation with the event organizer, Taes Entaile earlier this week. Entaile explains that they took a break as the environment and landscape was not favouring the entertainment industry at the time. Strict laws and unfavorable conditions that included lack of sponsorship due to reluctance by sponsors to come on board. “The event was no longer fulfilling as a business,” he explains.

He explains that with the new revamped concept, the event has been divided into 15% event and 85% Social Entrepreneurship. What this means is that they have packaged it in such a way that beyond the good times, they will get to create a legacy not only for the brand but for other beneficiaries. Entaile points out that with the Social Entrepreneurship aspect of the business, they are looking at product development and manufacturing within the education space.

This will include creating and coming up with products that will improve learning for learners, he explains. He also explains that they will manufacture school apparel such as uniforms, stationery and shoes. “Our first product is Rabele for Ntwana campaign.

Through the campaign we intend to donate 14 000 pairs of shoes for primary school learners by the end of 2023,” he explains. Rabele is street lingo for shoes. Interestingly, Rabele stays true to the lingo that they are best known for over the years.

He also highlights that what they have observed is how presently in Botswana there are leading school shoes brands that take the money but do nothing for the vulnerable members of society. “Our local brand will be supported and built by Batswana, and will give back to Batswana. We are targeting Primary school children as they are the ones who are most vulnerable, and their confidence might be affected by issues such as lack of proper shoes,” he points out.

A second campaign that they have is dubbed BSC or Bak 2 lala Second Chances. Through the campaign, they will be targeting Form 5 school leavers or those who did not do well in their exams, and will identify a select number of learners, whom they will assist to register with the Botswana Open University, and assist by getting them tutors. “You have students who fail one or two subjects due to various issues. And we are saying that whatever it is you were going through, give this another try,” he notes, adding that these are their legacy projects.

Entaile also highlights that through their legacy projects, they have taken into account the fact that the event only takes place once in the year, and that they want to have projects that will keep the brand alive during the year. Quizzed on why they found it fit to return now, he points out that they started the brand when they were still young, and that at the time it was just about fun, but that they now want to come back with a purpose. “We want to impact on the lives of children,” says Entaile.

On what they were looking for with regards to the line-up, he notes that they have always maintained a standard where they nit pick a certain calibre of artists. These artists, he says are not all overly booked during the festive season, and will appeal to revellers. They are also giving a platform and a springboard to local artists.