An important part of the Sour Lemons Creative Leadership Programme is our monthly networking dinners. Come the end of four wicked weeks of masterclasses and art trips, we get together and eat up a good good meal, at a different venue each time. In May, the founder Sade pulled out a seat for each of her twelve disciples and then some, at the first of many suppers. Our table was upstairs at The Young Vic Theatre in Waterloo, where we got served some appropriately lemon-flavoured chicken and Sade’s mum made us the loveliest lemon drizzle cake for dessert.

It was a sweet affair from the get go. We went round the table and everybody introduced themselves, standing up to say a quote that really inspired them. Some were deep, others funny, some were simple, others intricate, and it was a sick way to get to know a little something about who we was dining with that evening.

‘Commit First, Figure Out Later!’ Dines, Studio BLUP

Our special guest was a guy called Dines. At the head of the table, he gave a short presentation about his creative journey. We listened to his educational experiences, and how his tutor never believed in him and he never got the grade he wanted, which both shattered him and gave him the fire in his belly to gwan run after his dreams. It was a struggle at first, but now he’s flying all over the world to deliver equally motivational talks to people who might never have thought it would be a big black man with bare tattoos telling them to go get whatever they want in life because they can, right before their eyes.

Dines is a humble guy, and he makes sure to remember who he is and where he comes from when he makes his merchandise and offers his creative direction services to people and brands.     I loved finding out he was behind the artwork for Wiley’s last album Godfather cos I’ve got it on a T-shirt, which is so limited edition Dines don’t even have one! Madting. He’s also mentoring Henrique, a Sour Lemoner who was running around taking pictures of everyone and filming the night too.

The whole programme is a portable hub in which we all get nurtured as we move from space to space, it’s lovely.

All the young leaders on the programme get a mentor to help them keep on running towards their one big fat goal. I don’t have one yet,so it was super exciting to watch everyone be really engrossed in conversation with these people who are holding their hands out to us, listening intently and laughing their heads off and eavesdropping on other people’s discussions. Everyone was so gassed off each other’s presence and the potential our nascent relationships have to boost us up and make waves in the creative industries. It was proper buzzing in the room and I know I’m not the only one looking forward to our next link up at the end of June.

Soon, the Sour Lemoners are gonna be in positions where we can declare and demand things from our well-deserved seats at all different kinds of tables, on a Solange ting. We’re all here cos we’re hungry, trying to figure out how to make intelligent noise on behalf of people like us, until they’re sitting alongside us like “Yo, bigman, I beg you buss us a lickle more”.

Big thank you to…

Keynote Speaker & mentor Dines, check out his work with Studio BLUP and share the love.

Young Leader Henrique Wooding for taking photos on the night: @henriquejosias