Justice Mbedzi, who is currently working on his next album. Photo supplied.

Reggae icon Just Ice says he is down, but not out


After a devastating nosedive in his music business, reggae artist Justice Mbedzi is dusting himself off and picking up the pieces to put his life back together again.

The popular reggae man, better known as Just Ice in music circles, was a prominent figure during shows and other public performances. He made headlines in 2022 when he went public to declare he was broke. Ironically, the startling disclosure came about the same year he released his last album, “Honouring Adv Gadabeni Rembuluwani”.

Hailing from Niani Tshipise, Just Ice made a big name for himself and is counted among the best reggae artists in Limpopo through hits such as “Usongo Mphira Murena”, “Zwifhinga na Zwikhathi”, “Hallelujah Hosanna”, and “Dj Vulelani”.

Regarding the sad period his life, Just Ice was quick to point out that the music industry is unpredictable and cannot be relied upon. “This industry is fast becoming extinct and sooner or later, most artists will be left in the cold without any source of income. You will remember it was first Ama Ten Ten who stole our music and sold it below market price. Then followed the discontinuation of the sale of CDs. And now is the sale of music on digital platforms. Most artists are not acquainted with these new developments and stay a long time without any income, waiting for payments from these platforms. All this worked to my disadvantage,” he said.

According to him, at times he could not make any income for months. “I can confide in you that times were tough and bad, but as a man who does not simply give up, I stood up and sought other options to supplement my livelihood and that of my family. I am now into the car trade where I buy and sell used cars. This is my side hustle that is reviving my life besides the straining music business. With the money I make from this hustle, I can support and feed my family, a far cry from the bad experiences I had. I might be down musically, but I am not out. I am picking myself up, one step at a time,” Just Ice said.

He added he had not completely given up on music but was preparing material for his next album. “To those facing challenges in life, I implore you to never give up. When one door closes, you can always find a way out. Grab every opportunity that comes your way, and life goes on,” he said.


Entertainment - Date: 29 March 2024

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Elmon Tshikhudo

Elmon Tshikhudo started off as a photographer. He developed an interest in writing and started submitting articles to local as well as national publications. He became part of the Limpopo Mirror family in 2005 and was a permanent part of the news team until 2019.