Skeem Saam actress Innocent Sadiki and her twin sister Millicent Mashile have opened up about what it was like having a father who was in prison and how they have since learnt to live without him after he was murdered.

Innocent and Millicent were giving a talk at Zonderwater Maximum Security Prison in Pretoria when they decided to reveal their very personal story about their father.

It was the first time they opened up about their childhood and speaking exclusively to TshisaLIVE, Innocent explained that as a child she never knew her dad.

“My sister and I didn’t even think that this was a story worth telling until we told it and people spoke about how it has touched them. We grew up taunted by outside people who always wanted to tell us what horrible things our father had done. Because we never knew him, we didn’t understand,” she said.

The Skeem Saam actor said now that she is older she has learnt that “forgiveness and love” are key factors to a happy life.

Innocent explained that her grandmother raised her and her sister and kept information about their father to herself to protect them.

They never visited him in prison and the actress says she was desperate to know him, explaining that she only went in search of him when she was a teen.

“We had heard bad things, but we wanted to find out for ourselves so we went to his house [after he came home]. We knocked and knocked, then eventually jumped the fence and peeked through the windows,” she explains.

But the actor said her and her sister were met by “coldness” and never saw their father again after that encounter, until he was on his death bed after an “attempted murder”.

She added that their grandmother made sure they never used the “lack of a father” excuse and made them work hard towards their dreams.

“We never had a relationship with him and later he was murdered. But today we are grown women with our own families and we have forgiven him because he was our father,” she said.

The twins went on to break into the industry as TV presenters on a gospel youth programme called Alpha Youth. Innocent married Pastor Phindu Sadiki in 2010 and got a role on Skeem Saam as Sthoko.